Dried food

Annas tips on drying mushrooms

I (Anna) have another passion in life and that is picking mushrooms in the autumn.

One way to preserve the mushrooms and enjoy the mushrooms for your hike and the rest of the year, it is to dry them. Some mushrooms taste much stronger when dried. This is very simple to do but if you have been lucky on your mushroom hunt your harvest can take up a lot of space for a few days. You can also use a circotherm oven or a mushroom dryer but I prefer to dry the mushroom on my big table, maybe because I like the sight of them.

Mushrooms I recommend to dry is: Funnel Chanterelle (Cantharellus tubaeformis), Black chanterelle or Black trumpet(Craterellus cornucopioides) and Porcino (Boletus edulis).

Don’t pick any mushrooms if you are not sure they are edible or not. Never ever take any chances. The best way to learn how to pick and find mushrooms is to accompany someone who knows and who is willing to teach you. I have picked mushrooms since I was a kid, my father was my first teacher and later also my brother. A good website for mushroom pickers in Sweden is svampguiden.com.

Start by cleaning the mushrooms with a brush, the Funnel Chanterelle should be divided as you sometimes find insects or snails hiding inside the funnel. Cut the bigger mushrooms in small pieces and spread them out on some newspaper. In a few days they will shrunk and if they feel dry you can put them in a glass pot. But wait some extra days before you close the pot, just to make sure they are completely dry.

The dried mushrooms can be stored for many years as long as you keep them dry in a container.

Dried mushrooms are really nice to bring on a hike, to be used in pasta sauces, risotto or a warm hot soup. Just let them soak in some water for a while and then fry/parboil them in a pan, add oil or butter when the water is gone.

 

Black trumpet

1. Black trumpet 2. Dried Black Trumpet

 

 

Drying vegetables

We have tried to dry many different kinds of vegetables, some have worked better than others. Some have become our favorites like red paprika, zucchini and mushrooms. Those vegetables are easy to dry and quick to prepare for cooking when you are in the field, which is good when you are tired and hungry. If you have more time and energy, carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli are really nice. A good idea is to already start soaking them at lunchtime so they’ll be ready to cook for supper.

How does it work? It’s good to use a circotherm oven, then you can work with multiply layers of baking-trays simultaneously. It’s really important to heat the oven at a low temperature, it shouldn’t be more then 50° C. Also make sure not to close the oven door, you want the moisture to get out, otherwise it’ll just circulate inside the oven and the vegetables will not dry. We use a big wooden spoon to block the door.

Some vegetables need a little precooking before you dry them, this is true of broccoli, cauliflower, fresh beans and root crops. Just boil them for a short while. Dried beans like kidney beans and chickpeas first need to be soaked (24 hours) and cooked in water until soft (this may take over an hour) before you dry them. You can also use beans from a can that are already precooked and dry them as they are.

All you have to do with vegetables like paprika, tomatoes, zucchini and eggplants is to slice them in thin and small pieces. Put them in the oven on some oven paper and let them dehydrate until they are completely dry.

Most vegetables need to dry in the oven for at least 8 hours.

 

1 kg carrot = 50 gr carrot

To save weight for your hike, one way is bring dry food. This is really easy to do yourself and I would say also much tastier. Today I dried 1 kilo carrots and now it has a weight of 50 gr.

I sliced the carrots really thin and small. Pre-cook them for a little while, just so they get a little soft but still with a little crunch left. Rinse them in cold water and but them on a baking-plate to dry in the oven. Set the oven to less than 50° C and leave the door open to let the moist get out.

 

Dried carrots for our next hike

Dried carrots

Mountainhikers