See also: Mushroom Facts; Mushroom Articles
Mushroom last longer in paper bags in the crisper compartment of the refrigerator.
- Sauté mushrooms on low to medium heat for the best flavor; sauté on high heat for the best texture. Short cooking time yields a more delicate texture.
- One pound of mushrooms yields a little more than 5 cups of sliced mushrooms, which in turn yields 2 cups sautéed.
- Add sliced mushrooms to your salad, soups, and pasta.
- Mushrooms make an attractive addition to your vegetable platters.
- Have a veggie burger by grilling portabello mushrooms and adding lettuce and tomato to your whole wheat bun.
- Include sliced mushrooms to your stir-frys.
- Making homemade pizza? Why not try a white pizza combo with low fat mozzarella toped with different kinds of mushrooms.
- Like to grill? Include mushrooms onto your skewers in addition to the bell peppers, squash, and pineapple.
Mushrooms are brimming with protein, B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic), and minerals (selenium, potassium,and copper). They're low in calories and may have antibacterial substances to help the body. Cooked fresh mushrooms offer the most nutritional benefit versus the canned version that may have more sodium.
It's best to buy your mushrooms from a reputable grower or grocer instead of hunting them yourself, as there are many poisonous mushrooms. Incorrectly identifying them can lead to symptoms of sweating, cramps, diarrhea, confusion, convulsions, and potentially result in liver damage, or even death."
Clean mushrooms only when you are ready to use them. Remove any bits of the debris on the surface, rinse with cold running water or gently wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth, paper towel, or soft brush.
Dried mushrooms are intensely concentrated in flavor and should be treated more like a seasoning than a vegetable. You'll need to soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 20-30 minutes, rinse, then chop, and use. Saving the soaking water and adding it to your sauces or soups will intensify the mushroom flavor.
Mushrooms are available all year long and although there are many different varieties, selecting any kind of mushrooms are easy. You should look for firm, moisture-free (not dry), unblemished caps, and free of mold. Place purchased loose mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Airtight plastic bags tend to retain moisture and will accelerate spoilage. Properly stored mushrooms will last for approximate five days.
Mushrooms can be frozen but they must be cleaned, cooked, and placed in a ½ cup or 1 cup container to freeze. Don't forget to mark the date on the container, frozen mushrooms will last several months.
Mushrooms are versatile and may be eaten raw or cooked whole, sliced or chopped. Certain varieties like shiitake and portabella, must have their stems discarded or used as a flavoring agent, as they are often tough.
Preparation Hint: Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice on the mushrooms to retain the color.
Doctors in Germany have reported that some people may show an allergic skin reaction to shiitake mushrooms. The reaction is a lash-like reddening of the skin that may be worsened by exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet light). Additional information is being gathered to study the problem further. (2/2005)
The edible inky cap mushroom contains a disulfirame-like (antabuse) substance that interferes with normal metabolism of alcohol. Reaction occurs when consuming alcohol within 72 hours after eating these mushrooms. Symptoms last 2 to 3 hours, and include flushing, palpitation, hyperventilation, nausea, vomiting, and burning or tingling sensation of the extremities.