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Food of the Month: Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a staple in any whole foods plant-based diet. They are great as a meaty substitute in veggie burgers, sauces and gravies as well as a stand alone main dish. Mushrooms are technically not a vegetable but rather the fruit of a fungus. They have been gathered as food since the Paleolithic Era and were called "flesh of the gods" by the Aztecs. Today the most common varieties in the United States are white button and brown creminis or baby portobellos. The nutrients in mushrooms are more readily available when cooked so forgo eating them raw and instead, choose to cook your mushrooms.

Health Benefits:

Mushrooms are a rich source of vitamin B and many minerals like copper, selenium, zinc and manganese which support cardiovascular health. They are also a source of glutamic acid which helps with muscle recovery and brain function.

How to Store:

Prepackaged mushrooms should be stored in the package in which they are bought. If mushrooms are loose then they should be stored in a paper bag or in a damp cloth. Do not store mushrooms in a plastic bag as the moisture causes them to deteriorate quickly.

How to Use:

Mushrooms can be eaten raw (although not the most nutritious way to consume them), sautéed in a stir-fry, finely chopped for use in a gravy, steeped for mushroom tea, grilled or stuffed with other delicious vegetables.
Check out this delicious recipe for a quick and easy appetizer!

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

12 crimini mushrooms
1 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. yellow miso
1 cup fresh basil
Juice of one lemon, or to taste

Instructions:

1. Destem mushrooms and set aside.
2. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process until smooth.
3. Fill the mushroom cups and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft.

From Unprocessed by Chef AJ

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