Every year on October 15, people all over the world celebrate World Mushroom Day to honor this amazing food.
There are over 14,000 different species of mushrooms grown around the world. These unassuming fungi offer a delicious flavor when eaten on their own or added to dishes, and they are also one of the most sustainably produced foods on the planet.
Environmentally mushrooms are superheroes as they are one of the most ecologically considerate crops available, efficient users of water, energy and land. One kilogram of mushrooms uses as little as 20 litres of water to produce, compared with 280 litres for 1kg of potatoes, 800 litres for 1kg of apples and a whopping 17,000 litres for 1kg of chocolate.
Nutritionally, mushrooms contain up to 60% of our daily recommended intake of many required vitamins and minerals. They have five different B vitamins that help support energy, brain function and skin health; phosphorous to help build strong bones, copper for immune system support and joint health; potassium to keep the muscles, nerves and heart working well; Selenium, a powerful antioxidant and essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, support a healthy immune system, promote healthy hair, skin and nails, and positively affects your mood and – to top it all they contain no gluten, sugar or saturated fat
When it comes to cooking with mushrooms, they are not only affordable, healthy and low in calories, but they can be a super versatile way to get creative with what would otherwise be boring or bland meals. Some ideas include:
- Adding chopped fresh mushrooms onto a pizza as a delicious topping. Choose meatless pizza with dairy-free cheese to make the meal more vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
- Incorporating mushrooms into a stir-fry. One delicious way to eat mushrooms, especially for kids who might not be ready for their strong flavour or texture, is to combine them with a variety of other vegetables in a Chinese-style stir fry meal and include carrots, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and green beans.
- Eat mushrooms for breakfast. Sauté and serve them with scrambled eggs, or chop them up and put them into an omelette.
- Mushrooms can be made into a delicious cream sauce that can be used in all sorts of ways – as the centre of a ravioli, poured over rigatoni pasta, made into a mushroom soup or fried and served with steak.
How should mushrooms be kept and stored?
To keep mushrooms fresh, experts recommend storing them on the top shelf of the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for up to 12 months. To clean mushrooms, wipe them with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel. Do not wash them in water, as they will absorb too much liquid and not cook well.