Unexpectedly Delicious: Edible Mushrooms

Putting mushrooms into your mouth, chewing and swallowing… this concept eventually became a shared norm for humans to enjoy mushrooms on a regular basis – seems unexpected at first ponder!

Mushrooms are in fact defined as fleshy, spore-bearing bodies of fungus that grow from decaying matter. Some quite alien looking, with large gills, others with slender stems, some edible and nutritious, others poisonous and/or hallucinogenic. Mushrooms however are just as delicious as they are mysterious. Although they are technically a fungus, they are prepared like vegetables when included in recipes and dishes. Their savory flavor and meaty texture make mushrooms an ideal component in any satisfying vegan or meatless dish. This segment of unexpectedly delicious will focus on the edible mushroom varieties that research is showing may provide profound health benefits!

 

Why Should You Eat Them?

Mushrooms consumed whole or utilized for extracted components, have demonstrated in research to provide health benefit in the following ways:

  • Anticancer: b-glucan compounds found in mushrooms appear to have anti-tumor effects.
  • Immune- stimulating: Mushrooms may help stimulate the immune system by activating more macrophages and helper T cells important for strong immune function
  • Blood sugar regulation: polysaccharides found in mushrooms have shown to possibly exhibit interaction with insulin receptors to aid in prevention of high blood sugar levels
  • Cardiovascular benefit: In some studies, oyster mushroom consumption has shown to reduce blood pressure, total cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Gut health: Certain varieties (i.e. ear mushrooms) of mushrooms contain high amounts of dietary fibre that have shown to improve symptoms of constipation. There is research exploring the use of mushrooms in prebiotic applications to help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

 

Nutrition value of ½ cup of cooked mushroom types:

White- contains greater than 10% of your daily value of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and selenium per serving.

Shiitake- a great source of B vitamins, manganese, and dietary fibre with 1.5g per serving.

Maitake- a wonderful food source of vitamin D with over 100% of your daily vitamin D requirments per serving.

Oyster- contains greater than 10% of daily potassium and copper requirements!

 

The Wonders of How to Enjoy Them:

Store your fresh mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag or glass dish covered in a damp cloth. Mushrooms will keep fresh between 3-7 days. To maximize storage time, try to reduce the amount of surface area in which the mushrooms touch each other. Separate the mushrooms in layers with paper towel to prevent the mushrooms from getting soggy and going bad.

 

Recipe Ideas:

  • Shitake mushroom rice
  • Wild mushroom soup
  • Turkey Mushroom Salad
  • Asian Mushroom Sauté
  • Dried mushroom Risotto
  • Poached eggs over spinach and mushrooms
  • Tomato and Mushroom Frittata
  • Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Spicy Tofu and Mushroom Pasta Casserole
  • Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
  • Vegan Black Bean and Portabella Mushroom Burgers
  • Mushroom Omelette

Did you know that…

The preservation of mushrooms has been a common practice since ancient times to extend the shelf life of these medicinal and delicious morsels year round. In fact dried mushrooms can last up to a year! Many mushroom lovers actually prefer cooking with dried wild mushrooms for their richness and concentrated flavor to elevate their cooking.

January 30, 2015
Revive Wellness