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The mushroom, a healthy fungus

  1. In autumn the mushrooms shoot out of the ground outside. Many species that you see in the forest are unfortunately not tasty, tough or even poisonous. Fortunately, their edible counterparts are available in stores all year round. It is high in nutrients and low in calories, so the mushroom and its relatives are a healthy ingredient.

  1. Mushrooms can be found in the vegetable department, but they are not actually vegetables. They are the fruiting bodies of fungi or fungi. They used to be associated with witchcraft. They also get their name from this: witches and wizards had toads as pets and they would sit on a mushroom. Names such as devil's egg, witch circle and fairy bench also remind us of this superstition. The caps and stems that protrude above the earth are only a small part of the entire fungus. The fungi are largely underground, in the form of long, branching threads. Mushrooms play an important role in the reproduction of fungi. A coating on their caps forms spores, which, like the seeds of a fruit, spread and produce new mushrooms.

Useful ingredient

  1. The average Dutch person eats 2.5 to 3 kilograms of mushrooms every year. White mushrooms are the most popular, but oyster mushrooms, shiitake and chanterelles are also increasingly on the menu. It contains vitamin B2, folic acid, potassium and fiber, among other things. Mushrooms themselves are a low-calorie addition to the meal. For example, 100 grams of raw mushrooms contain only 14 kilocalories. The disadvantage is that they absorb oil easily. In the pan they slurp full of fat, so you quickly have to add extra oil or butter and the mushrooms are no longer as slim as they were. It is thought that you can eat mushrooms instead of meat. It does contain some protein and iron, but because they contain little vitamin B12, they are not suitable as a complete meat substitute.

Buy and keep

  1. Depending on the temperature, there are plenty of mushrooms growing in the wild in summer and autumn. If you are not an expert, it is difficult to distinguish edible from poisonous ones. A poisonous type of food can give you diarrhea, but in the worst case it can even kill you. So just pulling out with a basket is certainly not recommended. The range of wild mushrooms varies by season and depends on the weather conditions. The mushroom season is not limited to autumn, some varieties are already above the ground. You can buy morels in spring, summer truffles in May, chanterelles from August, followed by trompettes de la mort and pieds de moutons and porcini mushrooms from October. The cultivated variety is in the shops all year round. Buy mushrooms that are clean, dry and have no brown spots. Packed in a plastic container with holes or in a paper bag, you can keep mushrooms in the refrigerator for a day or three. Do not keep them near products with a strong odor, such as onions, as they absorb odors easily.

Prepare

  1. Mushrooms are delicate and absorb moisture, so clean them with care and do not soak them in a container of water. Gently wipe the soil off with a brush, tea towel or kitchen paper. You can also rinse quickly under the tap. If necessary, cut away stubborn dirt and also cut a slice off the bottom of the stem. Raw mushrooms contain the toxic substance agaritine. The Nutrition Center therefore advises to eat a few slices raw at the most. Briefly baking, boiling or deep-frying reduces the agaritine content and also benefits the taste. Mushrooms largely consist of water that is released during preparation, so they shrink quickly. You can use them as a substitute for or in combination with vegetables. A few suggestions: Tomato soup with dried mushrooms Roasted portobello burger with ricotta and arugula Mushroom bundle Spicy mushrooms on toast with Asian salad Stew with mushrooms, pepper and ham

  2. Mushrooms are delicate and absorb moisture, so clean them with care and do not soak them in a container of water. Gently wipe the soil off with a brush, tea towel or kitchen paper. You can also rinse quickly under the tap. If necessary, cut away stubborn dirt and also cut a slice off the bottom of the stem. Raw mushrooms contain the toxic substance agaritine. The Nutrition Center therefore advises to eat a few slices raw at the most. Briefly baking, boiling or deep-frying reduces the agaritine content and also benefits the taste. Toads



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