Practical Plates: Eight reasons to eat mushrooms

Mushrooms are a great vegetable to add to anyone’s meals. Here are eight reasons to add mushrooms to your meals!

1. Selenium is a mineral that works as an antioxidant to protect body cells from damage that might lead to heart disease, some cancers and other diseases. Mushrooms are among the richest sources of selenium.

2. Copper helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Copper also helps keep bones and nerves healthy.

3. Potassium is an important mineral many people do not get enough of. It aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, which helps control blood pressure. Mushrooms have 267- 407 mg of potassium per serving, which is 9 percent of our daily needs.

4. Vitamin D, is essential for healthy bones and teeth. One serving of 4-5 mushrooms provides 15 IU (International Units) of this important nutrient.

5. B vitamins riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5). These vitamins help break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates so they can be used for energy. Pantothenic acid helps with the production of hormones and plays an important role in the nervous system.

6. Riboflavin helps maintain healthy red blood cells.

7. Niacin promotes healthy skin and makes sure the digestive and nervous systems function properly.

8. One cup of mushrooms contains only 15 calories!

You can enjoy mushrooms raw or cooked. Beware, not all wild mushrooms can be eaten. Do not pick wild mushrooms without the assistance of an expert.

Fresh mushrooms need cool air flowing around them. Stored on a tray in the refrigerator, unwashed, in a single layer. If you buy them bulk, keep them is a paper bag or in their original packaging for up to one week.

Just before using, wipe mushrooms thoroughly with a damp towel or rinse lightly and pat dry.


Mushroom beef sloppy Joes

1/2 pound white button mushrooms

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms

1/4 pound 90% lean ground beef

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 can 8oz no-salt-added tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 whole-wheat buns


Wash hands. Chop mushrooms to approximate size and texture of cooked ground beef.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and mushrooms and cook. Sauté until ground beef is done. Remove mushroom-beef mixture from pan.

Add onions and garlic to pan; cook until golden.

Return mushroom-beef mixture to pan, along with remaining ingredients. Simmer about 10 minutes; remove from heat. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information: Calories 280, Fat 11g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 240mg, Carbohydrates 37g, Fiber 6g, Total Sugars 13g, Protein 13g


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