Mushrooms also known as button mushrooms or agaricus are fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of fungi. They vary in color from white to light brown and in size from small to dome shaped. Edible mushrooms are consumed more for their nutritional values. Mushrooms are known as meat of the vegetable family and are however not part of vegetable family. Edible mushrooms are extensively used in cooking in many cuisines. With more then 14,000 kinds of mushrooms in existence only 3,000 are edible and about 1,400 are actually recognized as poisonous.
Types of mushrooms:
White mushrooms - this includes the familiar button mushroom and cremini. These maintain blood sugar level and are good source for weight loss and prostate cancer prevention.
Shiitake - these flavorful meaty mushrooms are natural anti-tumor compound. It is an excellent source of vitamin D and fighting infection.
Reishi - this mushroom have the listed properties: anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-fungal.
Maitake - these mushrooms are said to sweep the system and remove abnormal cells and cause them to destruct.
Selection of mushroom:
Most mushrooms sold in super markets have been commercially grown on mushrooms farms. Before assuming that any wild mushroom is edible, it should be identified. Proper identification is the only safe way to ensure edibility. Some mushrooms that are edible can also cause allergic reactions in some individuals an old. When buying fresh mushrooms, select those which are intact, firm and tightly closed cap. Discolored, broken and damaged mushrooms with spot should be avoided.
- Avoid washing mushrooms. Wipe each mushroom with a damp cloth or kitchen paper.
- Mushrooms have a flavor of their own that can be brought out with simple additions.
- As mushrooms contain a lot of water they shrink considerably during cooking.
- Serve mushrooms as stuffing or fillings in sandwiches, tortillas, pizzas, pasta and so on.
- Mushrooms are considered as best substitute for a meat which are high on nutrition as well.
- Keep this in mind that salt releases water in mushroom so make considerable salt usage for your recipe.
- Mushrooms powder which can be easily made by grinding dried button mushrooms in a food processor or spice or coffee grinder which is used for flavoring soups, stews, sauces etc.
- Since they contain so much of water their is no need to add any kind of liquid while cooking.
- No not cover while cooking mushrooms.
How to store:
Store mushrooms in your refrigerator. Keep them partially covered to prevent them from drying out. Make use of fresh mushrooms within three days. Dried mushroom can be stored in an airtight container. They should be soaked in hot water before bringing in use and the liquid can be used for adding flavor.
Benefits to health:
- Mushrooms have very less calories and contain approximately 80 to 90 percent water. At the same time, they have low sodium, carbohydrate and fat content and high fiber content. This is the reason why mushrooms are considered good for those aiming for weight loss.
- Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium and since potassium helps lower blood pressure and diminished the risk of stroke, mushrooms are recommended to those suffering from hypertension.
- Mushrooms are believed to help fight against cancer. They are an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant that works with vitamin E
- Mushrooms are high on protein, fiber and vitamin B which help balance the metabolism.
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