Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms for dinner provide various health benefits due to their rich nutritional profiles. Mushrooms are cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and fat-free yet they are high in nutrients like B vitamins, copper, potassium, and antioxidants.
According to studies, eating mushrooms regularly may help lower the risk of cancer and improve heart health.Mushrooms contain conjugated linoleic acid and ergothioneine, which can help prevent oxidative stress from aging and improve immunity. A research review found that eating mushrooms lowered the risk of breast cancer by 64% in women.
Mushrooms also contain lovastatin, a natural compound that can help lower cholesterol levels. Lovastatin in mushrooms works similarly as prescription statin drugs but without side effects. A study found that eating oyster mushrooms significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides but increased HDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects.
With versatile flavors and meaty textures, mushrooms are ideal alternatives for low-carb, low-calorie dishes. Their umami flavors naturally enhance the taste of other foods. Adding mushrooms to your diet can provide nutritional benefits and add depth of flavors to your meals. Including mushrooms for dinner in your diet may also promote longevity and health span.
5 Easy Mushroom-Based Dinner Recipes
Mushrooms are versatile ingredients that can be prepared in many ways. Here are 5 easy mushroom-based dinner recipes to try:
Creamed Mushrooms over Toast
– 8 ounces mushrooms (white, cremini, or shiitake), sliced
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons flour
– 1 cup milk (dairy, almond or soy)
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 4 slices bread, toasted
** Instructions: **
1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Pour the creamed mushrooms over the toast and garnish with parsley if desired.
– 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 1⁄2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
– 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
– 1⁄2 cup dry white wine (optional)
– 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep warm.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the wine (if using) and stir until absorbed.
- Add 4-6 ladles of the warm broth and stir frequently until absorbed. Repeat with the remaining broth, adding more as needed, until the rice is al dente, about 18-22 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the mushrooms, cheese, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes before serving.
Ingredients:Pasta,olive oil,garlic, mushrooms, vegetable broth,balsamic vinegar,fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente according to the pack instructions. Drain, reserving some cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic for 1 min until fragrant.Add the mushrooms and fry for 3 mins until starting to soften.
- Add the vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few mins until reduced by half.Remove from the heat and stir through the tomatoes and basil.
- Add the sauce to the pasta with a splash of cooking water and parmesan. Toss to combine, adding more cooking water until creamy.Season and top with more parmesan and basil.
- Alternatively, blend the sauce for a smoother finish before tossing through the pasta. Serve immediately.
Ingredients: Mushrooms, flour or cornstarch, eggs, milk or water, herbs (optional), salt and pepper
1. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Pat dry with paper towels or a towel.
- Make a batter of flour, eggs, milk and season with salt, pepper and any herbs you like. The batter should be thick enough to coat the mushrooms.
- Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven to 350 F.
- Coat the mushroom slices in batter and fry in batches until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- season with more salt and pepper and serve warm.
Ingredients: 1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey or pork), 8 ounces mushrooms,1 egg,1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko crumbs,2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional),Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and mince the mushrooms. Mix with the ground meat, egg, bread crumbs and Worcestershire sauce (if using).
- Season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
- Form 4 equal
How to Choose and Store Mushrooms Properly
Choosing fresh and storing mushrooms properly is key to maximizing their flavor and texture. Here are some tips for selecting and keeping mushrooms:
Choose High-Quality Mushrooms
Look for mushrooms that have a firm, spongy texture. The caps should be closed or just barely open. The gills on the underside of the cap should be evenly colored and not slimy or wet. Avoid mushrooms with spots or damage.
For most mushrooms, freshness is indicated by a closed cap. As the mushroom ages, the cap will open fully. The exception is oyster mushrooms, whose caps remain open and shelf life is up to 1 week.
Check that mushrooms smell earthy and mushroomy. Avoid any with musty, sour or ammonia-like odors.
Mushrooms continue to respire after harvesting, so choose mushrooms with crisp, intact stems and no dark spots, which indicate aging.
