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Mushroom Mania

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Disclaimer:  This blog post addresses cultivated mushrooms vs. wild mushrooms, and especially not truffles (are they really mushrooms?). Neither does this blog post discuss “magic mushrooms”* (mushrooms containing psilocybin).

Why and How I Eat Mushrooms Practically Everyday!

Yes, I really do eat (and/or drink) mushrooms almost every day. The more I learn about the health benefits of mushrooms, the more motivated I am to include them regularly in our meals and recipes. Mushrooms are so delicious and there is such a great variety and so many different ways you can cook them.

Dvora griddling mushrooms on the panini maker.
Dvora griddling mushrooms on the panini maker.

Why are mushrooms such a big deal to plant-based eaters?

  • Flavor:  Mushrooms are delicious!  When I was growing up, the only mushroom variety we ate and knew about was the white button mushroom.  I used to consider mushrooms a special delicacy.  But now I buy a variety of mushrooms regularly and include them in many meals throughout the week.  
  • Nutritious:  Mushrooms are one of the healthiest foods we can eat, and including just two mushrooms a day can significantly decrease our risk of cancer. A fungus and not a vegetable, mushrooms are high in fiber and help build a healthy gut microbiome and improve heart health. As a source of Vitamins B and D, they support brain health and improved immunity. Different varieties of mushrooms have different nutrient profiles.
  • They’re “Meaty”:  For those who are transitioning from meat to plant-based eating, mushrooms can be prepared to take on a meaty flavor and consistency.

Your Fears About Mushrooms: Are Raw Mushrooms Safe?

Raw or cooked?  While raw mushrooms available in supermarkets are generally safe to eat (after cleaning), we have limited ability to digest the beneficial components, thus the nutrient bioavailability is much higher for us in cooked mushrooms. I like cooked mushrooms a lot more. Mushrooms can be sautéed, grilled, roasted, braised, griddled, to name just a few methods of cooking. 

*“Magic Mushrooms” or “shrooms” refer to the varieties of the species famously known for their hallucinogenic properties. Current research is now pointing to the therapeutic effects shown for many medical issues.

Weird Fact: Weird fact:  Inky cap mushrooms are toxic when consumed with alcohol, so that is one mushroom I will definitely avoid! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an Inky Cap mushroom, let alone eaten one. But I learned that from watching THIS youtube video on mushroom watercolor painting.

Where I Like to Buy Mushrooms

We always buy a variety of mushrooms at the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market in Oakland on Saturdays. When we go to Costco, we also stock up on the beautiful and well-priced organic mushrooms they carry. That’s usually shitake, white buttons, and crimini, and sometimes portabellas. Of course, you can buy mushrooms at any market, and you can also keep dried dehydrated mushrooms in your pantry to use at your convenience.

Shitake, white and min-bella mushrooms in packages from Costco.
Organic mushrooms from Costco–varieties shown here are shitake, white and mini-Bella/
A wide variety of mushrooms, packaged and loose, in the refrigerator case at Whole Foods.
Mushrooms at Whole Foods
Gourmet mushrooms in boxes for sale at Grand Lake Farmers' Market in Oakland CA.
Gourmet mushrooms in boxes for sale at Grand Lake Farmers’ Market in Oakland CA.
  • Local Farmers Market
  • Costco – I love stocking up on well-priced organic mushrooms when we make a Costco run. Depending on season and stock-on-hand, you may find:
    • Portabello
    • Shiitake
    • White Button
    • Crimini
    • Dried Mushrooms
  • Whole Foods – pretty great variety of organic and conventional mushrooms
  • Local/Chain Markets – Safeway (and Diablo Foods and Berkeley Bowl) in our locale.

Some of My Favorite Mushroom Recipes

  • Roasted Portobellos
  • Lentil-Mushroom “Meat” Balls
  • Miso Mushroom Soup
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Sautéed mushrooms on pasta
  • Griddled mushrooms
  • Vegan Mushroom Soup
Mushroom lentil balls on a pan.
Mushroom Lentil Balls which have been baked in the oven.
White bowl containing miso mushroom soup with tofu, seaweed and sliced scallions floating in it.
Vegan Miso Mushroom Soup
Quinoa-stuffed portabella mushroom with asparagus to the sides topped with clilantro sauce
Quinoa-stuffed portabella mushroom with asparagus to the sides topped with clilantro sauce
Mushroom Tofu Lettuce Wrap on white plate.
Mushroom Tofu Lettuce Wrap

Some of My Favorite Mushroom Dishes at Local Restaurants

Each of these have vegan options.

  • Comal Next Door in Oakland: Spinach and Mushroom Burrito – (I have to order two so I’ll have leftovers!)
  • Tane Vegan Izakaya in Berkeley: Grilled Mushrooms and Shizen Shiitake. Their sushi is AMAZING!!!
  • Ramen Shop in Oakland: Veggie Meyer Lemon Shoyu Ramen — Request to add Roasted Mushrooms (additional charge – WORTH IT!!!!)
  • Sliver Pizzeria (multiple locations) – on a day when they have mushroom topping (Lafayette location always has that choice!). Don’t miss the cilantro sauce!
Three different type of grilled mushrooms from Tane Izekaya in Berkeley.
Three different type of grilled mushrooms from Tane Izekaya in Berkeley.
Lemon Veggie Ramen witih added roasted mushrooms. Second bowl of ramen in the background and to go box.
Veggie Meyer Lemon Shoyu Ramen with roasted mushrooms from Ramen Shop .

My Favorite Mushroom Dish Abroad

  • Madrid: Mesón del Champiñón – We enjoyed this place so much on each of our two trips to Madrid when our kids were on semester abroad from UCSB. Great mushrooms and sangria during our tapas crawl!
Roasted mushrooms on a pan.
Roasted mushrooms on a pan.
Chopped gourmet mushrooms dry sauteed in All-Clan saute pan.
Chopped gourmet mushrooms dry sauteed in All-Clan saute pan.
Griddled mushrooms on panini press.
Griddled mushrooms on panini press.

Did You Watch Fantastic Funghi?

We loved this film. It was so educational and inspirational, but also really gorgeous. Don’t miss it. Another more academic film I about fungi is ZOE  Mushrooms as Medicine:  Uncovering the Health Secrets of Fungi

Vegan pizza from crust in Miami with red peppers, olives, onions, mushrooms, in a box.
Vegan Pizza from Crust in Miami
Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods including mushroom pastry, mixed mushrooms, green beans, roasted potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted squash and cranberry sauce.
Whole Foods Thanksgiving Dinner including roasted mushrooms, mushroom-stuffed pastry and mushroom sauce.

Morning Mushrooms? Mushrooms in my Coffee!

Upon the wise inspiration of Dr. Joel Kahn, I’ve also recently started to add Cocotropic cocoa mushroom mix to my coffee, and I am alternating that with FreshCap Ultimate Mushroom Complex Powder .

Do you cook with mushrooms? What is your favorite recipe? Name a new mushroom you’re willing to try! I want to know so tell me HERE!

Disclaimer: Please note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I share items with which I have direct experience and that I find useful in my pursuit of healthy living, self-care, and healthy travel. I hope that you find these helpful, and I would appreciate your feedback.

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