Key ingredient: Mushrooms

Key ingredient: Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a key ingredient in many dishes due to their tender texture and rich, earthy flavor. But mushrooms don't just taste good — they also offer a variety of nutritional benefits. Whether you're tossing them into a soup or substituting them for meat in a hamburger, mushrooms are a nutrient-packed ingredient you should consider incorporating into your diet. 

One of the biggest benefits of mushrooms actually lies in what they don't contain. Mushrooms are low in calories and sodium, and they're also fat-free, cholesterol-free and gluten-free. 

Additionally, mushrooms contain several important nutrients, including potassium, vitamin D, riboflavin, niacin and more. Certain types of mushrooms can help supply the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients, like selenium, that aren't easy to get enough of through diet alone. Portobello mushrooms, for example, contain selenium, copper, potassium and more. 

Thanks to their meaty flavor and texture, mushrooms make an excellent meat substitute and contain significantly less calories than red meat. Swap meat for mushrooms in lasagna, sloppy joes, chili and more. Just be sure not to counteract mushrooms' low calorie benefit by dousing them in butter.

So which kinds of mushrooms should you cook with? Try different varieties and see what you prefer. White and portobello mushrooms are the most readily available, but you can also try shiitake, oyster and porcini mushrooms. Here's a delicious mushroom recipe to get you started:

Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

(Adapted from AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients
  • 6 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, as well as chives and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Contact the experts at Goshen Health Nutrition Therapy to learn more about healthy approaches to living and eating.

Posted: 12/26/2016 by Goshen Health
Filed under: healthy adults, healthy eating, healthy kids, healthy lifestyle, wellness awareness

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