Feature Friday: Sodium is Everywhere, but it’s Not in Mushrooms

white button mushrooms Canadian Adults should consume 1,500mg of sodium per day. According to the latest statistics available from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), the average sodium intake is above the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 2,400mg. So, on average Canadians are eating 3,092mg of sodium daily, that is double the amount that should be consumed!

What’s the big deal you ask? Excess sodium in our daily diets causes several major health problems. One of the main consequences is increased blood pressure, which is a major factor for cardiovascular disease (which is the #1 cause of death in Canadians).

According to the CCHS data pizza, sandwiches, subs, and hot dogs are the biggest offenders, followed by soup and pasta.

Fresh mushrooms can help slash the sodium!

  • Fresh mushrooms are naturally very low in sodium, with only 4mg per 4 medium sized mushrooms.
  • Mushrooms contain Umami, which helps to boost the flavours of your food, meaning you need less salt to flavour.
  • A 100 g serving of fresh white button mushrooms contain 9% of your Daily Value of potassium. Getting a little more potassium will help counteract the effects of too much sodium on blood pressure.

Adding mushrooms makes a difference:

  • Add ½ cup white button mushrooms to your omelet or scrambled eggs instead of ½ cup cheddar cheese.
    Benefit: save 349 mg sodium.
  • Mix 1 cup of diced grilled portabella mushrooms into pasta or pasta sauce instead of sausage.
    Benefit: save 632 mg sodium.
  • Use ½ cup white button mushrooms with dips instead of corn chips.
    Benefit: save 552 mg sodium.

For more facts on sodium, check out what the Canadian Stroke Network has to say on the Sodium 101 website.

posted by Brittany

Feature Friday: Portabella Mushrooms are King of the Grill

Fire up the grill for some fresh Canadian Portabellas this summer

With barbecue season in full swing, why not fire up the grill for some fresh Canadian Portabella Mushrooms? Portabellas are the ultimate heroes of the grill, offering a great meat alternative and endless versatility.

Try ’em as a meat alternative
Portabellas have a natural meaty flavour and texture, which is why they are often eaten as a meat alternative. They can absorb marinades just like meat, as well as offer their own natural Umami flavour. Take a look at the benefits of substituting a grilled portabella for a beef patty:

• Substitute a 4-ounce grilled portabella mushroom for a 4-ounce grilled beef patty (70% lean) and save 270 calories, 20 g fat, 8 g saturated fat and 93 mg cholesterol. WOW!

How versatile are they?
There are many ways that you can prepare the very versatile Portabella mushroom on the grill, here are just a few quick recipe ideas.

Grill up a portabella basted with a smoky barbecue sauce. Top with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Serve hot on a big toasted Kaiser bun.

Lightly brush portabella with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill whole along with a thick slice of red or white onion. Serve both mushroom and onion, sliced on top of a sizzlin’ hot steak.

Side Dishes
Marinate whole portabella mushroom in balsamic or Italian vinaigrette for 1 hour. Grill over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes. Remove from grill, slice and serve on top of a side salad.

Try Mushrooms Canada’s “Grilled Chicken and Portabella Mushrooms with Peppercorn Sauce,” it’s simple to prepare yet special enough for entertaining.

So versatile and easy, grilled portabellas make a great burger, side, topper or entree.

posted by Brittany

Feature Friday: Mushrooms Canada Summer Newsletter

It’s here, it’s here!! Fresh out today is the latest edition of the Fresh. Simple. Good. Newsletter.

In this Summer edition you will find:
• The “Secret” to Perfect Sautéed Mushrooms
• Feature Video: Simple Sautéed Mushrooms
• Mushrooms and Your Health: Arthritis
• “Watch for Us” telling you exactly where Mushrooms Canada will be in the coming months, including the National Women’s Show, Toronto
• Need a fast side to your barbecued steak, chicken or pork? Simple Sautéed Mushrooms are what you need!

