The Marvelous Mushroom

by emily on December 22, 2009

My husband will be happy. I bought some crimini mushrooms today, for the first time in a long time. I haven’t been because, frankly, they cost extra dinero. Since our food bill is already going through the roof with the addition of another eater in the house, I thought, do we really need them?

One could hardly say that mushrooms are a staple of a healthy diet; however, I’ve recently read up on mushrooms and been reminded of their great health benefits. Here are three reasons to eat crimini mushrooms, even if only occasionally:

1. High in B vitamins

These brown-colored button mushrooms (the “adults” are portobellos) contain many of the B vitamins, being high in B2 and B3, as well as being a good source of B’s 1, 5 and 6.

2. Rich in minerals

Crimini mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium and copper, as well as good source of manganese, potassium and phosphorus.

3. Great source of antioxidants

In the past couple of decades, researchers have discovered that mushrooms contain anti-cancer phytonutrients, on top of the antioxidant qualities provided by some of the vitamins and minerals they contain. One of mushroom’s main antioxidants, L-ergothioneine, stays in tact even when cooked. Good news for those of us who don’t care for them raw.

All that, and they are only around 30 calories per cup!

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Would you like a crimini mushroom recipe? Here is part of what I fixed for dinner tonight:

Eggplant and mushroom stew

  • 1 eggplant, cut up
  • about 1 cup of crimini mushrooms
  • 1 15-oz can tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (which I actually didn’t put in b/c I didn’t have any; but I would’ve if I had)
  • Seasoning to taste

Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat and cook for about fifteen minutes, or whatever works for the particular cookware you own.

If you like mushrooms, enjoy them liberally!

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