Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SUPERFOOD: Mushrooms

We Americans are lagging behind Asia in our understanding and usage of mushrooms as a healing super food. Many people are turned off my them because they are a fungi, however due to the way that they function in the breakdown of organic matter, they actually absorb from the earth many different vitamins and minerals. In addition they contain many other phytonutrients (cancer fighting agents) and antioxidants. Mushrooms are now believed to help…

  • Support immune function
  • Promote normal cellular growth
  • Protect against environmental stressors
  • Support your body’s normal detoxification process
  • Preserve cellular structure
  • Support healthy gut flora
  • Promote optimal digestion (Source)

I am personally grossed out by them in their raw form because I don't really like the spongy dry texture, however when they are cooked they can transform into so many different dishes. I put them in:
  • Stir-fry Vegetables
  • Stuffing
  • Soups & Stews
  • Quiche
  • Creamy Pasta Sauces
  • Stuffed in Chicken
  • Rice Dishes
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Grilled Portobello Sandwich
Here are some tips when cooking mushrooms: 
  • In most cooked recipes, different varieties of mushrooms may be used interchangeably.
  • To reconstitute dried mushrooms, cover with warm liquid (water, broth, wine, etc.) and let sit at least 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and blot on paper towels.
  • The liquid used to reconstitute dried mushrooms makes a flavorful addition to soups, stews, and stocks. Strain the liquid through a double thickness of cheesecloth or a clean, un-printed paper towel before using.
  • For easy marinated mushrooms, cover cleaned button mushrooms with your favorite vinaigrette or sauce, cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • An egg-slicer makes quick work of slicing mushrooms into uniform pieces.
  • Cut edges of mushrooms will turn dark when exposed to air. When they will be served raw, cut just before serving or wipe the cut edges with lemon juice.
  • Mushroom powder can easily be made by grinding dried mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder, food processor, or heavy-duty blender. Use to flavor soups, stews, stocks, dips, and sauces.
  • Avoid aluminum pans when cooking light-colored mushrooms. The aluminum will discolor the mushrooms.
  • Since mushrooms contain so much water, no additional liquid is needed when cooking them in a microwave. Do not cover.
  • Don't throw away mushroom stems. Trim and freeze them to use in soups and stocks. (Source)
Are you afraid of or grossed out by mushrooms? 

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