There are thousands of edible mushrooms, but only about 100 are cultivated for sale, and only about 10 on a large scale.
Research shows that dietary intake of mushrooms (up to one cup a day) results in higher intake of antibodies that protect our immune system. In another study mushrooms proved to have an anti-growth affect on breast cancer cells. Eating just a handful of white button mushrooms a day is all you need. Shiitake mushrooms have been shown to protect against the flu.
So stock up, and add a few mushrooms to your daily routine. Mushrooms can be eaten raw (one of my favorite snacks is a handful of mushrooms dipped into a little tahina). But the taste of mushrooms really intensifies when eaten cooked. Meatier mushrooms, like portabello, have a strong texture and flavor and are so satiating, which makes them a great replacement for meat.
With benefits like helping liver function, reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful little fungi. When you buy them, store them in a paper bag in the fridge, for a longer shelf life.
Here are some suggestions for adding mushrooms into your daily routine… plus my favorite mushroom soup.
*Toss them in a frying pan with a drop of olive oil and add them to your favorite salad.
*Add them to a garbanzo flour omelette
*Grill them and add them with other veggies to a sandwich
*Toss them with a drop of olive oil and balsamic and skewer. Grill or roast and enjoy over a 1/2 cup of brown rice.
*Mix up the varieties and make a soup (see below)
MIXED MUSHROOM and FARRO (or barley) SOUP
1 large onion (white or yellow) chopped
1 cup of white button mushrooms* chopped
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms* chopped
1 cup of enoki mushrooms* chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
3/4 cup of farro (or barley) rinsed
2 cups of portobello mushroom broth (like this one)
6 cups of water (depending on how much mushrooms you use)
Salt and pepper to taste.
*or any other mushrooms. You can use crimini and oyster with this recipe too. Chose whatever looks the best in the store.
Start by sauteing the onion in a small amount of oil until translucent (or water saute)
Add the chopped mushrooms (except the enoki) and let them cook (5-7 min) stirring frequently.
Add the minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Add the rinsed farro (or barley), broth and water. The water should more than cover the mushrooms.
Add salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.
Lower to a simmer and cook until farro (or barley) is tender- about 20-30 minutes.
Add the enoki mushrooms for the last 10 minutes of cooking (over heating enoki can make them a little hard).
Tip: make sure to have enough water. The farro expands and soaks up the liquid making this soup much thicker second day. You can always add more water when you reheat, too.