Although mushrooms are considered a vegetable and are prepared like one, they are actually a fungus. Mushrooms have no roots, no leaves, no flowers or seeds. They have been growing since prehistoric time and served as great nutrition for hunter-gatherers. Even though mushrooms are known to be good for our health, there are many wild and poisonous ones too.
Three Reasons to Eat Mushrooms
- Mushrooms are an excellent source of Potassium, Selenium, Vitamins B2, B3 and B5, Copper, Tryptophan and Phosphorous. They are also a very good source of protein, Zinc and Manganese.
- Mushrooms are energy producing, bone and muscle building, sleep promoting and heart promotion.
- One cup of mushrooms contains approximately 30 calories.
How to Select, Store & Prepare Mushrooms
- Select: Look for mushrooms that are firm, plump and clean. Avoid mushrooms that are wrinkled, wet or with slimy spots.
- Store: Mushrooms will stay fresh for about five days when stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator.
Prepare: Do not wash mushrooms because they are very porous and will absorb water quickly. Instead, simply wipe them clean with a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush. Cut mushrooms into equal sized pieces to help them cook more evenly.
- There are many different types of mushrooms, but the ones most commonly found today:
- Crimini Mushrooms: These look like white button mushrooms, but they have a darker color and deeper mushroom flavor. They are great for stuffed mushrooms.
- Portobello Mushrooms: These are large and meaty mushrooms, great for grilling and roasting. Portobello Mushrooms are overgrown Crimini Mushrooms.
- White Button Mushrooms: White Buttons are the most commonly found mushroom in grocery stores and markets. They are used in many different types of recipes and are often used raw in salads.
- Porcini Mushrooms: Porcini’s have a long fleshy stalk and rounded fleshy cap. These mushrooms, like Portobello’s have a meaty texture.
- Oyster Mushrooms: These mushrooms have a mild flavor and are white, cream, yellow or reddish brown in color.