9 Jul 2008

Marvellous Mushrooms

Mushrooms, apart from being very tasty in your meals, are excellent for your health. They are neither a vegetable nor a fruit but a fungus which was revered by the Ancients tas far back as 6000 years ago.

Nutritionally mushrooms are a good source of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyrodoxine (B6), vitamin D and vitamin C. They also contain good amounts of protein, folate, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. An all round excellent food item.

Mushrooms, being a main source of selenium, are important to vegetarians and Vegans who cannot obtain it from animal sources. They not only contain this important anti-oxidant but also the anti-oxidant ergothioneine, and together they protect cells from attacks by free radicals and lower the risk of prostate and other cancers. Mushrooms are also one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, essential for healthy bones and teeth, and research shows that by exposing them to sunlight for a short while will increase these levels.

It has been found that the common white and brown mushrooms carry as many health producing properties as their exotic cousins. Therefore it mainly depends on their flavor and your budget on what variety you purchase. The main thing is to add them regularly to your diet and being extremely low in calories you never need to worry about your waist line.

When purchasing fresh mushrooms see that they are firm and not slimy. The best way to store them is in a paper bag in the vegetable section of your fridge. There are many varieties of dried mushrooms available and they are popular as drying intensifies their flavor.

They are truly a wonder food.


Spinach and Radicchio Salad with Mushrooms and Cashews
From Epicurious Printed in Bon Appétit Oct 2001

2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
2 tsps country-style Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 6oz bag / bunch fresh baby spinach
1 head radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
8 ozs / 3 cups button mushrooms, sliced
2 green onions, minced
1/2 cup chopped roasted cashews

Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Combine spinach and all remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing to taste; toss to coat. Divide salad among 6 plates. 6 servings.

Shiitake Mushroom Gravy
From the Vegetarian Times
Serve this luscious, low-fat mushroom gravy over cornmeal cakes or mashed potatoes.

8 small to medium dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed well
2 1/4 cups boiling water
2 cups mushroom soaking liquid
2 1/2 tbsps soy sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups / 6 1/2ozs thickly sliced button mushrooms
3 tbsps all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place shiitake mushrooms in medium bowl, and add boiling water. Cover with small plate. Set aside 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Remove and discard stems from shiitake mushrooms. Slice mushrooms into strips, and set aside. Place mushroom soaking liquid into measuring cup, adding water if necessary, to make 2 cups. Add soy sauce to mushroom liquid. Set aside until ready to use. In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 9 minutes. Add sugar, thyme, button mushrooms and reserved shiitakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until button mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in reserved mushroom liquid, and cook, stirring continuously, until thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Ginger-Sesame-Glazed Portobello Steaks
From the VegetarianTimes
An aromatic marinade adds complexity to these mushrooms, which resemble flank steak when sliced at an angle.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsps minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 cup tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tbsps light brown sugar
3 tbsps white wine
4 large portobello caps
1 tbsp peanut oil

In small bowl, combine garlic, ginger and tahini. Stir in tamari, sesame oil, sugar and wine until well blended. Put mushroom caps in shallow bowl. Add tamari mixture, turning to coat mushrooms and let stand 15 to 30 minutes, turning once. In large skillet, heat peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms (reserve marinade) and cook, turning once, until browned and slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Cut each mushroom on a slight angle into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In small saucepan, heat reserved marinade. To serve, spoon hot mashed potatoes on serving plates. Fan out mushroom slices over potatoes and lightly drizzle with marinade. 4 Servings



James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. said...

Great post and recipes. Mushrooms are a not-well-know wonder food. They are very nutritious and low in calories. There is a variety for almost anyone's taste.

Thanks for the info

aTxVegn said...

I really appreciate all the varieties of mushrooms. The recipes you selected look so nice, esp. the shitake gravy. I've always been told to eat lots of mushrooms all the time.

Rural Vegan said...

I wish I could bring myself to eat mushrooms since they're so good for you, and found in so many veg*n recipes. But I just don't like the little buggers, ack!

CyberCelt said...

Hello! I just noticed you were not on the BV top list, so I clicked in for you. I have a topic for you if you want: Chard.

Urban Vegan said...

