Although people don’t often associate the word “fungus” with gourmet cooking, mushrooms can make a wonderful, tasty, and healthy contribution to one’s daily diet. Mushrooms range in size and flavor from the delicate enoki to the robust, meaty portabella. They can be delightful add-ins to soups, salads, or stews; or stand alone entrees such as portabella burgers. In addition to flavor, mushrooms are low Calorie (15-44 Calories/cup) and nutrient rich. Mushrooms can be a good source of potassium, copper, selenium, and B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. In addition, mushrooms are a rare plant source of vitamin D. Interestingly, the vitamin D content may further increase if the mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet light prior to harvest. For more information on the care, preparation, and nutritional value of mushrooms check out the Nutrition Facts Sheet on “Discover Mushrooms: Nature’s Hidden Treasure” at www.eatright.org or the “Love Food” section of the July/August 2008 issue ADA Times.
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