Mushrooms are widely considered as vegetables but in fact they are not plants, they belong to the fungi kingdom.
We probably all played the Super Mario game at one point in our lives. In the game, Mario grows bigger, gets an additional life and gets protection whenever he eats a specific kind of mushroom. This is actually a representation of the health benefits of eating mushrooms! They can really make you bigger thanks to its lean protein and give protection against certain diseases because they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, antioxidants and amino acids!
There are around 140,000 species of mushroom forming fungi on Earth but science only knows 10% of them. Yeah, this world needs more mushroom scientists. Be careful! Not all mushrooms are safe to eat. Most of them are actually poisonous and could be fatal and some of them…
Here are some commonly-used mushrooms:
White button – the most popular mushroom. White button mushrooms represent about 90% of the mushrooms consumed in the United States and the most popular in Canada. It has a woodsy kind of flavor that is elevated when cooked. The white button mushroom is usually added in soups, salads and appetizers.
Crimini – similar to the white button mushroom but has a light tan to rich brown color and the texture is firmer. They have a more intense earthy flavor compared to the white button. They can be eaten raw or cooked.
Portabello – also called portabella, portabellini, etc., They are the fully grown brown mushroom. Their caps can measure up to 6 inches in diameter. Can be baked, grilled or fried. They taste meaty and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
Shiitake – tan to dark brown in color and has broad umbrella-like fleshy caps. Shiitake has a woodsy taste and is widely-used in Asian cooking specially in stir-fry and noodle dishes.
Oyster – can be gray, pale yellow or even blue in color. Has a mild taste and velvety texture, can be eaten raw or cooked. Compliments chicken, seafood and pork very well.
Enoki – has tiny button-shaped caps with long spindly stems. They can be eaten raw or cooked and is also used in Asian cooking but works great on salads, soups and sandwiches too because of its somewhat crunchy stems.
King Oyster – stout and thick-fleshed, this mushroom is very chewy and can remain firm even when cooked. Works well with French, Italian, Mediterranean and Chinese cuisine.
Gluten-Free Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe
What You Need for 4 Servings:
- 12 large button mushrooms (you can also use portabello), gently wiped clean, stemmed, stems chopped and reserved
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ pound Italian sausage
- ½ onion, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup crushed pork rinds (or you can use bread crumbs)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, toss the mushroom caps with the olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage for about 5 minutes, crumbling with a spoon, until browned.
- Add the onion, reserved mushroom stems, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the garlic. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
- Stir in the almond flour, pork rinds, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Remove the mixture from the heat.
- Transfer the mushroom caps to the prepared baking sheet, stem-side up.
- Spoon the sausage mixture evenly into the caps.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and cooked.
When working with mushrooms, don’t rinse them with water to clean them because the mushrooms will soak up the water. Instead, wipe them gently with a dry paper towel.
Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D since they produce it when exposed to sunlight. They are also the food to eat to prevent breast and prostate cancer thanks to its abundance of beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid which are both anti-carcinogenic. Beta-glucans, in particular, helps in the prevention of prostate cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and lionelic acid supresses the harmful effects of having too much estrogen which is the primary cause of breast cancer in women after menopause.
As always, this recipe is open for everyone to experiment on. Use other ingredients to come up with another version. Have fun making them and enjoy the health benefits! Any thought on this recipe? Let me know in the comments section below! Eat well, be well, farewell!
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