Use of forest mushrooms
Finnish forests are home to many edible wild-grown mushrooms. Natural Nordic selection has three different mushrooms, each one with a distinctive flavor. Chanterelles contain abundantly vitamin D and are a good source of potassium, iron, and selenium. Also trumpet chanterelles are rich in vitamin D. When dried horn of plenty's flavor improves, acquiring almost black truffle notes, and it can be added as a potent flavoring to other foods.
How to use mushrooms
Most of Finnish forest mushrooms are suitable for consumption right after picking, some need to be either cooked or quickly boiled and rinsed with fresh water before they are further prepared for food. Unnecessary cooking should be avoided, because it destroys the minerals and vitamins of the mushroom. When preparing mushrooms for food, the nutritional value can be greatly affected depending on the method of preparation. When fried in fat or with the addition of cream, the energy content of the mushrooms increases, whereas when fried alone or only in a small amount of vegetable oil, the mushrooms are suitable for even a dieter’s diet.
How to preserve mushrooms
Fresh mushrooms, which include as much as 90 % of water, can be preserved in many ways: by drying, salting, fermentation, pickled, freezing, vacuum preservation and storing in oil. Natural Nordic products have been dried in 35 - 42 degrees long enough until the mushroom "cracks" easily. It is important to be careful with drying temperature since mushrooms starts to cook instead of drying when temperature exceeds 50 degrees (50°C).
We have chosen the traditional way of preserving - drying - because it is a sustainable way and very gentle for the mushroom, and all nutrients are well preserved. Drying is very ecological way to preserve, it doesn't require any extra equipment or even electricity if dried in open air. Also when dried and preserved in a proper way, mushrooms survive for years, only the flavor gets a bit milder over time. Because dried mushrooms shrink and take up very little space, drying saves a lot of storage space (when compared with the needed space of fresh mushrooms), and savings contribute to transportation of these delicacies as well. They are light and easy to transport even around the world.
Drying can even strengthen the flavor, because it is in condensed form. You only need a small amount to add a great taste in foods. We have further processed dried mushrooms into powders to save even more space and make it easy to use. One tablespoon (5 g) of dried mushroom powder equals 50 g of fresh mushrooms.
Like with our other powders, it is easy to add nutrition to many foods. There are a few special users who might have difficulties in getting enough nutrients in their food, either small children who can be picky with their food, or elderly people. To add nutrition and flavor to many foods, it's easy with dried mushrooms when crush into small pieces, or with mushroom powders as such. This way it is possible to get even small children to try out food with mushroom.
Mushroom powder suits well as seasoning or in spice mixes, you can make your own finger salt with ready powders or even a vegan broth. Fresh pasta dough, bread and bread roll dough or mushroom broth, savory pancake batter can be spiced with powders and /or crushed mushrooms.
Crush dried mushrooms with hands and sprinkle on top of any savory dish to boost the nutritional value of a dish. Dried mushrooms can be used crushed as such to add flavor to any food, give it a try on omelette, rice, potato, and vegetables or meat dishes. Crushed mushrooms are well suited as a spice for minced meat, casseroles and sauces.
Soaking dried mushrooms is very simple. Cover mushrooms with nearly boiling water (80°C is the best). Let soak for 10-15 minutes (max 30 minutes is sufficient). After soaking rinse with water. Whole dried mushrooms are soaked in water before use and then used like fresh mushrooms, for example by frying, in omelette, soup, stew, pie, salads or warm sandwiches. Keep in mind, that soaking liquid has lots of flavor and it can be used in many different recipes. So save the soaking water and use it as a base for e.g. a broth, soup or sauce.
There are many dishes you can prepare with mushrooms. Here are a few mouth-watering recipes for you to try out.