Edible mushrooms

- Oct 26, 2017 -

Mushroom nutrition

Mushrooms endowed with natural proteins, ample amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They contain vitamin B-12 in sufficient quantities which otherwise lacking in any plant produces.

Despite of their high quality nutritional composition, they relatively low in calories, and fats and contain zero cholesterol.

Additionally, mushrooms carry natural anti-oxidants such as ergothinene, phenolic pigments etc.

They indeed are excellent sources of essential minerals like manganese, selenium, zinc, copper, iodine, and molybdenum.

Furthermore, mushrooms are modest sources of vitamin-D (ergo-calciferol). Vitamin D plays a vital role in the calcium and phosphate metabolism.


Selection of mushrooms

While wild mushroom collection is specialist's job, cultivated mushrooms can be picked up by anyone and can be easily available for most of the season in the grocery stores. Choose fresh looking, firm ones. Avoid dry, discolored, shriveled mushroom as they indicate signs of decaying and hence, out of flavor. In the supermarkets, they generally available in polythene sheeted packs, canned, etc. Mushrooms are highly perishable. Handle them with care. Once at home, use them as early as possible. If at all to be stored for later use, do not unseal the pack and keep as it is inside the refrigerator set at 0-2 degrees. Keep unpacked, loose mushrooms inside a paper pack to absorb moisture and place inside the refrigerator for short term use. Mushrooms can be dried, and kept up to one year.

How to use edible mushrooms?

Clean mushrooms that intended to be used in cooking. To clean, just brush them using a soft cloth or brush to remove tiny peats on their surface. If at all to wash, do so briefly under running water or in slightly vinegary water. Do not allow them soak and damp. Dry by using a soft towel. Do not peel. Trim any dry, tough end of stem.

Peeling mushrooms like in vegetables is unnecessary as this involves loss of flavor and nutritional value. It is mainly recommended for aged mushrooms. The stem (or "foot") of the mushroom is usually edible. Some species have a tough and fibrous stem that need to be removed. In other cases, simply cut of the base of the stem if it is dry or has traces of soil.

Tips for cooking mushrooms

Cook mushrooms in stainless steel, glass, cast iron or terra-cotta pots to avoid their browning.

Add salt at the end of cooking to prevent them shrink due to draining out water.

To get maximum flavor, it is best to add mushrooms at the end of cooking to dishes that require prolonged simmering.

Freezing affects their texture and reduces their flavor

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