Mushrooms. Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi. They can appear either below ground or above ground where they may be picked by hand.
I know, you already saw the title to this post and have thought about checking out and not reading past this sentence. Maybe my sass and humor might keep you around for at least the next paragraph or two 😉
Maybe you’re wondering of ALL the foods on the planet why I’d make fungus the subject of my food spotlight post. Why not something tastier and prettier to look at?
I know… I hear you.. but miss out on telling you cool things about mushrooms you may not even know?
Like get this… do you know their DNA is more closely related to a human level than plant?
They are more closely related to humans than plants.
Ahhhh… now I’ve got you!
Bet you didn’t know that, right?
So are mushrooms vegetables?
The simple answer is no, it’s not a vegetable although it’s in the vegetable family due to it’s nutritional make up.
Ok so hold on for a little science here…..
mushrooms are fruiting bodies of macroscopic filamentous fungi. Earlier when mycology ( the study of fungi) arose it was a part of botany. This happened because fungi were considered to be primitive plants. The biggest difference in a (plant) vegetable and a mushroom is how they get their food. Plants if you remember from middle school science, possess chlorophyll and make their own food via photosynthesis.
How handy is that?
Fungi on the other hand exist on decaying material in nature.
There are also the obvious structural differences, such as a lack of roots, leaves, and seeds.
Fungi basically have their own kingdom on the basis of cellular organization.
So the bottom line?
We share similar DNA’s.. have you ever thought much about how good mushrooms are almost like meat?
I will mention hubby strongly argues this point 😛
I won’t bog us down in anymore science stuff, go look if you don’t believe me.
Have you ever wondered why mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D? And one of the few sources that naturally contain it?
Because like us, they can absorb it from the sunlight.
Their cellular structure allows them to absorb it just like our skin does.
Eat your mushrooms for natural Vitamin D 🙂
I hate mushrooms.
Well, not anymore. I have to confess I haven’t started eating them till later in life. They started becoming more of a staple in my diet a few years ago, once I got past their ugly factor and bland appearance.
I can’t imagine now not tossing them in my basket with all the other produce.
They show up in my breakfast veggie blend, salads, stir fry, and oven roasted veggie mixes.
Heck, I even grind them up and toss them in with hamburger for spaghetti or taco meat but don’t tell my family that cause they will say I’m trying to poison them.
Seriously, ground mushrooms are great add in’s to hamburger dishes. I tell you, no one will know. 😉
What’s the nutritional low down
One medium mushroom has 4 calories… 4 measly little calories… which means you can eat a whole lot of them for not much impact.
Low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms contain a modest amount of fiber and over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants like selenium and glutathione, or GSH, substances believed to protect cells from damage and reduce chronic disease and inflammation.
One cup of mushrooms provides 1-2 grams of protein, have no fat or cholesterol and are very low in sodium.
So let’s eat.
If you haven’t been a mushroom fan, you might have to work through your issues 😉
Mushrooms are wonderful sautéed, especially with onions. They work great in casseroles, roasted veggie dishes and more.
Try these recipes….
If you haven’t tried them or have reserved opinions on them, why not attempt them mingled in with other foods?
Don’t be fooled with the pic above, I’m no gardener. Plants come to my house to die 😛 I thought you might just appreciate all my “back yard” behind me 😉 and it made a nice drop for mushrooms….
Oh. And don’t eat those mushrooms in the woods, they can mess with your head.
Your turn… you tell me… did my post make you shudder thinking you’ll never eat fungus? Or do they find their way to your plate? Do you have ways you enjoying eating them?