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Mushrooms | Types | How to Store & Clean | Nutrition

Not only are mushrooms delicious, but they are nutritious as well. Because of their many health benefits, they are known as “superfoods.”

If you’re looking for a fantastic sautéed mushroom recipe, you can find it here. Baby Bellas sautéed with olive oil, butter, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, shallot salt, parsley, and freshly ground pepper. Hungarian mushroom soup is one of those out-of-this-world recipes that your entire family will love. It gets rave reviews every day.

A wooden box filled with a variety of fresh mushrooms.

Mushrooms add an earthy flavor to any recipe they grace. Add them to salads, sauté to top steak, create hearty soups, or bake them in quiches. The possibilities are endless.

There are over 2,000 edible mushroom varieties, but only a relatively number are readily available in regular supermarkets.

Interesting Mushroom Facts

Did you know that mushrooms are often thought of as vegetables, but they are really a fungus?  Some people feel they should be put into their own food category because they are neither plant nor animal.  

There are a couple of different species of mushrooms that cost thousands of dollars per pound.  

About 90% of the mushroom is composed of water.  

An interesting fact is there are over 75 different species fungi that actually glow in the dark?   

Mushrooms were once used to dye fabric.  

Over 200,000 insects are repelled by mushroom spores.  

The largest mushroom in the world is grown in Oregon.  It spans 2,200 acres.  This mushroom is the largest living organism on the planet.  

One tiny region of the United States produces 65 percent of the nation’s mushroom production.  They are grown in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  That county produces over 400 million pounds a year.  

Creating a Cozy Life Group

Since you clicked on this post on mushroom tips, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 51,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Types of Mushrooms

Chanterelle Mushroom

The color of a chanterelle mushroom can range from an egg-yolk yellow to a reddish orange hue. They have a delicate flavor with a chewy texture. Their beautiful trumpet shape give these unique mushrooms even more allure.

If you purchase the mushrooms fresh, make sure you eat them right away. Dried chanterelles are also available.

Season Availability: summer through fall

Cremini or Brown Mushroom

Mushroom Types - Cremini Crimini or Brown Mushrooms in a Basket

The cremini (sometimes spelled crimini) or brown mushroom looks like the cultivated button mushroom. They are more earthy tasting than their cultivated counterparts. The colors range from a light tan to rich brown.

Season Availability: Year-round

Enoki Mushroom

Enoki Mushrooms on a cutting board - Mushroom Variety

The Enoki mushroom have long stems with tiny caps on the ends. The texture is crunchy and the flavor is mild. Colors range from white to golden.

Preparation: You’ll want to trim the base and separate the stems.

Season Availability: Year-round

Morel Mushroom

Morel Mushrooms in a rustic bowl

You can easily recognize a morel mushroom with its honeycomb cap and hallow stalk. It has an intense, woodsy flavor with a meaty texture.

Dried morels are also flavorful and less expensive than the fresh variety, which makes them ideal for cooking.

Morels can be found in the spring from March until May.

Oyster Mushroom

Oyster Mushrooms in a basket on a rustic surface.

Oysters are now cultivated and widely available. They have a mild, delicate flavor with a chewy texture.

The most readily available mushrooms are a pale brown color with a grayish hue. They also come in pink and yellow varieties. They have fluted shell-shaped caps with a thick stalk.

Season Availability: Year-round

Portobello Mushroom

The gills of a portobello mushroom - Mushroom Varieties

Portobellos are easy to recognize because of their large tan cap, dark brown gills, and thick white stems. Their caps can be as large as 6 inches in diameter.

They have a meaty flavor and firm texture. Portobellos are the perfect meat substitute. Enjoy them grilled or broiled.

You can buy portobello mushrooms whole, slices, and as baby portobellos (Baby Bellas) that are larger than cremini.

Season Availability: Year-round

Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake Mushrooms in a pile raw

The shiitake mushroom is woody flavor with a meaty texture. Color ranges from tan to dark brown. Has an umbrella-shaped cap. Note: Remove and discard stems before using.

In Asia, eating shiitakes is recommended for a healthy, long life and research backs up that claim. Stimulating the immune system and lowering cholesterol are just some of the benefits found.

Season Availability: Year-round (peaks in spring and fall)

White or Button Mushroom

White or button mushrooms sliced on a cutting board.

