Mushrooms are incredibly underrated when it comes to both meal ideas and nutrition! I think a big reason for this is because people lack inspiration. Additionally, they aren’t as bright, colourful and inviting as other veggies so usually do not catch our attention. However, adding mushrooms to your diet can be incredibly beneficial for health and can also help to increase the diversity of your diet.
Some of the standout health benefits of mushrooms include:
- Good source of antioxidants, which help our body to neutralise free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for speeding up the ageing process.
- Good source of selenium which is also found in brazil nuts, selenium exerts antioxidant activities in the body and adequate selenium can help to support thyroid function.
- Low in calories/kilojoules which means they are a great option for people trying to lose weight or effortlessly maintain their weight.
- Source of B vitamins, the body uses B vitamins to convert the food we eat into energy and B vitamins are also incredibly nourishing on the nervous system during times of stress.
- Contain some plant-based protein although definitely not as much as other sources of protein but every little bit counts!
- Low in unhealthy fats and fats to limit in the diet such as trans and saturated fats.
- Source of dietary fibre – around 3g per 100g which helps to contribute to our overall daily fibre requirements (25g for women and 30g for men).
- Low in sodium while being a good source of potassium which can be beneficial for heart health.
If I have convinced you to try adding more mushrooms into your diet or if you are simply looking for some new ideas, here are my top 5 healthy and delicious ways to use mushrooms:
Bruschetta originates from Italy and is one of my most favourite starters when eating out at an Italian restaurant. However, I love to recreate this dish at home and its surprisingly simple. The first step is to get some good quality bread such as sourdough, thickly slice it, drizzle with olive oil and toast or grill on both sides.
Next to the fun part, toppings! My number 1 tip is to keep it simple, select 3-4 flavoursome good quality ingredients and stick to that. When it comes to mushrooms, you cannot go past, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, basil leaves, roasted tomatoes and a dollop of pesto, yum!
I love to make stuffed mushrooms as a light lunch or dinner side. It’s incredibly simple and takes very little time. It’s also a good way to use up leftovers such as stuffing with leftover bolognese sauce. I recommend using field mushrooms, cutting the stalk off, stuffing with filling of choice, popping in a preheated oven and they should be ready within 15-20min!
- Ricotta, sun dried tomatoes and herbs
- Crumbled tofu, herbs and nuts/seeds
- Lentils/legumes in a tomato based sauce and feta
- Leftover risotto or grain salad
Whether you are making veggie or meat patties, I recommend mincing up mushrooms finely and adding to the pattie mix. The mushrooms add a nice taste and texture, not to mention boost of nutrition!
The same goes for bolognese sauces, lasagne and meat loaf, mushrooms work equally as well in all of these dishes.
When eating out at an Asian restaurant, I also notice mushrooms in most of their dishes, yet so many of us do not add mushrooms at home when cooking Asian cuisine, including stir-fries! Mushrooms work so well in stir-fries and can help to provide more texture and bulk out the stir-fry. I recommend adding a few handfuls of sliced mushrooms next time its stir-fry night at your home!
Scrambled Mushroom and Tofu
This is a simple and delicious recipe to whip up for breakfast or a light lunch/dinner, taken from my Falling in Love with food cookbook!
Pre: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10-15 minutes
½ spanish onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tomato, diced
1 cup mushrooms (king, enoki, oyster, brown), roughly chopped
1 cup hard tofu organic, crumbled or cubed
Handful basil or flat leaf parsley
1 red chilli, finely diced
EV olive oil
Salt to taste
Sauté the onion, garlic, chilli, mushroom and tomato in olive oil, until soft.
Add the tofu and cook until warm, add the herbs.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and season to taste.