Finding out what vitamins and minerals are contained in a food always interests me. I sometimes find out some surprising qualities of food which makes me think, perhaps I should be using them more in my cooking.
The mushroom is one of those foods that I've never really liked mushrooms. I've not disliked them, but never found them very interesting. For that reason it has taken until recently for me to try cooking with them myself to see if I can 'make' myself like them.
Why have I decided to start cooking with mushrooms?
Mushrooms are relatively low in calories (24 kcal/100g), carbohydrates (0.3g/100g) and fat (0.3g/100g) but do contain around 3.3g/100g of protein1 . They also contain some other vitamins and minerals, without costing any calorie points. Seems to me a good reason to like them, they're not going to do harm, in fact they'll be very good.
What's vitamins and minerals does the mushroom contain?
Vitamin D is the big headline. The reason being is that normally it is only animal produce that naturally contains Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed in our bodies, it helps control levels of calcium and phosphates. It helps keep our bones and teeth healthy2. However, a standard button mushroom that has been farmed does not contain much Vitamin D at all. It is only the mushrooms that have undergone UV exposure that then produce Vitamin D1 . One source seems to indicate that even supermarket mushrooms can be given a boost through exposure to sunlight, however it doesn't say whether this works if they have already been picked.
Mushrooms do contain a good levels of1:
Niacin, or vitamin B3, is needed to help produce energy from the foods we eat. It also keeps the nervous and digestive systems healthy2. Contains around 23% RDA1 .
Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is needed to keep skin, eyes and nervous system healthy. It also helps produce steroids and red blood cells2. Contains around 30% RDA1 .
Pantothenic Acid which helps to release energy from foods2. Contains around 20% RDA1 .
So looking at what they contain, what is there that's not to like? I'm definitely going to be including mushrooms more in my cooking. They seem to give a lot and could count towards the five-a-day rule, even though they are not technically a fruit or a vegetable.
How am I making myself like them?
To break myself into liking them gently I've tried adding them to normal dishes that I cook, chopped small so I can get past the idea of a 'rubbery' texture that I've had in the past. I guess this is due to eating them previously and they haven't been prepared well. Kinda like squid, great when prepared well. Next I'll be trying different types of mushrooms and potentially trying them as the star of the course! This last idea will take some build up, I still can't imagine myself eating a large mushroom as the main attraction. In time it will happen.
When are mushrooms in season in the UK?
It seems that mushrooms are in season all year round in Great Britain. I guess you have to just look in the right places. Personally I wouldn't know which are poisonous though so I'd rather not risk it.
Sources used for this article
Images: Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- Written by Stuart Edge
- Category: Nutritional Content
- Published: 03 June 2012