The most common types of mushrooms for cooking include:
- White button mushrooms: Delicate flavor, shelf life 3 to 4 days
- Cremini mushrooms: Similar to white buttons but brown, shelf life 3 to 4 days
- Shiitake mushrooms: Meaty flavor, shelf life 3 to 7 days
- Oyster mushrooms: Shelflife 3 to 7 days
- Portobello mushrooms: Large, meaty and shelf life 3 to 7 days
Properly Storing Mushrooms
To maximize freshness, do not wash mushrooms before storing as moisture will speed up decay. Store mushrooms in their original packaging or a paper bag in the refrigerator. Plastic bags should be avoided.
Some tips for storing common mushrooms:
- White and Cremini mushrooms: Refrigerate unwashed in the original package for up to 4 days.
- Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms: Refrigerate unwashed in a paper bag for up to 7 days.
- Portobello mushrooms: Refrigerate caps unwashed and gill-side down on a plate for up to 7 days.
- Enoki mushrooms: Refrigerate unwashed in the original package for up to 7 days.
For best quality, use mushrooms as soon as possible after purchasing. When ready to use, simply wipe mushrooms clean with a damp towel or quickly rinse and pat dry with towels. Trim the ends of the stems before cooking.
Stored properly in the refrigerator, most mushrooms will last 3 to 7 days. However, mushrooms will develop their best flavor and texture when used within 3 to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cooking Mushrooms
Here are some common questions and answers about cooking with mushrooms:
Which mushrooms are best for cooking?
The most popular mushrooms for cooking include:
- White button mushrooms: Common, mild-flavored mushrooms used in many dishes.
- Cremini mushrooms: Similar to white buttons but brown, with an earthier flavor.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Meaty mushroom used in stir-fries and mushroom risotto.
- Oyster mushrooms: Mildly anise-flavored mushrooms great for stir-fries.
- Portobello mushrooms: Large, meaty mushrooms perfect for grilling, breading and baking.
Do I need to wash mushrooms before cooking?
Mushrooms are best cleaned just before cooking. Gently wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel or quickly rinse under cold running water and pat dry. Do not soak mushrooms in water as they will absorb water and become mushy.
Trim the ends of the stems and peel shiitake mushroom stems which can be tough. For portobellos, also scrape out the gills with a spoon before cooking.
How do I cook mushrooms?
Here are some common ways to cook mushrooms:
- Sauté in butter or oil: Quickly sauté mushrooms in a skillet with butter, olive oil, or coconut oil over medium-high or high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add to pasta, rice dishes or eat as a side.
- Roast in the oven: Toss mushrooms in oil, salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 400 F until tender and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Grill portobello mushrooms: Brush mushroom caps with oil and grill gill-side down over direct heat until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes per side.
- Add to stir-fries: Stir fry mushrooms in a skillet or wok with vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli and bean sprouts. Serve with rice or noodles.
- Braise or stew mushrooms: Mushrooms like shiitake braise well in vegetable and mushroom broth. Simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season and serve over mashed potatoes, polenta or rice.
- Add to risotto: Sauté mushrooms with shallots or garlic, then add to mushroom risotto during the last few minutes of cooking. Fold into risotto and season with parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
How do I prevent mushrooms from getting soggy?
To prevent mushrooms from getting soggy, here are some tips:
- Do not overcrowd the pan or skillet when cooking mushrooms. Cook mushrooms in batches if needed, to allow for even cooking and browning.
- Blot mushrooms dry after rinsing or wipe away excess moisture with a paper towel before cooking.
- Heat oil over high heat and cook mushrooms without stirring initially so they release moisture, about 1 minute. Stir mushrooms once and spread into an even layer in the pan.
- For dishes like mushroom pasta, risotto and stir fries, add mushrooms at the end of cooking just to heat through. This allows other ingredients to absorb extra moisture and prevents mushrooms from overcooking and getting waterlogged.
- Roast, grill or sauté mushrooms before adding to salads. The dry heat will help remove excess moisture and develop flavor. Toss mushrooms in a salad just before serving.
- For fork-tender mushrooms, braise, stew or simmer in flavorful broth until mushrooms reach desired tenderness. The broth will help keep mushrooms moist without getting soggy.