What comes to mind when mushrooms are mentioned? Mushroom soup? Mushroom caps? Steak and mushrooms? Today, let’s have a closer look at this fascinating food crop.
Mushrooms are good for you. Not only do they contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, they also contain antioxidants, and taste great. One hundred grams of mushrooms contains only 25 calories? Did you also know mushrooms have virtually no fat, low sodium, and no cholesterol?
What mushrooms do have is a powerhouse of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Here is an example of what you can find in mushrooms – riboflavin, copper, selenium, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, potassium, foliate, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
Fresh mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called l-ergothioneine. They also offer nutrients such as beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, compounds that are currently being studied for their chemo-preventative potential. Recent research also suggests that mushrooms (and mushroom extracts) may have powerful anti-cancer activity, for both breast and prostrate cancers.
Mushrooms offer both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps to maintain good bowel health.
Recent studies show that fresh mushrooms can help with: blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, heart health, gout, healthy aging, childhood obesity and diverticulitis.
Here are some tips on storing mushrooms. They should always be kept in the refrigerator. Store them in brown paper bags as they will breathe better and stay firm longer. Mushrooms are best when they are used within a few days of purchase, but can be kept up to one week. Prior to use, rinse fresh mushrooms in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Do not wash mushrooms until you are ready to use them, as they may discolour.
One of the ongoing issues we have with trying to buy local food is actually finding local food in our grocery stores. Many of the buying decisions are made in the head offices, leaving our local stores with not much choice. Some of our locally grown agricultural products are found on local grocery stores – you just have to search for it. But if you don’t find them, ask the grocery store manager to stock more local food products.
If you want more information on mushrooms, including some great recipes, you can visit the Mushrooms Canada website at www.mushrooms.ca
As far as local mushrooms go, we actually have two mushroom farms located in Chatham-Kent and both have been around for quite a few years, and both are operated by some amazing family members. Peeters Mushroom Farm is located at 8267 Middle Line, just west of Charing Cross. Rol-land Farms is located at 19002 Communication Road, just south of Blenheim. Both of these mushroom operations are family owned and have mushrooms for sale to the public during weekday office hours.
Thoughts for the week – When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
Just some food for thought.