Harvest of the Month: Mushrooms

Mushrooms often get a bad rap in the food world. Don’t let the fact that they are a fungi fool you into thinking they are unsafe to eat or have no taste to add to your favorite pizzas, soups, pastas, or meat dishes. They contain high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients such as vitamin D, folate, and potassium. Mushrooms are a superfood just like more glamorous fruits and vegetables; studies have linked them to improved blood sugar and insulin levels, and also play a role in DNA repair, which can prevent growth of certain cancer cells.

How to select

Regardless of the type of mushroom, select ones that are smooth to the touch, firm, and clean. If they appear slimy or very brown, they have already started to go bad. It is normal for mushrooms to have an earthy smell.

How to store

While many people store mushrooms in the original container that they were purchased in, they will actually last longer if you put them into a separate plastic bag wrapped in a paper towel or a brown paper bag. Dry conditions are key since moisture makes mushrooms turn bad very quickly.

How to prepare

Since mushrooms are very porous, the best way to clean them is by gently rubbing them with a damp paper towel. If they are going into a soup or salad, it’s ok to rinse them in water. Mushrooms can then be sautéed, grilled, roasted, or even eaten plain as part of a vegetable tray.

Try mushrooms in the delicious recipe for Chicken with Mushroom Sauce from My Recipes.

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