Mushrooms are an untapped jewel of the plant kingdom. Not only are they incredibly tasty and versatile to cook with, but they’re also quite nutritious. You may be surprised by the number of different mushroom varieties in existence and the unique benefits each type offers. Although this list is not exhaustive, it’ll certainly help to determine which is best for your nutritional and culinary pursuits. Get ready to add some of these to your shopping list because they’re too good to pass up.
Starting with a familiar one, portobellos are full of dense flavor, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can guard against aging and cancer. They’re also a great source of selenium and copper, as well as vitamin B2 and B3. With an especially large surface area and meaty texture, portobellos have often been used as the base of hearty dishes. Use these in Bahn Mi Portobello Burgers or some Portobello Lentil Shepherd’s Pie for a filling, savory dinner.
These are a must-try. Containing a molecule called lovastatin, oyster mushrooms are recognized for their ability to decrease the body’s cholesterol levels. This type is particularly valuable for its significant protein by weight as well as immune-supporting abilities. These are so notable that research is underway to further understand their ability to guard against HIV. However, keep in mind that oyster mushrooms in specific should be cooked above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid residual unwanted chemicals. These are perfect in recipes like Oyster Mushroom Po’Boys or some comforting Oyster Mushroom Tom Yum Soup.
Although all mushrooms are good for you, the Reishi variety is hailed for its adaptogenic properties, which provide energy as well as healthy blood pressure assistance. In addition, reishi mushrooms are a great source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These also have been shown to reduce inflammation as well as enhance cognitive functions– who doesn’t want that? Integrate them into your meals by venturing beyond entrees and into a sweet treat like this Chocolate Reishi Latte.
Porcini mushrooms offer plenty of fiber and protein, not to mention zinc, copper, selenium, and potassium. They also rank highest for their amounts of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione. On top of these benefits, porcinis are often used in cooking due to their desirable nutty taste and versatility. Add to recipes like this Vegetable Coulibiac With Porcini Mushroom Sauce or classic Buttery Porcini Mushrooms and Asparagus on Toast.
With a funnel shape and mild taste, chanterelles provide vitamin C, vitamin D, and potassium as well as antibacterial properties. Put them to use in some delicious Glowing Turmeric Chanterelle Gravy and Herbed Celeriac Purée With Sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms. These recipes are perfect to show off your impressive cooking skills while creating a satisfying comfort dish.
Maitake mushrooms have been used for many years for their medicinal benefits and are believed to be tumor-shrinking as well. Although their healing capacities are often primary, maitakes are also a delicious addition to cooking in recipes. Transform these into a Maitake Mushroom Sandwich With French Onion Soup Dip, or get culinary with this Blackened Maitake Breast.
With a long stem and relatively small caps, Shimeji mushrooms are great at promoting healing of the body. This variety is also a promising source of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and potassium. Shimejis are a bit too bitter to eat raw, so it’s better to cook these for a perfect meaty taste. Use them in this Thai Red Curry With Soba Noodles and Sauteed Shimeji Mushrooms for a punch of spicy flavor.
Going back to a familiar classic, criminis are likely a type of mushroom that you’ve had plenty of times already. Similar to portobellos but smaller, the conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) in these is great for stabilizing hormones and related cancers. Criminis also provide nutrients including vitamin E, vitamin D, iron, copper, and phosphorus, to name a few. These are perfect for Crimini Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Deep Dish Quiche for yourself or guests at your next brunch. You can also use criminis in these Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms as an easy bite-sized appetizer.
King trumpet mushrooms have a distinct shape with a long stem which is perfect for those who don’t want to have to discard part of your produce. They are also high in pantothenic acid and riboflavin, not to mention vitamin D, which is hard to come by in most foods. A great way to cook with these is in some Crispy King Trumpet Mushroom Calamari, which provides all the crispy enjoyment of this classic dish with a healthier vegan twist.
10. Turkey Tail
Although often overlooked, turkey tail mushrooms are a wonderful addition to your diet if you’re able to find them. Their healing properties are significant, with this variety being one of the most heavily researched mushrooms for its potential clinical abilities. Try stuffing into ravioli or make a turkey tail with vegan butter to add flavor plus benefits to your meals.
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