But you can be spoiled for choice as there are many kinds of mushrooms that have varying compositions and nutritional profiles. Fresh, canned or dried, mushrooms can provide you with nutrition.
Benefits of eating mushrooms:
Low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms contain a modest amount of fiber and more than a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper,
Mushrooms are also the only unenriched vegan food source of
There are around 2,000 varieties of edible mushrooms, but only a handful are available in local markets. The common button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) is the most common in most local markets. It is the mildest tasting mushroom and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Seasonal varieties available at farmers markets and some grocery stores include:
Chanterelle: the cap is a wavy golden trumpet shape
- Cremini (baby bella): a young, firm, dark Portobello mushroom
- Enoki: long, slender white stems with small white caps that are eaten raw or cooked
- Maitake: a head that looks like flowering leaves
- Morel: the cap is a spongy dimpled oblong shape
- Oyster: a delicate fan-shaped cap
- Ceps: a rounded reddish-brown cap with a thick cylindrical stem
- portobello: a big, thick brown cap with a rich, juicy flavor that works well as a meat substitute
You must be careful when buying mushrooms and always ensure that the product is fresh, firm, dry and without bruising. If you find the mushrooms slimy to the touch or withered in appearance, this is a clear indication that they are no longer safe to eat. Your job doesn’t just end with buying them and putting them in a fridge. Make sure you don’t wash them too long before using them, so you’ll have to store them in the fridge again afterwards. Save the washing and cutting part until it’s time to cook with them. Storing in a brown paper bag with the top open will help absorb moisture and keep them from spoiling, as opposed to a tight plastic wrap that traps moisture. Since they are about 80-90% water, mushrooms don’t freeze well and become mushy when thawed. Although pesticides are not a concern when cooking mushrooms, the growth medium on which they are fed can remain. Therefore, if only to remove dirt and sand, it is necessary to cut off the stem ends before deciding whether to use the whole, sliced or diced mushrooms for the dish you have in mind.
Watch out for the poisonous variety:
Have you seen the photo of wild mushrooms? They are beautifully colored. Perhaps nature intended to ensure its survival by making these wild varieties highly toxic and loading them with high levels of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals. If this wild variety is accidentally cooked, it can make a tasty dish, but the toxins from some mushrooms can almost kill you. That is why it is recommended to buy mushrooms only from reliable sources.