Thursday, 11 October 2012

Mushroom Nutrition

Mushrooms may be small but nutrition facts prove that they have plenty of vitamins and minerals. One cup of mushrooms includes vitamins C, D, B6 and B12, plus large doses of riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins along with minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and selenium keep you fit and in good health.

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years both as food and for medicinal purposes. Mushrooms contain a high percentage of water (80-90%), they have very little sodium, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fibre. Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portobello mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardio protective properties. 

Mushroom Foraging
Picking your own mushrooms is very much on trend and there are apparently around 100 edible types in Britain, you just need to get out there and pick them. The first time you go it's worth going with an experienced picker as you want to avoid the poisonous varieties, which, if eaten, can cause serious illness. So make sure to use a guidebook and/or get expert advice. Nick Weston from Hunter Gather Cook in Sussex, offers courses in October where you learn how to identify and gather mushrooms, followed by cooking up a variety of taster dishes using the fungal finds from the day. 

Getting the health benefits of mushrooms is easy, and with a little preparation you can take advantage of mushroom nutrition facts! Mushrooms may be cooked in a number of ways including: sauteing, grilling, baking, frying, stir-frying, and boiling. They can be enjoyed in anything from soup to sauces and even as a burger substitute. Many delicious recipes call for mushrooms, why not make this delicious creamy roasted garlic and mushroom soup:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound of mixed fresh wild mushrooms (chanterelles, girolles, portobello etc.), cleaned
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • A handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups of vegtable stock, preferable organic
  • a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a large baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat the vegetables. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. 

Add the cooked mushrooms, onions, garlic and any juices in the baking dish to a blender or food processor. Add the walnuts, thyme and stock. Purée the ingredients and then pour them into a soup pot. Season to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes. 

You can serve this soup as you like, but there are a few things to remember when finishing it off. If you have time quickly fry some nice-looking mushrooms – like girolles, chanterelles or oysters – and stir these in the soup (optional). Just before serving sprinkle some fresh parsley and a few drips of olive oil on the top.

1 comment:

  1. “Mushrooms may be small but nutrition facts prove that they have plenty of vitamins and minerals” This is one of the reasons why mushrooms have become a popular alternative medicine. Most of them contain a rich combination of vitamins and minerals that you cannot find in any single vegetable or fruit. It’s also another reason why it has also become a popular ingredient in many dishes.