For all the talk about colorful fruits and veggies, it is easy to forget about less vibrantly colored foods like mushrooms. However, there’s more that meets the eye when it comes to fungi. Not only are mushrooms packed with flavor and nutrition, but they add a hearty, satisfying texture to dishes too.

The Chef’s Secret Weapon

The mighty mushroom is low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and very low in sodium, yet bursting with a deep, rich, savory flavor professional chefs call “umami” (pronounced ‘ooo-mommy’). This makes mushrooms a secret weapon of chefs looking for a healthy way to add flavor to their recipes.

And did you know mushrooms are the only source of Vitamin D in the produce aisle, and they provide other important nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, antioxidants and potassium?

Pick Your Favorite

  • White Button: Thanks to their mild flavor, white buttons are one of the most versatile mushroom varieties. They can be finely chopped and blended into ground meat for a healthier take on a classic burger, sautéed in a stir fry or enjoyed raw in salads.
  • Crimini: These mushrooms have a deeper, earthier taste than their white counterparts, but can be used in similar dishes. Bring out their rich flavor by sautéing them in a small amount of butter or olive oil and pair with your favorite meat or vegetable recipe.
  • Portobello: The big brother to crimini mushrooms, portobellos have a meat-like texture and flavor, making them the perfect vegetarian alternative. These hearty mushrooms can be grilled or roasted and used in place of a meat patty for hamburgers and sandwiches.
  • Maitake: These fan-shaped ‘shrooms have a distinctive aroma and a rich, woodsy taste. Sauté them in a small amount of butter or oil to further enhance their richness.
  • Shiitake: Shiitakes are often tan or dark brown with a broad, umbrella-shaped cap. Add them to an Asian stir-fry or pasta dish for a wonderful earthy, umami flavor.

Try the Blend
Want to incorporate mushrooms into your diet but aren’t sure where to start? The Blend – the technique of swapping out a portion of ground meat for finely chopped mushrooms in classic recipes such as burgers, tacos and meatballs – is an easy way to cut calories, saturated fat and sodium without sacrificing texture or taste.

Always in Season
Ready to add more mushrooms to your diet? Here’s what you need to know: Because they are grown in a highly-controlled environment, fresh mushrooms are available at the supermarket year-round. To ensure you’re purchasing the best of the batch, select mushrooms that are firm with a fresh, smooth appearance. The surface should be dry and plump – not dried out and wrinkly. Once home, the mushrooms can be stored in their original packaging or a porous paper bag for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.

Thank you to the Dietitians at for the following post! 

Monday, March 25, 2019 in
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