What Secrets Are Mushrooms Hiding?
You may not know it, but mushrooms are keeping secrets from you—a hoard of culinary and nutritional secrets. It’s fairly common knowledge that mushrooms are high in protein, making them a perfect meat substitute, and that they tend to add a robust flavor to meals. But what else do we know? Here are a few things you might not have known about fungi friend:
Hard to Overcook
You may have noticed that it’s pretty hard to overcook mushrooms; I know I’ve left them too long in the pan or crock pot, but they seem to emerge tender and full of flavor. This is because the cell walls that make up the mushroom contain a polymer called chitin, which is heat stable, meaning it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down and becoming tough.
Can be Stored Long-term
You can either cold-freeze your mushroom or dehydrate your mushrooms for long-term storage. We prefer drying them with a food dehydrator because, once they are dry, they can be stored for several years. And it is easy to rehydrate the mushrooms; just soak in warm water for twenty minutes and pat-dry with a towel.
Source of Vitamin D
Yes! Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, and you can insure that by placing your mushrooms in direct or indirect sunlight for up to an hour. This is also why it’s a good idea to grow and harvest your own mushrooms because you control the amount of sunlight they receive. Often commercial mushrooms are grown in the dark, thus producing less vitamin D. Learn more about the nutritional value of mushrooms with Ken Babal's book.
- Jordan Freytag