Veg in focus: Mighty mushrooms
Succulent and sometimes 'meaty', mushrooms are delicious in an array of dishes and pack a nutritional punch By Guilda Akopians
November sees the start of the Winter months commence and food plays a really important role in our day-to-day nourishment and comfort. The days are darker and shorter, and the weather starts to get bitterly cold.
Warming food gives comfort to our day, as well as sustenance to keep us energised and satisfied when we might perhaps be less active and looking for 'comfort' through food to get us through the shorter days!
As always, my main focus is enjoying foods that are healthy, nutritious and in season. Regardless of what season we are in, there is always an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available to us throughout the year.
In the month of November, I wanted to focus on 'mushrooms' as they are plentiful in our shops as well as now widely offered in a variety of delicious dishes in cafés and restaurants.
What are mushrooms all about?
Mushrooms come in lots of different shapes, sizes and colours and are an extremely healthy and tasty addition to any dish, some even offering a meaty-like texture as a plant-based substitute to meat (king oyster mushrooms and shiitake work especially well in stews, casseroles and curries)!
If you choose to go foraging for mushrooms you need to be extremely careful, because a lot of wild varieties can be poisonous. If you are not familiar with wild mushrooms it is always best to buy from your local supermarket or independent farmers market to ensure you buy a clean and toxin-free variety.
What's in season?
In the month of November, the following fruits and vegetables are in season, however, I want to shine the spotlight on the almighty mushroom! Mushrooms are a rich, low-calorie source of fibre, protein and antioxidants.
Personally, my two favourite types are shiitake and portobello and here, I will share some delicious recipes using these two varieties.
Mushrooms are are also low in calories and just 1 cup of your favourite mushrooms contain approximately 32 calories, 0g fat, 3.3g of carbs, 1g dietary fibre, 3.1g protein and a good balance of vitamin C, D and B-6 as well as 2 per cent magnesium.
How can we enjoy mushrooms?
Fungi can be eaten in many ways using their numerous tasty varieties. Try some of the different ways mentioned here.
Top Tip:To make this a complete meal, add some protein by serving this dish with ½ avocado per person (smashed and spread over your bread) and sprinkling some dry toasted pumpkin seeds on the top!