I never met a 'shroom I didn't like. My husband grew up in Kennett Square, PA, which is the mushroom capital of the US. Many of his relatives have mushroom farms!

Wilmaryad Ben O'Scallas said...

YUM! I love vegan food! :-)

Jackie said...

Thanks everyone.

LOL Rural Vegan, never met anyone who didn't like mushrooms but there again I can't stand pumpkin and no-one understands why.

Thanks for the idea Cybercelt as I am fast running out of veggies to write about :)

Zork said...

I did not realize that you Earthling mushrooms were such a beneficial food. Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipes. I will eat more shrooms from this day forward.

livelife365 said...

My Favorite topping for pizza is mushrooms and black olives, but I didn't know 'shrooms had so much good stuff in them. Going to try to add more of them to my daily diet, giving that I am a vegetarian. Great post, thanks.


Harish said...

Ill try some of them

Steve v4.7 said...

Great post! I'm a mushroom lover myself despite the relatively high level of natural carcinogens (per Prof. Bruce Ames at UC Berkeley). I try to include them in as many recipes as I can. Thanks for a few more!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

How did you know I just bought portabellas?!

Katie said...

Thanks for the info! I love mushrooms and it is great to know that they are good for me too. You have an awesome blog!

Heather in Beautiful BC said...

MMMM... mushrooms! You always have such delicious sounding recipes, Jackie. I saw you visited and thought I better stop by to say hi!!! Have a great summer :)

kaicevy said...

Put mushroom caps in shallow bowl

Alexander Morentin said...

Wow, thanks for the great info. on mushrooms. It's good to know that the various types of mushrooms have similar nutritional qualities.

I just started eating mushrooms about two years ago and I love them. Especially with thai food.

Lux said...

Yum, my mom loves mushrooms! Especially the portobellos!

Kang Boim said...

hi hopping here...nice blog and nice post...wanna x-change link with me ???

Marion said...

I love mushrooms! We eat them at least two or three times a week. I am looking forward to mushroom season here in the Cariboo...I used to collect chanterelles in my backyard.

My favourites are morels.

Sharon Lynne said...

Who would think that a fungus could be so healthy?

I always worry about eating a poisoness mushroom, but I know that will not happen if I don't pick them from the wild.

I love barbecued mushrooms! We grill them with onions...on a stick.

dailytiffin said...

lovely recipes here! enough to use up all my mushrooms! thanks a bunch for sharing:)

Waterrose said...

I love mushrooms. Do you know if they loose any of the health benefits when cooked?

Fruity said...

Portobello mushroom is my fav. It's so nice with a unique taste

GiGi said...

Yummy -grilled portabellos are my favorite. I think I'll skip the mashed potatoes and put them on a nice healthy bread.

Thanks for the recipe!

divamentors said...

WOW You've got a treasure trove on this blog! I am just 2 weeks into my (almost) vegan lifestyle change. (I did have a little fish tonight)These recipes are fantastic! I've found heaven! LOL

I know my readers would feel the same. It seems we are all searching for our version of health (and peace :-. Would you consider adding your blog to the Be Naturally well community so more health conscious bloggers and readers can find you easily? Here’s the link

Many blessings, and thanks for the inspiration!

Joy0z said...

I like sizzling mushroom with garlic and I agree it has strong anti-oxidants. One of the secret of Japanese women on how to stay young lol!

Jackie said...

About nutrition raw and cooked. They don't appear to lose many of their nutrients by cooking but it also depends on how they are cooked like most veggies. A quick stir fry is OK but hours in a stew would obviously deplete some of them.

isabella mori said...

oh, i love the shiitake gravy! have to try that out ASAP

Naomi said...

I've always loved mushrooms Jackie. There are so many varieties to choose from. Thanks for sharing those great recipes.

moolah said...

I dont like mushrooms may be start liking it now.

getbusinesshere said...

hi there.good posting diet.would you mind if xchange link with me?btw i have add your links in mine.if you would, please tell me.thank you

Mack said...

Other than food, mushrooms make great teas and tinctures. Shiitake mushrooms are a great example. Every part of a Shiitake mushroom can be used for herbal purposes, but its stem is the most useful part. The Chinese and the Japanese have been using them for medicine for thousands of years, and this practice still continues today.

-- Mack Shepperson