The Chinese Say We Should Eat 5 Daily Servings of Fruit and Veg Plus 1 Serving of Fungi – Find Out Why?tweet
No wonder they call them magic mushrooms (and I am not talking about those hallucinatory ones here) because mushrooms have so much going for them including being one of the highest antioxidant vegetables in the world! With an 80 gram serving – say 14 baby button mushrooms, 4 large closed cap mushrooms or 1 large flat mushroom – you will be well on your way to your daily target for vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium and iron.
What do mushrooms do for us?
- Mushrooms have been used in traditional chinese medicine for more than 2 000 years to stimulate and repair the immune system.
- They are high in folic acid which is used for growth and very important for moms-to-be.
- Mushrooms are filled with natural antibiotics.
- Mushrooms are a source of vitamin D.
- The dietary fiber in mushrooms helps promote good bowel function while leaving you more satisfied so you won’t be hungry again as quickly.
- Mushrooms contain selenium which is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of prostrate cancer.
- Mushrooms can lower cholesterol.
- They have anti inflammatory properties and…
- Mushooms contain more protein and less carbohydrates than other vegetables.
What do mushrooms do for our environment?
- Their mycelium absorbs all sorts of pollutants and contaminates.
- Mushrooms can rehabilitate soil.
- Mushrooms can rejuvenate water streams.
For more exotic mushrooms try shiitake or pink oyster mushrooms with their distinct flavor and smell of the sea. King oyster mushrooms can be recognised by their tiny heads and fat stalks. Weighing about 400 grams and the size of a medium banana, they can be sliced and fried in strips for a delicious buttery meal. Nutrient-dense and savory, mushrooms will complement nearly all of your favorite meals.
Follow these tips to be sure mushrooms taste as good as they should
- Buy mushrooms that are firm with a fresh, smooth appearance.
- Surfaces should be dry (but not dried out) with a plump appearance.
- A closed veil under the cap is a sign of a dellicate flavor while an open veil and exposed gills mean a richer flavor.
- Store mushrooms in their original packaging or in a porous paper bag for prolonged shelf-life.
- Some mushrooms may keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.
- Brush off any peat moss with your fingers or a damp paper towel, or rinse the mushrooms briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Do not soak mushrooms in water as they easily absorb moisture.
- If the stem is tough, trim it before using. For shiitake mushrooms, the stems should be removed before cooking.
- For portabellas, gills may be removed if you wish as they store a large amount of moisture but many people like to keep the gills intact for extra flavor.
Mushrooms are also extremely rich in protein – more than any other vegetable – so are a great alternative source of protein for vegetarians. They are a meal in themselves.
Delicious, tasty mushrooms – nature’s hidden treasure!