Mushrooms are edible fungi that come in lots of different shapes, colors, and sizes. Some are toxic, but many varieties are healthy for human consumption and very tasty too. They add a unique flavor to different cuisines and have a lot of nutritional benefits.
The most common types of fungi that are available in stores include:
- Enoki beech button or white mushroom
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms contain vitamins, protein, and antioxidants that have several health benefits. They are cholesterol-free, fat-free, low-sodium, and low-calorie vegetables. Their antioxidant agents include vitamin C, chlorine, and selenium. They help to protect the body from damaging free radicals that can cause cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants also boost your immune system and protect against damage from aging.
They also have Beta-glucan fiber that improves cholesterol, boosts heart health, regulates blood sugar, and reduces the risk of getting diabetes. Vitamin B improves the nervous system, heart health, and the digestive system. Copper in mushrooms helps your body make red blood cells and maintain healthy bones and nerves. Potassium is important to improve the function of the heart, muscles, and nerves.
Signs That Mushroom Are Bad
- They are slimy – The quickest way to detect if mushrooms are fresh is if they are slimy. This may be caused by staying in the fridge for a long time. Slimy mushrooms are dangerous for your health and should be tossed away.
- They have wrinkles and shriveled patches – When mushrooms are kept for a long time, they dry out and develop wrinkles. While it may be okay to let your mushrooms dry out a little bit, they may not be healthy if they look shriveled. Throw away wrinkled mushrooms to avoid risks of food poisoning.
- They emit an odor – One practical way to know if your mushrooms have gone bad is by smelling them. Fresh mushrooms have a light and subtle scent and should not have a strong or noticeable odor. Get rid of mushrooms with bad odor to avoid health problems.
- They have stayed for over two weeks or more – The shelf life of mushrooms is about two weeks in the fridge. Factors like moisture levels and fridge temperatures can affect their freshness. If you start noticing dark spots, then you should dispose of the mushrooms since they may probably be hazardous to your health.
How to Properly Store Mushrooms
- Use plastic bags and paper towels – Keeping mushrooms in plastic bags or paper towels will ensure that they remain fresh. This helps to keep them moisture-free. It is important to change the towels regularly if they stay for a longer period. Mushrooms are usually sold in cardboard wrapped with plastic or sealed bags, which are perfect for storing them. It is important not to tamper with the bag if you are not ready to use them.
- Freeze them – Raw mushrooms retain a lot of water, making it difficult to freeze them. For best results, first, cook them and then pack them into freezer bags or airtight containers.
Mushrooms can be prepared in a variety of ways and combined with other dishes. Ensure you get your mushrooms from a reliable source as some may be toxic.