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"Cooking with Mushrooms"

Mushrooms are quite the versatile vegetable, as they are eaten raw, cooked whole, sliced, diced, or chopped. When cooking with mushrooms, it never hurts to have enough tips under your belt. To get a few ideas on how to prepare your mushrooms, as well as use them to your advantage, consider the following suggestions:

* Sauté mushrooms on low to medium heat in order to extract the best flavor. When you wish to achieve the best texture – sauté on high heat.  Short cooking times will produce a more subtle texture.

* One pound of mushrooms create a little over five cups of sliced mushrooms. When sautéed, this turns into two cups of mushrooms.

* When preparing salad, soups, and pasta, consider adding sliced mushrooms.

* When creating a vegetable platter, don’t forget the mushrooms.

* To dress up a burger, try adding grilled Portobello mushrooms.

* Sliced mushrooms are a must in healthy stir-fries.

* If it's hard to swallow the taste of mushrooms, try hiding them in the cheese of your next homemade pizza.

* Create a kabob on the grill by adding bell peppers, squash, pineapple, and mushrooms to your skewers.

Nutritional Value

Mushrooms are jam-packed with nutritional benefits, as they are full of protein, B vitamins (riboflavin and niacin), as well as minerals like selenium, potassium, and copper. Additionally, mushrooms are low in calories and contain antibacterial substances that are good for the body. When cooking, it is highly recommended to side with fresh selections, as this will provide the highest nutritional benefit. Canned versions tend to consist of much more sodium.

Also, while it may be tempting to search for wild mushrooms on your own, store-bought is safer, as you don’t want to chance incorrectly identifying a mushroom that is poisonous. Make a mistake and you could suffer cramping, diarrhea, convulsions, liver damage, and in some cases – death.

Cleaning Mushrooms

Cleaning mushrooms should take place only when you are ready to use them. Any pieces of debris on the surface should be removed, which is accomplished through rinsing with cold running water, as well as gently wiping with a damp cloth, paper towel, or soft brush. If you wish to retain the color of your mushrooms during the preparation of a meal, you can use a small amount of lemon juice.

Suggested Recipes

Once you are ready to explore the many different ways to cook with mushrooms, you will find an assortment of delicious and satisfying recipes. A few to consider include Mushroom Melts, Green Beans and Mushrooms, Mushroom Pate, and Mushrooms with Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce.