Let’s talk mushrooms!
They’re nutritious and versatile. Popular with chefs for their unique porous texture, mushrooms easily absorb flavours and odours from the foods they’re cooked with. Some cooks are crazy about them, others steer clear, but one thing is certain: it’s well worth getting to know mushrooms better. That’s why at Rachelle Béry we’ve decided to take an in-depth look at mushrooms and share our findings with you. You’ll discover that there’s a mushroom for every taste!
Regardless of the variety, mushrooms contain few calories, and more protein than most other vegetables. They offer an array of important vitamins and minerals in varying proportions depending on the species.
- Copper: an essential element for the production of hemoglobin and collagen, a structural and tissue repair protein
- Selenium: a nutrient that works with antioxidant enzymes
- Vitamins B2 and B3: vitamins that are highly active in energy metabolism and DNA production and growth
- Pantothenic acid: a vitamin that plays a key role in optimizing the energy in the foods we eat
- Vitamin D: indispensable for bone health and a strong immune system
Buying fresh mushrooms
To keep mushrooms fresh, don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them. Store them in the refrigerator in a breathable container such as a paper bag. Circulating air will keep them from spoiling too quickly. To prepare them for cooking, use a soft brush or a damp cloth to remove any dirt. If you prefer running them under water, dry them off quickly because with their porous texture, they tend to soak up water like a sponge.
How to prepare them:
- Try button or cremini mushrooms raw as part of a veggie and dip tray, in brochettes, or sliced into salads or onto homemade pizza.
- Add large grilled portobello mushroom slices to a veggie sandwich
- Stuff whole portobellos with brown rice, tomatoes, onion, and herbs. Serve them au gratin for a dish your guests will love!
Buying dried mushrooms
Since fresh mushrooms will keep no more than a week and freezing changes their texture, the best way to always have some at hand is to buy dried mushrooms. Placed in an airtight container, either in the fridge or a cool, dry place, they will keep for up to three weeks.
How to prepare them:
- Chop and sprinkle onto your favourite dishes as a seasoning with woody notes
- Add to slow-cooked sauces and stews that will give them back their tender texture
- Soak in boiling water for 20 minutes to rehydrate them
Chef’s tip: 90 g (3 oz.) of dried mushrooms is equivalent to 450 g (1 lb.) of fresh mushrooms.
Different mushroom varieties to enjoy
Button mushrooms (available fresh and dried): Mild and delicate with woody aromas, this is the classic mushroom!
Cremini (available fresh): With a firm texture and delicate flavour, the cremini is slightly more fragrant than the button mushroom.
Portobello (available fresh and dried): Increasingly popular for its large size, it is also enjoyed for its firm texture and rich, slightly sweet flavour.
Shiitake (available fresh and dried): The white flesh, meaty texture, and slightly acidic, earthy flavour make the shiitake mushroom unique!
Oyster (available fresh and dried): A mushroom with a crunchy texture that loses any bitterness when cooked. It has a mild flavour despite a sometimes pronounced odour.
Morel (available dried): A rare mushroom that is much sought-after for its rich, earthy flavour and hazelnut aromas. Its flesh is thin and delicate.
Chanterelle (available dried): A mushroom with firm flesh and a slightly peppery, fruity flavour.
Porcini, also called bolete or cepe (available dried): The porcini mushroom has a pronounced taste not unlike cooked meat. Use it to add flavour to your recipes.
With eight mushrooms varieties to choose from, it’s a good bet that, like us, you’ll want to use them every day of the week!
The Rachelle-Béry team of nutritionists