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Mushroom madness (the culinary kind)

Our Produce Pick of the Month? Mushrooms! They're delicious in a whole variety of ways and -- bonus! -- they're packed full of nutrition. Mushrooms are low in calories, have virtually no fat or cholesterol, and are very low in sodium. Three ounces of raw mushrooms, about one cup, provide 1-2 grams of protein. Mushrooms also provide a small amount of vitamin D and can increase their vitamin D content when exposed to light!

Whether you are cooking with popular, delicate white mushrooms; large, steak-like portabellas; or meaty shiitakes, you will want to select those with a texture that is firm and smooth. Moisture and mushrooms don’t mix, so select mushrooms that are dry, but not dried out and rough.

Fresh mushrooms can last up to one week in the refrigerator. If kept whole instead of sliced, they can last even longer. Try storing them in a paper bag or wrapping them in a paper towel and then storing them in an open plastic bag to prevent condensation. You can also sauté fresh mushrooms and store them in the freezer for up to one month.

If the mushrooms are mostly free of dirt and debris, a brief wiping is enough to get them clean. Simply wipe mushrooms clean with a slightly damp towel or a soft brush. If mushrooms have dirt that is hard to remove, you can always give them a rinse! Don’t leave them to soak, just swish them around to release the debris.

Mushrooms can be consumed raw; however, cooking mushrooms enhances their flavors and makes them more delicate. Try sautéing, grilling, broiling, or roasting fresh mushrooms in the oven!

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient. You can use mushrooms for just about any dish. Sauté them with onions; add them to pasta; incorporate them into chili or enjoy a grilled portabella burger. Or try this amazing recipe. Here are five ways to enjoy mushrooms:

  1. Freshen up your meals. Toss fresh mushrooms in your everyday meals like lasagna or soup to add key nutrients with no fat, little calories and no cholesterol.
  2. Sandwich swap. Cut slices of portabella mushrooms for your favorite sandwich instead of meat for a healthy, inexpensive swap.
  3. Steam in the microwave. Microwaved mushrooms can freshen up lunchtime meals enjoyed at work or home. Toss into a hot sandwich, chili, or soup.
  4. Roast for flavor. Roasting mushrooms is perfect for multitasking cooks.
  5. Mushrooms in the morning. Sauté and add to scrambled eggs or any other egg breakfast dish.


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