Getting Kids to Love Mushrooms

Our Mushroom Council representative, Bart Minor, is back to share how he introduced his daughters to mushrooms through swapability.

One thing I am sure we all struggle with is how to serve healthier food to our families, especially those with young children. The first “win” with my daughters was using award winning Chef Jack Czarnecki’s technique for sautéing mushrooms. My kids used to reject my mushrooms as “slimy” until I learned how to caramelize them per chef’s instructions. Now they downright demand them on toast, in their eggs, pasta – you name it!

However, for those of you struggling to get your children to even look at a mushroom, there is a useful method known as “swapability.”

1. Chop up your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of your meat.
2. Cook and season the mushrooms the same way you would cook your meat.
3. Combine the cooked meat and mushrooms and use the mix to complete your recipe.

We immediately got to work; finely chopping the mushrooms before adding them to the meat mix, and voila!  We had kids, friends, and neighbors eating tacos, meatballs, burgers and LOVING them, and even when told, they were in complete disbelief that they were eating something that was at least half vegetable!

What is your favorite swapability recipe?

Image courtesy of Amanda from Amanda’s Cookin’.  Check out her swapability recipe for Portabella Salisbury Steak here.


3 Comments to “Getting Kids to Love Mushrooms”

  1. Fletcher Street says:

    I work at a mushroom farm but as the mother of two boys, ages 9 and 12, I struggle like everyone else with cooking healthy meals that they will eat. I have one mushroom-eater and one that says no! So I swapped half the taco meat for ground mushrooms just like Bart did and the mushroom hater ate it right up! The key is to chop it and cook it so it looks like ground beef or turkey.
    Of course, I whispered it to his brother who got a good giggle out of it.
    It felt good to flex a little Mom-Power!
    try it out!

  2. mf says:

    Can you explain the Czarnecki method of caramelzing mushrooms, or give a url which explains it? thanks !!

  3. MushroomChannel says:

    Sure! The Jack Czarnecki process of caramelizing mushrooms is not only simple, but really brings out the mushroom flavor. Melt butter in a hot skillet, add onion, and lightly saute. Add any variety of mushroom you have on hand, and cook uncovered until mushrooms begin to release their liquid. Add salt, sugar, and soy sauce. Mix to coat mushrooms. Add a bit of water, cover and reduce for about 10 minutes. Serve over meat, rice, or as a side.