Harvest of the Month: Mushrooms

Once considered either exotic or rustic, the mushroom has emerged as a kitchen staple. And, why not? It’s incredibly versatile and healthy, and it can lend a unique flavor to everything from simple salads to complex sauces, and from thick slabs of steak to vegan meat substitutes.

While mushrooms come in a range of varieties, grocery store shoppers probably are most familiar with button mushrooms – which make up about 90% of all mushrooms Americans consume. But, most of us also have seen big Portobello mushrooms as well as chanterelles, creminis and porcinis on
menus or in stores. And, of course, mushroom fans who live near wooded areas love to find their own morels each spring.

Regardless of the type of mushrooms you consume, you’ll get plenty of benefits: They’re packed with vitamins, give your immune system a boost, and might even prevent some cancers.

When buying fresh mushrooms, choose ones that are firm and have a fresh, smooth appearance. They should look plump and not dried out.

Store mushrooms in the original packaging for up to a week in the refrigerator, making sure they are in a container that allows for air flow. Before preparing mushrooms, trim away any tough spots on the stems, wash the mushrooms gently under running water and pat them dry.

Try this Delicious Mushroom Pie

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