Mushrooms have been used in cooking for centuries, but did they know they can also be used as a protein alternative to meat? Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or simply have a sensitive digestive system, finding a good source of protein can be challenging. Luckily, mushrooms are a versatile and nutritious option that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Benefits of Mushrooms as a Protein Alternative
Mushrooms are a low-calorie, low-fat, and low-carbohydrate food that is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are an excellent source of feeding your body the protein it needs to build muscle, maintain energy levels, and support healthy brain function. Mushrooms are also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestion. In addition, mushrooms are a great source of protein, with some varieties containing up to 3 grams of protein per 100 grams of mushroom!
Mushrooms are also a great option for people who have a sensitive digestive system. Unlike meat, which can be difficult for some to digest, mushrooms are easy to digest and can help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating and gas.
Types of Mushrooms
There are so many types of mushrooms, the list of endless! Some of the most popular varieties include.
- Portobello Mushrooms: Portobello mushrooms are large, meaty mushrooms that have a rich, earthy flavor. They are often used as a substitute for beef in dishes such as burgers and stews.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms have a meaty texture and a savory, umami flavor. They are often used in Asian cuisine and can be added to stir-fries, soups like ramen, pho, shabu, hot pot and many other noodle dishes.
- Oyster Mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms have a delicate, velvety texture and a mild, nutty flavor. They are often used as a substitute for chicken in dishes such as stir-fries and tacos.
- King Oyster Mushrooms: King Oyster mushrooms have a meaty texture and a mild, nutty flavor. They are often used as a substitute for pork or chicken in dishes such as kebabs and curries.
How to Cook with Mushrooms
Mushrooms can be used in almost any dish, it’s really a chef’s choice here and you don’t have to stick to a specific type of mushroom either! Here are some tips for cooking with mushrooms.
- Clean the mushroom thoroughly before using them. Use a damp cloth, paper towel or a mushroom brush to wipe away any dirt of debris.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms before cooking. The stems can be tough and woody and are not as flavorful as the caps.
- Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces before cooking. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from becoming too mushy. Make sure that your mushrooms are not wet when cooking as they do absorb water and can become mushy-like.
- Add your cooked mushrooms to dishes at the end of cooking, as they cook quickly and can also become mushy if overcooked.
- Experiment with different cooking methods! Try grilling, roasting or sautéing, to find the best way to cook your mushroom!
Recipes Using Mushrooms as a Protein Alternative
- Portobello Mushroom Burgers: Grill or roast portobello mushroom caps and serve them on a bun with your favorite toppings, such as tomato, lettuce, avocado, onions. Don’t forget your favorite spreads!
- Shiitake Mushroom Sir-Fry: Stir-Fry shiitake mushrooms with vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, carrots, and onion. You can add garlic and ginger to give your dish an extra kick of flavor. Add your preferred noodles or rice and enjoy!
- Oyster Mushroom Tacos: Sauté oyster mushrooms with garlic, chili powder, and cumin and serve in taco shells with avocado, salsa, and some cheese!
Using mushrooms as a protein substitute is also good for the environment. Meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. By choosing mushrooms as a protein substitute, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainable agriculture practices.
Shroomie Bros provides weekly blogs which include how to grow your own mushrooms at home, however you can also purchase them from your local farmer’s market!Now get to cookin’ and see for yourself why this fungus is a favorite of so many