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Mushroom Varieties Offer Different Health Benefits

DYK: Different mushroom varieties offer different health benefits. Read on to learn more!

While it’s easy to decipher between shapes and colors, it’s not as easy to see the nutritional differences between mushrooms. Mushrooms are a nutrient powerhouse with each type offering beneficial nutrients such as vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins.

Health Benefits of Mushroom Varieties

This March, during National Nutrition Month,“Put Your Best Fork Forward” and dive deeper into the leading health benefits[1] behind four common mushroom varieties.

Low-Calorie

Opt for white buttons: Boasting just 18.5 calories per serving[2], white button mushrooms contain the lowest calories of all mushroom varieties. Additionally, white buttons provide 15 percent of the daily recommended intake of the vitamin B3, niacin. Niacin may promote healthy skin and digestive health.

Bone Health

Say hello to shiitakes: One serving of shiitake mushrooms is an excellent source of copper, offering 40 percent of the recommended daily intake. Copper helps keep bones and nerves healthy.

Immunity

Choose cremini: One serving of cremini mushrooms is an excellent source of selenium, containing 31 percent of the recommended daily intake. Selenium may help the immune system function properly.

Vitamin D

Make room for maitake: One serving of maitake mushrooms contains a whopping 236 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D may help build and maintain strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Additionally, it may support cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and help reduce inflammation.

[1] Mushroom Varieties Chart and Nutrition by Varieties

[2] Average serving size is 4-5 mushrooms.

3 “Souper” Ways to Include Mushrooms this Season

Elevate soup season with fresh, umami-rich mushroom soups.

Warm up these cooler days with fresh mushrooms. Whether you’re cooking a weeknight dinner or prepping for a holiday party, incorporating umami-rich mushrooms into your favorite comfort foods is the perfect way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables – and a boost of flavor – this season.

Adding vitamin D into our diets this time of year is essential to coping with shorter days and longer nights. Thankfully, mushrooms, such as maitake are packed with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone strength.

Check out three of our favorite and “souper” versatile recipes fit for the season:

Vegetarian? Toss your favorite mushrooms into this Creamy Mushroom & 3 Bean Soup. The protein and fiber from the beans will keep you full and focused for hours.

Creamy Three Bean Mushroom Soups

Recipe Courtesy of Dine and Dish

Fall Cream of Mushroom Soup: Take this comfort classic up a notch by adding fresh button, baby portabella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms into the mix.

Creamy Mushrooms Soups

Recipe courtesy of Chef Billy Parisi

Whip up a batch of this rich, non-dairy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup for dinner and savor the flavor of sweet parsnips and herbaceous thyme.

Roasted Parsnip Mushroom Soups

Recipe courtesy of Chez Us

 

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup

Soup weather is here, meaning it’s time to get out of the cold and curl up with a big bowl (or two!). This creamy soup by Chez Us is rich, smooth, and believe it or not, doesn’t contain any dairy. It’s a great option for lunch or dinner.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup by Chez Us

I use to be more of a fair weather cook which meant I enjoyed the warmer seasons and took full advantage of summer’s bounty. Now, I have to admit that I am more of a cold weather home chef and enjoy nothing more than the comfort of a hearty soup or stew to warm up chilly evenings. The days and nights have finally begun to chill down in California, and I have begun taking advantage by making big pots of hearty soups. This recipe for Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup came about after a trip to London where I fell in love with a similar hearty recipe.

I am big on making creamy soups that do not require dairy to create that smooth, creamy texture. I achieve this indulgent bowl of soup, by using ingredients that are rich in flavor, cooking them long and slow, then pureeing in a food processor. Everyone is surprised at how flavorful the soups are without the added richness of cream or milk.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup by Chez Us

The depth of this recipe comes from roasting the mushrooms and parsnips before simmering with the other ingredients. While I roast root vegetables all the time, I did not begin working on roasted mushroom recipes until recently. I LOVE the character that comes with roasting mushrooms, even more so than sautéing them. Roasting the mushrooms adds a crazy depth to an already delicious ingredient by bringing out the earthy flavor and creating a rich, caramelized color.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup by Chez Us

Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup

What I love the most about this winter recipe is how easy it is to make, and how rich and flavorful it is.

