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Common Mushrooms – What You Should Know

Common Mushrooms

Well-prepared mushrooms make a dish more exquisite and delicious. If you’re not familiar with cooking with mushrooms, you might be confused about what mushrooms to cook and with what dish. Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. The essence of this article is to enable you to get familiar with the most common mushrooms. So sit back and enjoy!

Morel

Morels are one of the most desired mushrooms in the world. They are found in the wild in wooded areas and can also be bought in stores.

Morels are so delicious to eat; words can’t describe how tasty they are. Morels are very hard to find making them a rock star food and very expensive. These mushrooms are loaded with all kinds of nutrients that are good for the body, and will generally contain significant amounts of Iron, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin D, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin and a decent dose of Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium, Thiamine, Vitamins E and B6.

Common mushrooms - morels
Morel mushrooms

White Button

White buttons are the most popular of common mushrooms and they are what a lot of people visualize when talking about mushrooms. These mushrooms have a reputation for being too squishy and bland, however, if cooked properly, they are a crispy, delicious and good source of protein. It can be quite straightforward to grow your own indoors with a growing kit. The best way to prepare white buttons is to rinse them in water for a few seconds, sauté them in a pan filled with oil and add them to a dish. You can also eat them on their own.

Fresh white button mushrooms
Fresh white button mushrooms

Cremini

Cremini mushrooms are closely related to White Button mushrooms. They are also more expensive than the White buttons. The key difference between the Cremini mushroom and the White button mushroom is age.

Cremini mushrooms
Cremini mushrooms

The White button mushrooms are the younger variety. The Cremini mushroom is a mature version of the White button and it has a similar taste to it. Creminis are usually used in stews and soups.

Portabella

Portabellas are the same species of mushroom as White Buttons and Creminis. They are just the fully mature version of White Buttons. Portabellas are fleshy and can be used as a substitute for meat. You can fry, toast, grill or toss them in a pasta sauce. Portabellas are a rich source of Vitamins B and D. You can buy spawn and then grow your own.

Portabella mushrooms
Portabella mushrooms

Lion’s Mane

Also known as hou tou gu or yamabushitake, the Lion’s Mane mushroom contains bioactive agents that provide lots of benefits to the human body. Lion’s Mane may help protect against dementia, help relieve mild symptoms of depression, fight cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, protect against against ulcers, protect the brain, and may help in speeding up recovery from nervous system injuries.

Lion's Mane mushroom
Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Hericium Erinaceus

These mushrooms can be enjoyed raw, cooked, dried, in tea, or they can be bought in capsule form.

Reishi

The Reishi mushroom is also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi and is mainly found in the hot and humid parts of Asia. If you’re finding it difficult to sleep, then you should try the Reishi mushroom. It aids natural sleep. It is said to fight cancer, balance the blood sugar level in the body, and fight allergies. You can cook Reishi, grind it into powder (or buy it in powdered form) or add it to a drink or a dish.

Reishi mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms

Shiitake

The Shiitake mushroom is a special species of mushroom that contains cancer-fighting antioxidants. They are a good source of vital nutrients and minerals. You can purchase Shiitakes either fresh or dried or ground into powder. If fresh then you just remove the stems, sauté for a short while and then add them to your dish. If dried you can either add them directly to your dish or soak first before adding.

Shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms

Hedgehog

Hedgehog mushrooms (scientific name Hydnum repandum) are relatively easy mushrooms for beginners to identify because of the spikes under the cap of the mushroom which look like little spiny teeth.

These mushrooms are low in fat and calories, and high in protein and nutrients such as iron, manganese, calcium, and zinc.

hedgehog mushroom
Hedgehog mushroom

Maitake

Maitake mushrooms (Grifola Frondosa), also known by their common name the hen-of-the-woods, are edible mushrooms which do not have gills. They are particularly popular in Japan. They contain several vitamins and minerals and are low on calories.

Maitake mushrooms
Maitake mushrooms

Porcini

Porcini mushrooms (scientific name Boletus Edulis) have a large cap and are also known as penny buns, king boletes, or ceps.

They are very flavorsome, contain plenty of vitamins and nutrients, and are widely available.

Porcini mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms

Conclusion

Mushrooms are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. It’s a straightforward task to cook with them. Adding mushrooms to your meal takes the dish to a different level. The health benefits of these common mushrooms should make them a must-have ingredient.

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David Moore

David Moore

A computer programmer for many years, I have an interest in mushrooms for culinary and health purposes. I feel that there are many people who might find that the inclusion of mushrooms as part of their diet would provide a boost to their well-being.

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