If you have the notion that not much goes on inside a mushroom, then we’ve got a surprise for you! Portobello mushrooms can be a nutrient powerhouse.
These versatile fungi can easily be incorporated into even the most selective of diets. From glazed to grilled, raw to steamed, Portobellos are a must-have for a healthy diet. Enjoy raw portobello mushrooms in a salad, tossed into soups and stews, chopped into burgers or meatballs, or mixed into quiche and egg dishes, lasagna, and even dips. As wild as your culinary imagination may be, there are just as many new and exciting ways to dine with portobellos!
The health benefits of portobello mushrooms
Like humans, mushrooms convert sunlight into a usable form of Vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, essential minerals for bone health and strength.
In addition to being one of the few foods to contain Vitamin D, mushrooms also contain selenium, potassium and other minerals. They also possess chemical compounds that have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Some of the other ways that mushrooms support health include antioxidant activity, supporting the body’s ability to manage cholesterol in the blood, and fighting inflammation.
In particular, portobello mushrooms deliver big on nutrition: one half-cup serving provides 100% of the recommended daily intake for Vitamin D. Portobello contains compounds called beta glucans within their cell walls. Beta glucans provide support for the immune system by activating your body to mount a defense against invaders.
Tips for buying and storing portobello mushrooms
Whether you choose the baby ‘bellos or the bigger portobello mushroom caps, keep these buying and storage tips in mind:
- Portobellos should be firm, but not hard and never gummy. It’s typical to see dirt residue, but you should not see mold. Ideally, you want to buy organic.
- Don’t store near odorous foods, such as onion or garlic, unless you want the fungi to absorb that flavor.
- After purchasing, immediately refrigerate in the original packaging for up to one week. After that, quality will diminish.
- Before using, wipe gently with a damp cloth. This will remove dirt and protect the delicate skins. It’s okay to gently rinse under cool water and drain. Do not soak.
- Store the unused portion in a brown paper bag; do not freeze uncooked portions; you can, however, freeze once sauteed.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger Recipe
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of portobello mushrooms, what’s an easy, delicious way to add them to your diet? Grilled portobello mushroom burgers!
They’ve got enough zest and heartiness to satisfy even the meat-eaters in your family. These Portobello burgers are a great option for vegetarians, vegans, and anybody who wants to incorporate more plant-based foods in their diet. Replacing beef with mushrooms is also an easy way to reduce calorie consumption overall.
- 4 portobello mushroom caps
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon organic olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 thick slices red onion
- 4 oz reduced fat Swiss cheese, sliced thin
- 4 thin slices of tomato
- 1/2 avocado, sliced thin
- baby spinach
- 4 whole-wheat buns (your favorite brand)
- In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Place the mushroom caps in the bowl and toss with sauce, using a spoon to evenly coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, turning a few times.
- Heat the grill or indoor grill pan over medium heat. When hot, brush the grate with oil or lightly spray the grill pan.
- Place the mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until tender, brushing with marinade frequently.
- Top the mushrooms with cheese during the last minute of cooking.
- While the mushrooms cook, grill the onions for about 1 minute on each side and grill the buns until toasted.
- To finish, place the spinach and grilled portobello mushrooms on the buns and top with the grilled onions, sliced tomato and avocado.
Whether you decide to make portobello mushroom burgers or add them to your plate in another way, portobello mushrooms are a nice addition for any diet.