If you are a mushroom lover, then now is the time of the year to really enjoy the local and abundant fungi offerings. The local grocery stores, ethnic supermarkets, and Bay Area’s farmer markets are full of in‐season mushrooms. The GreenLite program recommends at least 2 units of vegetables per day to promote healthy weight loss, and mushrooms are an easy way to get part of your daily intake. Throw them in your morning omelet, your lunch salad, or at night with a lean protein and green vegetable. You really cannot go wrong with mushrooms.
Although they are classified as a fungus, mushrooms have high antioxidant levels that help fight chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Many types of mushrooms also contain a substance called lentinan, which boosts the immune system. Mushrooms are packed with B vitamins including folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine. For all of the vegans out there, mushrooms are the only natural source of vitamin D. On top of all this, mushrooms also contain two different types of dietary fiber, which will help keep you feeling full and decrease your appetite. This is another reason to start your morning off with a mushroom‐filled breakfast.
One of the great things about mushrooms is their taste diversity. If you want to venture outside the usual white button mushroom, there are many types and flavors to fit your palate. Check out our healthy weight‐loss suggestions below for inspiration.
Looking for something to add to spice‐up a steamed vegetable dish?
→Try shiitake mushrooms.
In the mood to add a little sweetness to your salad?
→Try oyster and enoki mushrooms.
Looking for something with a little substance to add in an omelet for a hearty breakfast?
→Try chanterelle mushrooms.
Want something unexpected to add to a slow cooker meal that will retain its density?
→Try cremini and portobello mushrooms.
Tips for Choosing and Storing Mushrooms
Be sure to look for mushrooms that are dry and firm. Damp or moist mushrooms can alter the taste and spoil quickly. They should smell slightly earthy. Inspect the caps, which should be slightly open. Place them in a closed brown paper bag and refrigerate. Uncooked and whole mushrooms can be stored safely from 7‐10 days in your refrigerator. Cooked mushrooms can also last 7‐10 days. Sliced mushrooms last slightly less, from 5‐7 days.
Mushroom Expert Tips
Do not wash mushrooms until you are ready to use them. Again, the extra moisture will alter their taste. If you are eating mushrooms with intricate ridges (like chanterelles), make sure to dunk them in a mixture of water and a dash of vinegar to clean prior to eating. Pat dry after cleaning. Indelicate mushrooms (like white button or cremini) can be cleaned with a vegetable brush or even a paper towel.
If you are adding salt to your mushroom dish, do not add until the very end. Using salt at the beginning of cooking can cause the mushrooms to become stiff and tough.
Try our low carb and gluten‐free warm mushroom salad with pistou viniagrette or delicious miso mushroom soup. Even more healthy weight loss recipes can be found on our website that has a handy ingredient and keyword search function.