Although mushrooms can be found in the produce section of the grocery, they are neither a fruit nor a vegetable. Mushrooms are not technically plants, however, the benefits of mushrooms are huge. They have a great deal of nutritional value, are full of micronutrients, and we do consider them among the best foods.

But do you know that even dried mushrooms are a great choice

Dried mushrooms are tasty, convenient and affordable. The flavor of dried mushrooms is concentrated and intense, and the texture is good and meaty. Like fresh mushrooms, they’re terrific in everything from soups to sauces to sautés.

Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They are a good source of B-vitamins iron, and selenium. Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium, a 10-gram mushroom has more potassium than a banana. Furthermore, they have essentially no fat and no cholesterol.

Mushrooms also have high levels of polyphenols that give them a higher antioxidant level than green pepper and zucchini.

For spur-of-the-moment meals, or when your favorite fungi are out of season, there is nothing handier than a supply of dried mushrooms in the cupboard. We think of dried mushrooms as an extension of the spice cabinet—in other words, a kitchen essential. Since much of the weight of a mushroom is moisture, a dried mushroom packs intense flavor.

If you want to use dried mushrooms as a seasoning, place them in a baking container and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes. When they are baked, put them in a food processor and grind them into a fine powder.

Storage and Use

Keep dried mushrooms in a dark, dry place, or in the freezer, to extend their shelf life. To reconstitute mushrooms, rinse then place the desired amount in a heatproof bowl and cover with warm to hot water for about 20 minutes until soft and springy. After they have rehydrated, lift them from the bowl with a slotted spoon, or drain in a fine colander. Set the mushrooms on a paper towel to absorb any remaining moisture.

Keep the mushroom liquor, as the steeped liquid is called, for use in your recipe; drain it through a paper filter to get rid of any crumbly bits of mushroom. Don’t waste any of that precious flavors; this nectar can be used in sauces, soups, sautés, rice or pasta, to enrich the mushroom essence.

Just a few ideas for cooking with dried mushrooms
Stews & Soups - In a slow cooker or a soup pot, simply add soaked and chopped mushrooms along with mushroom liquor for deeply infused fungi flavor. Dried mushrooms with meaty texture and strong, aromatic taste are perfect for soups and pair well with chestnuts.
Silky Sauces - Cream sauces love mushrooms, and those apricot-scented golden mushrooms seem to return the favor. The dried stems tend to be chewy, so cut them off and discard, or save to make mushroom stock. Mushrooms also pair well with your favorite chicken, salmon and pork recipes.
Pasta & Risotto - Pasta benefit from a mix of dried porcini and fresh mushrooms, and a mushroom ragu' makes the perfect tagliatelle topper.
A Good Egg - Be it omelets, frittatas, scrambled eggs or quiche, practically any dried mushroom will complement eggs. Try our dried mushroom mix for a full range of flavorful fungi in your next egg dish. Be sure to drain the soaked mushrooms well and pat dry before cooking./