Reduce your sodium intake with Mushrooms

Are you a big fan of salty snacks? My weekend go-to’s tend to be a bag of chips or the pickle jar! Seriously, even when I try to be healthy and eat a salad, I load up on the sodium-packed salad dressings. Friday nights for me tend to be my pizza night, which of course also has a high salt content.

Reduce the salt in your Friday night with this Mushroom and Shrimp Pizza.

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Portabella Excellence

One of my favourite mushrooms to eat in the summer has got to be the Portabella Mushroom. Since they are such a large mushroom, they tend to lose much of their moisture during growth. This lack of moisture is what gives them that meaty texture and makes them an excellent substitute for meat and a vegetarian’s best friend. In the summertime, I simply can’t say no to a Portabella Burger or a Stuffed Portabella, especially when they are jam-packed of all that good-ness – and I don’t mean just the yummy filling!

One large Portabella Mushroom has more potassium as a banana and is loaded with B Vitamins, Minerals, Fibre and Antioxidants. Fresh mushrooms offer nutrients such as beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, compounds that are currently being studied for their cancer preventing capabilities. Recent research suggests that mushrooms (and mushroom extracts) may have powerful anticancer activity for both breast and prostate cancers – Wow!
The Portabella is a very versatile mushroom that can be grilled, baked, or deep fried and is great as an appetizer, side dish, or even an entree! You may also find that the Portabella has a similar taste profile to the Crimini Mushroom. This similarity is no coincidence! Portabella’s are simply full grown Crimini Mushrooms that have been left in the substrate longer – Now you know!!
With all of this Portabella talk, I MUST share a few of my favourites for you to enjoy as well:

What is your favourite Portabella recipe?


Summertime Veggie Panini

Are you having a tough time with your weight this summer? It’s been hot scorching this summer and I’ve spent most of it in a bathing suit, which is great, until the BBQ fires up. I can’t help myself when I’m surrounded by delicious foods and I know I’m not alone. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians are either overweight or obese and feeling great can be difficult in summer swimwear.

Adding Fresh Mushrooms to your diet can really help make summer snacking and mealtimes far more comfortable to enjoy poolside. Mushrooms are 90% water so they help you feel full while you intake fewer calories. Feeling fuller, faster, will help prevent over-eating, with research showing that people who eat satisfying portions have greater weight loss success.

For last night’s dinner, I made a fantastic Veggie Panini using Fresh Crimini Mushrooms and I was full after my one sandwich! Not only did it fill me up, but just one of these Summertime Veggie Panini’s also filled my boyfriend, who can typically eat a lot.
Fresh Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
½ Avocado, sliced
2 slices of Cheese
4 Cucumber slices
Red Onion slices
1 small Tomato, sliced
2 slices of French bread
Butter the outside of your chosen variety of bread and add all ingredients to taste. Preheat panini press. Once press is heated, grill sandwich for approximately 1 minute or until golden. Slice and Serve. 

It’s Summer! What are you Bringing to the Party?

It’s officially the first day of summer! Boy oh boy has it felt like summer this week too with temperatures reaching 34C and feeling even hotter! I also know its summer because wedding season has hit and the back yard parties are in full swing.

I’m attending my cousins wedding this weekend and had to turn down a backyard barbeque and a pool party invitation! Everyone is excited to dive into summer entertaining. I’ll be hosting a few relatives in between the ceremony and reception this weekend so I hit the recipe collection for great appetizer and finger food ideas that will hold everyone over in the afternoon.
Crunchy Peanut and Mushroom Spring Rolls are always a party favourite and look beautiful on the table! An app that’s easy to prepare ahead of time is the Chicken and Mushroom Strudel with Cucumber Sauce, which has a light summery appeal. If there are children in the group or if you have “big kids” like my family does, these Crunchy Portabella Fingers will fly off the plate!
Here are some of my other favourites:
Whatever the occasion is this summer, Mushrooms Canada has the recipe for you! Don’t forget to include raw mushrooms in your veggie trays this summer! Fresh mushrooms have high water content, are low in fat and contain some fibre, so they help you feel full without the extra calories. A great tip for those of us concerned about how we look in our party dresses 😉
What do you have planned this weekend and what dish are you bringing?


Guest Post: How to Incorporate Mushrooms Into Your Diet by Jennifer Molnar

Mushrooms are clearly beneficial as both foods and drugs. The question is, how can we benefit from their unique disease-fighting and health-promoting properties?

One option is mushroom supplements. While mushroom tonics, powders and extracts have been popular in Asian countries for a while now, Canada is catching up: there are already a handful of licensed natural health products containing reiishi and shiitake extracts for immune system support.

An even better (and more delicious) option is to simply eat more mushrooms. Mushrooms contain a lot of things that are good for us. “A 100-gram serving of fresh white mushrooms—about 4 or 5 medium-sized mushrooms—has only 25 calories, no cholesterol and is virtually fat-free,” says Brittany Stager, Marketing Manager at Mushrooms Canada. To add to their health-conscious nutrient profile, mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light (most commercial type have) are a good source of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that is typically obtained only from animal-based products like meat, poultry and seafood (20). “Just one serving of shiitakes can provide up to 48% of your daily requirement for vitamin D,” Stager explains. Better yet, mushrooms contain dietary fibre, are low in sodium and are a good source of riboflavin, copper, selenium, niacin and panthothenic acid.

To find fresh, tasty mushrooms, look no further than your neighbourhood grocery store or farmer’s market for locally grown finds. According to Stager, many of the most popular types are produced right here in Canada. “There are seven varieties of fresh mushrooms grown in Canada,” she says. “White, crimini, portobella, shiitake, oyster, king oyster and enoki are all grown and harvested from coast to coast every day of the year.” Even thick slices of the melon-sized giant puffball have been known to appear at Ontario farmer’s markets from time to time.

To up your mushroom intake, Stager recommends adding half a cup of white button mushrooms to your omelette instead of cheddar, or tossing diced grilled portabella with pasta in lieu of sausage. These swaps will cut your sodium intake by a significant amount and provide you with extra potassium. Not bad for a fungus.

Any way you slice it, the world as we know it simply wouldn’t exist without fungi. Through reading this and the other wonderful articles in this volume, I hope you have gained an appreciation for—or at the very least, an understanding of—these fascinating organisms and their contribution to food, health and medicine. And maybe, just maybe, you will come to love mushrooms as much as I do.

Thanks so much Jennifer for joining us as a guest blogger. For those of you who missed Jennifer’s first post on Medicinal Mushrooms, you can find it here.

Don’t forget to follow Jennifer over on her blog The best thing I ever ate…and then some, and on Twitter.