It probably hasn't come up yet since I've only just started this blog, but I have a huge love and respect for mushrooms. I think they have so many wonderful things about them that I have actually been sitting here fore most of the evening trying to pin down one individual thing about them that I could blog about. And you know what?
Theres just too much!
Theres something so amazing about these funny little things and I can't simply talk about one thing. Everything I find another article or webpage or blog I just get more excited about them! I'm sure I sound crazy to those of you who consider the mushroom to be just another plant, that tastes yummy on steaks, but it really is a miracle food in my opinion.
Ok! I'm going to get a bit sciency on you for a minute just to begin the explanation of why these little fungi are so fantastic. The fact is if you are trying to change up your diet for any kind of health reason, whether its losing weight or lowering cholesterol or cleansing your bowels, whatever you might be doing, I would suggest mushrooms. Increasing your mushroom intake with your other dieting foods will help so much not only with making you food taste fantastic but with balancing your vitamins and minerals that you may not be getting from an altered diet. A great website to check out is www.mushrooms.ca , it has a huge amount of information about local growers, the nutritional info of mushrooms, excellent recipes, its where I found many of the food blogs that I follow, and it is easy to understand and doesn't overwhelm with overly scientific explanations.
Mushrooms are fat free, low in calories, low in carbs, low in sodium, and contain no cholesterol whatsoever. Four to five medium sized white mushrooms (100 g) make an important contribution to your daily needs of vitamins such as B1, B3, B6, Thiamin, and they are the only plant source of vitamin D, which is hugely important for those of us who are inside for all the sunlight hours of the day. Recent studies into vitamin D show that it may also play a large roll in:
- preventing bone fractures
- reducing the risk of diabetes in young people
- protecting against heart disease
- reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis, and
- improving lung function.
All of these factors make foods containing vitamin D essential for life in such a busy world. Mushrooms being the only vegetable source of this ever so important vitamin means that really we should be including them in our diet at least once a day. Though that is coming from someone who lived in the dark and dreary UK and sourly lacked vitamin D for 4 years. Mushrooms also contain a large number of minerals such as Zinc, Iron and Magnesium which contribute to healthy bones, stronger immune systems, and a higher functioning liver. They are also a fantastic source of fibre, for all those who are stuck in a rub of intestinal clogging foods. Whether your concern is lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, diverticulosis or general bowel health, fibre is one of the dietary keys. Getting enough fibre has also been linked to a lower Body Mass Index, an indicator of obesity, as well as being a potential factor in weight loss and maintenance.
France was the first to cultivate rnushrooms on a commercial basis in the late 19th century.
There are 2000 different species of mushrooms eaten throughout the world, but the most common variety cultivated is the white button.
Since the beginning of recorded history, over 4500 years ago, mushrooms were an important staple in the diets of aborigines.
Mushrooms were also very popular in the civilizations af China, Egypt and Greece. Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors actually went so far as to forbid commoners from eating mushrooms; stricty reserving them for nobility only!
Mushrooms are a favorite food of Canadians, and at 2.8 kilograms, Canadians enjoy one of the world's highest levels of per capita mushroom consumption.
I only have one recipe for you on this little rant about how much I love mushrooms but I am going to post up some links to other great recipes, blogs and cool mushroom sites. I encourage everyone to fully take advantage of these extraordinary little plants and to make them part of your everyday eating habits! Anyway check out the links, and enjoy this quick little recipe!
Feta Stuffed Mushrooms
24 cremini mushrooms, stems removed
1 block of goats milk feta cheese
5g chopped fresh parsley
8g chopped fresh thyme
Balsamic dressing, to taste
salt and pepper
1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place mushroom caps on a tray cup side facing up, drizzle with some oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven until they are softened through and juicy.
2. In a bowl crumble together the feta cheese with the herbs, salt and pepper, and how ever much balsamic dressing tickles your fancy!
3. When the mushrooms are finished, pack some of the feta mix into each and drizzle once more with the dressing, and you're all set!
These make great little appetizers, but they are also really good for snacks since they are very very simple to make. Enjoy!
Below are some great mushroom recipes and also a couple of sites about mushrooms, check em out!