The Benefits of Cooking Mushrooms

Mushrooms have long been a staple ingredient in cuisine all around the world. From portobellos to shiitakes to truffles, mushrooms are incredibly versatile, and their unique flavor adds an extra layer of complexity to any dish. They also contain vitamin D, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate, Phosphorus, Iron, Panthothenic Acid, Zinc, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Selenium, Thiamin, Polysaccharides, enzymes, proteins, and antioxidants.  With a list like that, you definitely want to eat these! But did you know that there are benefits to cooking mushrooms as opposed to eating them raw? Let’s explore why cooking is the best way to prepare mushrooms for consumption.

The Health Benefits of Cooking Mushrooms
First and foremost, it is recommended that you only eat mushrooms cooked for health reasons. Several raw culinary mushrooms contain small amounts of a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking reduces the agaritine content significantly. In addition, cooking can help make some tough-to-digest mushrooms easier on the digestive system.  (*note, studies in humans are needed here, as only animal studies so far produce carcinogenic results, whereas human studies so far have only shown benefits.  But I prefer to err on the side of caution.  So cook them, I will!)

Mushroom Varieties
When it comes to selecting mushroom varieties for your recipes, there are nearly infinite possibilities! Portobello, oyster, white button, shiitake—the list goes on and on. For example, add portobellos to your stir fry for a meaty texture, or use white buttons in your favorite pasta dish for added heartiness. Shiitakes provide an umami flavor like no other and can be used as a main course when paired with the right ingredients. And don't forget about truffles! Their unique flavor lends an air of sophistication that is sure to impress your guests at any dinner party or special occasion meal.

Mushroom Recipes
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more mushrooms into your diet but aren’t sure where to start, never fear! There are plenty of delicious recipes available online that make use of common mushroom varieties. From soups and stews to salads and sides dishes - there is something out there for everyone! If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different types of mushrooms and see what works best with your favorite dishes. And if you need to sneak mushrooms into dishes for picky eaters - blending them up is so easy, and then they just disappear into the dish!! You might just stumble upon something amazing!  

From health benefits to flavor profiles - it's easy to see why cooking mushrooms is one of the best ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient! Whether you're a seasoned cook or just getting started in the kitchen - adding more cooked-mushroom dishes into your repertoire should definitely be on your list of things to try this year! So get out those pots and pans - it's time to get cookin'! Holistic moms everywhere will love trying out new recipes featuring this nutritious fungi!

Why should we eat mushrooms, anyway?  Read about it here.
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