Ingredients:
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup leek, whites only, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
sprigs of thyme
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper to taste

Method:
• Preheat the oven to 425.
• Place the parsnips on a baking sheet, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and toss to mix. Roast for 15 minutes.
• Remove the parsnips from the oven and add the mushrooms. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, using a spoon stir to mix. Roast for 15 minutes.
• In a dutch oven heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium low heat, then add the leeks. Stir and cook until soft, about 3 – 5 minutes.
• Add 1 of the cloves of garlic (the smashed one). Stir.
• Then add the mushroom mixture, thyme and the stock. Stir.
• Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
• Let cool for 5 minutes.
• Using a food processor, in batches puree the mixture until smooth.
• Return to the dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper then gently reheat over very low heat.
• In a small saucepan heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium low heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms, stir and cook until lightly golden. This will take about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
• To serve place some of the soup in a soup bowl, garnish with some of the shiitake mushrooms and a sprig of thyme.

Winter Salad Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Jennifer Farley from Savory Simple turns her favorite winter salad into a gourmet meal with a hearty portabella as the base. 

Winter Salad Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms by Savory Simple

Winter is a time of year when our bodies crave comfort, warmth and fullness to balance the cold weather outside. At the same time, the New Year often means taking care of ourselves after the onslaught of heavy holiday meals. Personally, I like to eat a lot of salads during January and February but I know my husband doesn’t consider them to be very substantial. I have a little trick up sleeve that I use to make my favorite salads more filling – portabella mushrooms!

I love marinating and roasting portabella mushrooms and then stuffing them with assorted salads. It makes the dish more visually intriguing, while adding extra nutrition and bulk to the meal. Even better, it takes no time at all! I usually toss the mushrooms with a marinade in the morning or before going to bed and then I roast them while putting the rest of the salad ingredients together.

This winter salad uses one of my favorite whole grains, farro. I love farro because it’s high protein and has a nutty flavor, but brown rice or any other whole grain may be substituted in its place.

Winter Salad Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, diced small
  • 1 cup farro, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Twist off the stem and use a spoon to gently remove the black gills without breaking the mushroom.
  2. Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour into a large sealable plastic bag and add the smashed garlic cloves and mushroom caps. Seal the bag and allow the marinade to cover the mushrooms. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight, turning the bag periodically to redistribute the marinade.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash in a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook until soft but not mushy, 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade (do not discard the liquid) and place them cap side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
  5. While the mushrooms are roasting, combine the butternut squash, farro, shallot, dried cranberries, pine nuts, arugula, salt and pepper in a bowl with two tablespoons of the marinade.
  6. After the mushrooms have cooked for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven. Carefully pour off any liquid that has pooled in the mushrooms. Distribute the filling evenly between the mushroom caps (there might be leftover filling depending on the size of the mushrooms). Cook for another 5 minutes and then serve.

Mushrooms and Health Summit

On September 9-10th the Mushroom Council held its very first Mushrooms & Health Summit in Washington D.C. Mushroom Council representative, Bart Minor, was at the two day event which boasted mushroom experts from leading scientific institutions, nutrition professionals, and a fascinating mock growing room that captured the attention of every single attendee.

Mushroom Summit Presentations

I can’t think of a better way to bring mushrooms out of the dark and into the health spotlight than at our very own Mushrooms & Health Summit. In a room full of scientists, doctors, nutrition professionals, and even foodies, it became evident that mushrooms are something we should be excited about!

I sat there fascinated by all of the emerging research; presentations on everything from weight management and immunity, to vitamin D and umami. Leading scientists and researchers are discovering new facts about mushrooms and what makes them a unique dietary component every day.

The mushroom lunch was a captivating presentation in itself. Culinary experts from the CIA showcased mushroom blendability by demonstrating their sensory sampling panel, and highlighting the research that has come out of these highly successful trials. It should be no surprise the studies found consumers generally like mushrooms as a partial substitution for ground meat because mushrooms enhance the aroma, flavor, and texture of the finished dish.

Mushroom Summit Blendability Sampling

The mock growing room was by far the star of the summit. With a huge display that showcased all commercially grow varieties, summit attendees we both surprised and delighted to see exactly how fresh mushrooms are grown in the US.

Mushroom Summit Growing Room

Since 2005, the mushroom industry has dedicated resources to better understand the nutrition properties and health benefits of mushrooms, and I was honored to see all of these resources come together to shed some light on the humble mushroom.