I was asked a question about the nutritional value of mushrooms, so I poked around for some facts…
The mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, sounds yummy huh. Although mushrooms are often thought to have little nutritional value and in some medical systems are considered to be energy sucking due to their fungus characteristic, some varieties are actually packed with valuable vitamins.
Most mushrooms are low in carbohydrate, calories, fat and sodium and are high in fiber which makes them a good addition to any meal. Mushrooms are also high in sodium processing potassium, even higher than bananas. They are a very good source of vitamin B6, and Vitamin D.
Now for the important stuff, mushrooms are considered paleo and are very low on the glycemic index.
So where’s the catch? Most stores mass market the white button mushroom which, due to processing, can be more toxic than other more exotic mushrooms. All mushrooms naturally contain small amounts of toxic hydrazine, which are destroyed by heat, so it is best to eat them cooked.
Here is a list of recommended mushrooms:
- Cremini, Portobello: Same mushroom variety at different stages of maturity. Taste like button mushrooms, but stronger. Saute alone or with other vegetables, or marinate and grill whole portobellos.
- Maitake: Robust, woodsy flavor. Cook with other mushrooms to intensify their taste.
- Shiitake: Rich, meaty flavor. Use in soups and stir-fries. (Remove the tough stems; use for broth.)
- Oyster: Delicate, slightly briny flavor and tender, velvety texture. Serve with poultry and seafood.
- Chanterelle: Flavor is mildly fruity or floral.
What are your thoughts on mushrooms???