Mushrooms are a popular ingredient that we often use in everyday cooking. They are available all year round and taste great – both as a side dish and as part of the main course. However, not everyone knows that inconspicuous mushrooms contain a lot of valuable ingredients and vitamins that have a beneficial effect on our health. In order to fully enjoy their properties, it is worth choosing those growing in the forest or from organic farming.
It is worth knowing that there are 3 types of mushrooms available on the market – white, brown and portobello. Although we most often use ordinary white mushrooms, the best, largest and most aromatic mushrooms are the latter. Mushrooms are grown in special halls, where appropriate conditions for their growth are maintained. Wild mushrooms can be found in meadows and forests. Find out about a few reasons why you should include mushrooms in your diet as soon as possible!
Why is it worth eating mushrooms? 8 reasons
- They help in weight loss – mushrooms contain huge amounts of dietary fiber and proteins, which ensure a long-lasting feeling of satiety, and at the same time are not caloric (100 grams of mushrooms contain only 22 calories). That is why they are recommended for people who want to get rid of excess weight. In addition, mushrooms are high in iron, making them an excellent meat substitute.
- They are a valuable source of many vitamins – mushrooms contain vitamins C, A, D, E and B vitamins. They also contain lectins (anti-cancer) and antioxidants.
- They protect against cancer – the anti – cancer properties of fungi have been used in natural Eastern medicine for hundreds of thousands of years. White mushroom extract helps to avoid breast and prostate cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
- They strengthen immunity – it is worth consuming them in large quantities in the autumn and winter period, when we are exposed to various infections. They contain selenium, which inhibits the growth of bacteria and viruses, and supports the development of antibodies, supporting the immune system.
- They are a natural source of vitamin D – our body produces this vitamin naturally when exposed to the sun, but we often suffer from its deficiency. Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, protecting our bones from injuries – that is why it is so important to supplement it regularly. Instead of reaching for ready-made supplements, it is worth looking for natural sources of the vitamin.
- They contain folic acid – folic acid is recommended not only to pregnant women. Folic acid deficiency can cause hair loss, diarrhea, inflammation, digestive disorders, and headaches. That is why it is worth enriching the diet with mushrooms that contain large amounts of it.
- They lower blood pressure and cholesterol – a diet rich in mushrooms significantly lowers the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Eating mushrooms is also recommended for people struggling with hypertension, because they contain huge amounts of potassium. In mushrooms, we also find beta-glucan, which regulates blood glucose levels.
- They improve memory and concentration – mushrooms contain a large amount of vitamin B12, which supports the work of the brain. Their frequent consumption helps to avoid problems with memory and concentration.
How to store mushrooms?
In order for mushrooms to retain all their nutritional value, it is important to know how to store them. First of all, choose fresh mushrooms without signs of wilting or bruising. Store them in a refrigerator, in a plastic or glass container, uncovered. Before putting the mushrooms in the fridge, do not wash them – this can make them spoil faster. We can keep the mushrooms in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, not longer. If you do not want the mushrooms to turn brown, lightly sprinkle them with lemon juice. Interestingly, growing mushrooms is very simple – we can plant them in our own garden, or even at home. What dishes will we prepare with mushrooms?
Dishes with mushrooms in the lead role – 6 interesting recipes
When it comes to dishes with mushrooms, there are many possibilities – we can use both raw, fresh mushrooms, as well as boiled, fried or grilled – it all depends on our preferences. Remember that if we choose raw mushrooms (for example for a salad), it is very important to clean them thoroughly. Below are some ideas for mushroom dishes – you will prepare them in a few minutes!
- Chicken breast baked with mushrooms and cheese
Ingredients: 500 g chicken breast, 10 large mushrooms, grated cheese, spoon of ketchup, spoon of mayonnaise. spices: Provencal herbs, parsley, pepper, oregano.
Preparation method: Clean the meat, wash it and then cut it into thin, long chops. Then put it in a casserole dish, which you grease with a little butter. Smear the cutlets with ketchup and mayonnaise, then add the grated mushrooms and cheese. Bake it for about half an hour at 180 degrees.
2. Pasta with pumpkin and mushrooms
Ingredients: 1 smaller pumpkin, 30 grams of mushrooms, tagiatelle pasta (200 g), 30% cream, 2 large onions, fresh thyme, pepper, salt.
Preparation: Boil the pasta, peel the onion and mushrooms and dice them finely. Then fry in a pan, after about 5 minutes, add the pumpkin and then the pasta. Fry for about 15 minutes, pour cream, mix, garnish with fresh thyme.
3. Mushroom cream soup with croutons
Ingredients: 600 g mushrooms, 2 potatoes, 3 carrots, 2 parsley, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of basil pesto, 200 ml of cream 18%, pepper, salt, oregano, Provencal herbs.
Preparation: In a pot of olive oil, fry the diced onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fry for about 10 minutes, then give the grated carrots, potatoes and parsley. Pour hot broth and cook for about half an hour. Then we blend. We can serve the soup with croutons – just slice the baguette, then season with your favorite spices and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
4. Pasta with mushrooms, salmon and spinach in a cream sauce
Ingredients: 100 g of salmon, 300 g of mushrooms, any pasta, a handful of fresh spinach, cream 30%
Preparation method: fry mushrooms in a pan, add salmon and spinach. Then add the cooked pasta and cream, mix everything. Can be served with fresh basil.
5. Vegetarian treatment
Ingredients: 2 cloves of garlic, 2 large onions, canned tomatoes, 400 g mushrooms, 2 large peppers, 1 zucchini, 1 eggplant, spices: sweet pepper, smoked paprika, herbes de Provence, pepper, salt, chilli.
Preparation method: chop all ingredients finely and then fry them in a pan. We add tomatoes and spices.
6. Millet pancakes with mushrooms
Ingredients: 200 g of millet, 400 g of mushrooms, 0.5 liters of warm water, fresh parsley, 200 g of onion, 30 g of wheat bran, spices: salt, pepper, Provencal herbs, sweet pepper.
Preparation method: Millet should be rinsed in a strainer. Then cook according to the instructions. Clean the mushrooms and onions, chop them and fry them in a tablespoon of oil. Oatmeal should be ground to a thick mass. Then combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape the pancakes and fry them in a well-heated pan.
Mushrooms – interesting facts
What else do you not know about mushrooms? o Here are some interesting facts about these inconspicuous mushrooms:
- Although nowadays mushrooms are considered a cheap and inconspicuous vegetable, in the 16th century they were considered a luxurious product that reigned on the tables among artistocrats. Back then, they were compared to truffles, which are a very expensive product.
- More than 1.5 billion tons of mushrooms are consumed annually in Europe. The French and the Dutch are the leaders in mushroom exports, but Poland is already in third place!
- Mushrooms inhibit the multiplication of Candida yeasts, therefore their consumption is recommended for austist people who suffer from digestive system ailments.
- In the times of the Polish People’s Republic, mushrooms were a popular ingredient used in the preparation of snacks imitating fast food dishes. At that time, rolls with onion and mushroom filling were prepared.
Editor-in-chief of diet4u.org blog