For National Mushroom Day: The Healthiest Mushrooms And How To Use Them

April 16, 2019  |  
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national mushroom day 2019

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

It’s National Mushroom Day! How much do you know about this fungi? Many of us just see it as a common topping for pizza, a great type of risotto, or something that pops up on the ground after some rain and that we have to make sure our doggies don’t eat up on walks. But these rather stunning veggies, which sometimes look like tiny trees worthy of a children’s picture book and sometimes look like extraterrestrial beings bursting out of the sides of trees, contain a lot of health benefits about which you may not know. If they haven’t been making it onto your regular grocery shopping list, maybe it’s time you start adding them. There’s an impressive variety to choose from, each boasting distinct flavor and nutritional profiles. In honor of National Mushroom Day, here are some of the healthiest mushrooms and how to use them.

national mushroom day 2019

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Shitakes

It’s obvious when someone’s cooking shitake mushrooms because they infuse a room with their intoxicating smoky aroma. In addition to being tasty, they also contain a good amount of iron and vitamin B-6.

national mushroom day 2019

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How to eat them

Shitake mushrooms are naturally delicious in stir fries. Their strong flavor makes them a great way to dress up scrambled eggs and omelets, too, as they’ll instantly turn your breakfast from dull to bold. If you want some fried mushrooms, these are some of the better ones to fry up and add to things like salad.

national mushroom day 2019

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Maitake

Also called “Hen of the wood,” this mushroom grows in clusters at the base of trees. It’s been shown to have antiviral properties, so eat some during cold and flu season, and may even help fight cancer as it improves the efficiency of the cancer-fighting agent cisplatin.

national mushroom day 2019

Source: South China Morning Post / Getty

How to eat them

These mushrooms have an earthy, spicy flavor and are semi-firm, making them especially tasty on wood-fired pizzas. They’re so flavorful that you can also simply sear them, and add them to a cooler dish to balance them out like cold creamy potato salad. Also try adding them to your miso soup for a burst of flavor.

national mushroom day 2019

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Oyster

Oyster mushrooms are actually one of the few approved mushrooms on the Low FODMAP diet. While mushrooms can be an IBS trigger for some, if you love the food, oyster mushrooms should be safe to eat as they’re quite gentle on the stomach. Plus, they’re loaded with antioxidants.

national mushroom day 2019

Source: South China Morning Post / Getty

How to eat them

If you want a different type of BLT, oyster mushrooms have a strong enough flavor to substitute for the bacon in your sandwich. They also taste delicious in a savory crepe. These are safe to eat raw, too, and make a nice addition to a summer salad.

national mushroom day 2019

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Chanterelle

The chanterelle mushroom is one of the higher protein mushrooms and boasts a good amount of vitamin B, zinc, and copper. These mushrooms are another slightly earthy option, with hints of pepper.

national mushroom day 2019

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How to eat them

You don’t need to do much to a chanterelle to make it tasty. Feel free to slice these thinly, add olive oil and salt, and bake them to have some unique chips. For a decadent meal, saute these in butter until they’re lightly crispy and add them to your filet mignon.

national mushroom day 2019

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Porcini

If you’re making Italian food tonight, grab some porcini mushrooms. Just note they will likely be sold dried, and must be soaked in water before you can use them. They’re a good source of potassium and fiber.

national mushroom day 2019

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How to eat them

This is the mushroom you want to add to risotto, tagliatelle, and other pasta dishes. They also make a delicious topping to crostini, once sauted, or an excellent side dish for meat dishes.

national mushroom day 2019

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Crimini

If you’ve been suffering inflammation, good news: crimini mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties. They may also boost circulation and help protect the heart. They have a rather mild taste that makes them quite versatile.

national mushroom day 2019

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How to eat them

This is another great mushroom for pizza. Their button shape makes them great for stuffing, too, so they’re appetizer-worthy. They taste especially good with parmesan, so you can bake them with the cheese, or stuff them with it, along with some herbs.

national mushroom day 2019

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King trumpet

These have long, thick stems (that you eat) and semi-flat heads. They have a mild flavor, which makes them compliment a lot of dishes. They may improve cholesterol levels and are a good source of protein.

national mushroom day 2019

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How to eat them

If you’re making a teriyaki bowl with meat, rice, and veggies, make these part of your veggie selection. Their mild flavor makes them one of the few mushrooms that tastes good with seafood dishes, too, particularly scallops and white fish.

national mushroom day 2019

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Portobello

Here’s one with which you’re probably rather familiar. But did you know these larger mushrooms are great sources of selenium, copper, and niacin? They’re actually the “adult” form of crimini mushrooms, so if you like those, you’ll like these.

national mushroom day 2019

Source: South China Morning Post / Getty

How to eat them

These can make a substantial side dish if stuffed with goodies like sautéed spinach, cheese, or even small scallops. You can also try baking them with an egg in the center for a protein-rich delight. If you want to make mushroom fries—perhaps in panko crumbs—use large slices of these.

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