One of my goals this year was to center my food storage around goods I find myself buying year round in the grocery store. Things like canned beans, mushrooms and various condiments such as pickled jalapeños are used in much of my cooking throughout the winter. In part, I plan on growing many of these items in this year’s garden. By using both water bath and pressure canning methods I should be able to stock my shelves inexpensively and always have nutritious home-grown foods available to me.
Growing mushrooms is one of the ventures my husband and I hope to try one day. With a little planning we would like to plug some logs this fall and harvest our own next spring. For the time being, I look for seasonal deals and stock up when prices are low. Recently at the local grocery I found fresh button mushrooms priced at 3, 8oz packages for $5.00. As canned mushroom prices have soared over the past few years and being as thrifty as I am I immediately thought, “I could do that”. Canning is something I do every year but I’ve never processed mushrooms…until now!
I started with 6, 8oz packages of white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced.
The mushrooms were then placed in a pot with approximately 2 quarts of fresh water, 2 tsp sea salt and 2 tsp Fresh Fruit Preserver. The mushrooms were then brought up to a boil for 5 minutes.
Fifteen, 1/2 pint canning jars were cleaned and sterilized, each received 1/8 to 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/8 to 1/4 tsp Fresh Fruit Preserver. Lids were set in a pot of boiling water to soften the seals as the pressure canner water continued to heat up.
With a ladle the prepared mushrooms were placed into the canning jars, leaving 1″ head space. The lip of the jars were wiped clean, lids placed securely with rings screwed on fingertip tight.
In the meantime, I decided to make use of the leftover liquid that remained after cooking the mushrooms. I don’t like to waste anything! The mushroom stock tasted delicious and would be a great addition to an Asian themed soup or used as a French onion soup base. Packaged in pint sized plastic bags it was super simple to freeze and store.
At the end of the processing time I simply turned off the heat and waited for the canner to cool down on its own. Once the pressure completely released I was then able to see the fruits of my labor. The tops all “pinged” (you canners out there appreciate this sound) and once the jars completely cooled the result was 15, 1/2 pints of shelf stable mushrooms.
By processing everything myself I saved just over $9 when comparing my jars to the typical store bought can price (4oz can @ $1.29). In all actuality, my jars contained more product so it added even more value…BONUS!
You CAN do it too!