Pssst! You can also check out past issues of our Award Winning Newsletter by visiting the “Newsletter” page on the Mushrooms Canada website.

– posted by Brittany

Feature Friday: Grilled Mushrooms Panini Video

Recognize this recipe? I gave you a little “behind the scenes” peek of it all the way back in January while we were on set filming. Finally I get to share the finished video with you today as our Feature Friday!

Grilled Mushroom, Cheese and Spinach Panini
Preparation Time: 10 mins. Cooking Time: 12 mins.

Panini literally means little breads, but in Italy it often refers to a sandwich. This delicious and nutritious panini is easy to prepare using several ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Fresh mushrooms add a thick meaty texture to this vegetarian meal. You can use goat cheese and arugula for a different flavour profile. This recipe makes the perfect lunch or light dinner, it can be served with a side salad or soup for a complete meal.

1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms 250 g
1 large clove garlic, crushed 1
1 tsp dried basil leaves 5 mL
1/2 cup chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained 125 mL
2 cups grated old Cheddar cheese 500 mL
4 oval panini rolls (about 4″/10 cm), halved 4
1 cup baby spinach leaves 250 mL

In a medium frying pan heat oil over medium-high heat; add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until just until starting to brown. Stir in garlic and basil; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl mix cheese and tomatoes; spread evenly on bottom half of each roll. Arrange the mushrooms, and spinach leaves, evenly on top of cheese. Top with the other half of each roll and press firmly.Place in preheated sandwich grill* (according to manufacturers directions) cook about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and cheese has melted. Cut sandwiches in half to serve. Makes 4 servings.

*If sandwich grill is not available heat a well seasoned ridged grill pan OR a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan and place another heat-proof pan or skillet on top of sandwiches; weight down with canned goods and cook 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn panini over and repeat for other side. Lower heat after sandwich is browned to melt cheese.

Tip: Substitute other crusty rolls or Kaiser buns for panini rolls OR substitute 8 slices (½”/1 cm thick) French, Italian or Sour dough bread.

Variation: Substitute ½ cup (125 mL) softened goat cheese (about 4 oz /120 g) for Cheddar and baby arugula leaves for spinach.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 484, Sodium: 733 mg, Protein: 22.1 g, Fat: 26.9 g, Carbohydrates: 39.6 g, Dietary Fibre: 3.4 g

Feature Friday: Marvelous Mushroom Pairings

Mushrooms add plenty of pizzazz and make just about any food more flavourful.

Mushrooms with PastaWhole wheat pasta. What could be easier than cooking up a bowl of hearty whole wheat pasta? Tossing some cooked, sliced mushrooms into the pasta or even the tomato sauce adds a satisfying meaty texture and appealing taste.

Lean white fish. Mushrooms and fish may not be the first thing you think of but once you taste this fabulous flavour pairing you’ll be happy you discovered it. Poached in a little white wine or fish stock, lemon juice and herbs, sliced mushrooms add oomph to nutritious lean white fish such as sole, haddock and tilapia.

Mushroom RisottoRice. There is nothing so elegant yet so comforting than a steaming hot bowl of creamy fresh mushroom risotto.

Polenta. Top grilled polenta with a generous spoonful of fresh sliced or chopped mushrooms, sautéed in some olive oil or butter and tossed with fresh herbs such as thyme, salt, pepper and a smidgen of sherry or balsamic vinegar. Divine.

Sandwiches and Wraps. Sliced fresh mushrooms give lovely crunch and a flavour boost to sandwiches and wraps. In fact, a grilled Portabella mushroom makes a great sandwich “filler” itself! Just layer the mushroom between Mushroom Panini Sandwichtwo slices of whole grain bread and top with some cheese, herbed mayonnaise or some more fresh vegetables.

Soup. Make canned soups more interesting and more nutritious by adding sliced fresh mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes to soften the mushrooms if you wish.

posted by Brittany