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4 Ways Mushrooms Make Home Cooking Better

May 18, 2020

While discovering your inner chef by cooking more at home, incorporate foods that boost flavor and nutrition to your kitchen creations. One ingredient is quickly becoming the hero of many home-cooked meals: fresh mushrooms.

Grocery stores today feature many fresh mushroom varieties with various flavors, textures and sizes for endless home cooking possibilities. Here are four reasons to put mushrooms at the top of your shopping list:

1. Versatility

Mushrooms can be used in multiple ways. Slice them raw for salads or cook in soups, pizzas, casseroles and more. Larger mushrooms can be stuffed with many different fillings.

Vegans and vegetarians love mushrooms because their texture and flavor make a great substitute in classic dishes that normally call for meat. Get creative and try grilling a portabella mushroom like you would a steak or beef patty.

2. Flavor

Mushrooms bring an umami flavor we all know and love. “Umami” is a fifth basic taste that people consider savory, brothy, rich or meaty in flavor. Try this simple Blended Pasta Sauce recipe to enjoy mushrooms’ umami with the support of a few pantry staples. 

3. Meal Stretching

Adding mushrooms to recipes can help stretch your grocery budget farther and create a more filling, satisfying meal.

Chopped mushrooms blended with any kind of ground meat in dishes like meatloaf, tacos, lasagna or burgers helps extend your meat while boosting flavor. Since mushrooms hold moisture well, they’ll also help keep the meat juicy as well as tasty.

4. Nutrition

Mushrooms can play a positive role in supporting a healthy immune system. Their antioxidants, vitamins and minerals can play a role in boosting overall health and wellness.

Many mushroom varieties offer several nutrients important to good health, including selenium, plus vitamins D and B6.

Selenium is an essential trace mineral, meaning your body must get this mineral from the food you eat. Selenium helps your body make special proteins called antioxidant enzymes. These play a role in preventing cell damage. Crimini mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium. Just four criminis have 20.8 mcg., or 38% of RDA.

Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is available via diet, supplements and sunlight, which is why it is also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” White button mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D. Five medium white button mushrooms exposed to UV light have 23.6 mcg., or 118% of RDA.

Ready to add mushrooms to your home cooking? Find a delicious recipe your family will love!

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