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. 

Varieties and Taste

If you are a Mushroom Lover like I am, chances are you eat as many mushrooms as you can! Growing up, my mom’s cooking was full of mushrooms and her favourite was always the Portabella. Mine was white button. White’s just seemed so easy- they were perfect on pizza and was always a favourite of mine on a veggie platter. Every person I know has that one go-to mushroom variety and until I began my time here at Mushrooms Canada, I wasn’t even fully aware of all of my choices! Here’s a brief breakdown of the 7 different varieties that our local Farmers grow in Canada.

White Button: The most popular mushroom variety in Canada. They are white in colour and have a woodsy flavour that becomes stronger with cooking.
Crimini: Similar to the White Button mushroom, but are brown in colour. Also has a more intense flavour than the White’s with a more meaty texture.
Portabella: Have a meaty texture as well, because these are full grown Crimini’s! They have the large brown caps and are packed full of flavour.
Oyster: These velvety mushrooms have a funnel shape and a mild flavour.
King Oyster: Very sweet with a woodsy flavour. They have a tan coloured cap and a thick, white stem.
Shiitake: Dark brown in colour with a flat cap. Woodsy flavour and a meaty texture and is great in Asian-inspired cooking.
Enoki: Long slender mushrooms with tiny caps. These are bright white and have a delicate flavour and a slight crunch, similar to a bean sprout. For that reason, Enoki are great in salads, wraps and stir-fries.
For a more detailed description of each variety, click here. Hopefully this will help you, as it did me, find your new favourite variety! Since I loved my White Button’s so much, I opted to try Crimini’s and am happy I did!
What’s Your Go-To Mushroom Variety?


Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday
I’m sure at this point everyone has seen the #hashtag and has embraced the concept of eating meat-free meals on Mondays. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Meatless Monday is an online initiative that encourages the elimination of meat from meals, one day a week.

There are many personal health benefits of going meat-less including fighting the risk of Diabetes, improving your diet and curbing obesity and long-term weight gain. Replacing meat in your diet means lower calorie consumption and a larger intake of essential vitamins and minerals. That’s where mushrooms come in!

Many mushroom varieties have a meaty texture (like crimini and portabella) that make them very versatile in meals that typically contain meat. Try adding mushrooms to your meal- replacing the meat with mushrooms instead. This is great for burgers and lasagna; cut up mushrooms, cook them the same way you would cook the meat, and enjoy in any recipe. This is an easy technique that will cut down on calories and cost and will up your nutritional intake.

Try going Meatless today with some of my favourite recipes:

What are your favourite Meatless Monday recipes?


Mushroom Storage: Keep them in a Brown Paper Bag

“What’s with the brown paper bags?” It’s a common question. The answer is pretty simple, it keeps them fresher for longer.

You see, the brown paper absorbs excess moisture, allowing the mushrooms to breathe, whereas plastic traps moisture causing the mushrooms to absorb it. That is precisely why mushrooms kept in plastic bags in your fridge will go slimy.

Refrigeration is also key. Keep them cold and they won’t get old! At room temperature, mushrooms lose colour and flavour quickly. It is said that for every hour a mushroom is left in room temperature, the shelf life decreases by 8 hours. The same rule applies to packaged mushrooms. If the package is unopened, the mushrooms will store well in the refrigerator. Once the package is opened, place the mushrooms in a paper bag.

Brown paper bags + Refrigeration = tasty and delicious mushrooms for days!