White button mushrooms have a mild mushroom flavor that intensifies on cooking. Color ranges from creamy white to beige. Comes in small (button), medium and large (used for stuffing).

Season Availability: Year-round

Buying Mushrooms

You can find most mushroom varieties in your grocery store year-round. Some type are seasonal.

Look for mushrooms with closed gills that have firm, smooth caps. Avoid ones that have brown spots or cracks. You also don’t want a shriveled or moist mushroom.

How to Store Mushrooms

Keep your mushrooms unwashed until you use them.

If you buy your mushrooms in a container, that’s the best way to continue storing them.  The containers they put them in are designed to breathe, which enables them to release the ethylene gas they give off.  

The plastic wrap will on top of the containers will help keep the mushrooms fresh until you break the seal.  Once you do, simply store the remaining mushrooms in the same container and add more plastic wrap to the top.  

Most mushroom types will last 4-10 days in the refrigerator depending on the variety.  

If you don’t buy them in a container, the next best method of storing according to Cook’s Illustrated is to place your mushrooms in a plastic bag, with the top slightly open so they can breathe.

Avoid storing any type of mushroom near vegetables with strong aromas.

How to Clean Mushrooms

You don’t want to wash or soak your mushrooms because they are porous and will absorb the water.  It will make them taste watery.  

Try cleaning them with a damp cloth or paper towel first.  You can also use a soft mushroom brush. If the mushrooms still have a lot of dirt on them, rinse with water and then immediately dry them thoroughly.  

If you don’t cook them right away, the water will cause them to get slimy.

Trim the stems of your mushrooms. Discard the stems of shiitake mushrooms.

Mushroom Foraging

Foraging for wild mushrooms has become a popular pastime. For more information on how to forage for mushrooms you can check out this article from Mother Earth News.

Keep in mind that a poisonous mushroom can look nearly identical to an edible mushroom. If you’re interested in foraging for mushrooms, make sure you get the professional training you need.

Cultivating Mushrooms

You can order mushroom spores from specialty websites. While I’ve never grown my own mushrooms myself, mushrooms like shiitakes can be grown with minimal effort.

Mushroom Nutrition

Mushrooms are a great source of fiber and protein.   They are also high in anti-oxidants.  

Some of the nutrients they have are potassium, copper, selenium, and B vitamins.

They also are a good source of vitamin D when the spores have had sun exposure. Vitamin D is essential for helping your body absorb calcium.

Did you know that mushrooms have antioxidants that may help boost the health of your brain? Even more reason to eat these wonders of nature.

Mushroom Teas

As health benefits of mushrooms have become an increasingly popular way to fuel your body, there’s been more products made featuring these superfoods as the star ingredient. Tea is one of my favorite ways to add nutrition to my day.

Mushroom tea is naturally caffeine free, gluten free, and acid free. It gives your body a natural energy boost without the aid of stimulates.

You can find my favorite mushroom tea here on Amazon.

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite mushroom variety is and your favorite recipe that stars these tasty morsels.  

How to Grill Mushrooms

Grilled Mushrooms on Skewers

Portobello mushrooms are large enough to be grilled whole. Smaller mushrooms should be threaded on skewers to keep them from falling through the grill and make it easier to turn them.

If you didn’t marinate your mushrooms before grilling, simply brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Adding fresh herbs to mushrooms will give them more flavor. Sprinkle savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and rosemary over mushroom caps before grilling.

Your favorite mushroom is done when they are lightly browned and tender. Move any vegetables away from the hottest part of the grill if they are browning too fast.

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life – Hygge Style Facebook group.  You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

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More Delicious Mushrooms You’ll Love

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Saturday 3rd of July 2021

I love mushrooms. They're my favourite thing to use when I want a little something extra with my veggies, since I'm a vegan who doesn't like the "meaty" taste of meat substitutes, so I make my own versions with mushrooms, jackfruit, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, or various vegetables. Garlic mushrooms, mushroom and onion pie, as well as mushroom burgers, are a couple of examples of favourite ways of mine to use mushrooms.


Sunday 4th of July 2021

Hello Tori! Thanks for writing in. Your diet sounds amazing. I've been leaning towards vegetarian meals lately. Your meals sound amazing! Kelly

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