Sometimes covered in dirt, mushrooms don’t always look appetizing. In Asia mushrooms are considered a symbol of healthy and longevity. They’re rich in immune-boosting properties. They’re surprisingly antioxidant rich and regular consumption can help protect against cardiovascular disease. They’re also a great food for weight-loss as they’re low in calories, good fiber, and very filling.
Eating: Raw mushrooms contain compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients so it’s preferable to eat them cooked.
Preparation: To clean them, wipe them off with a damp paper towel to remove the dirt.
Selection: Organic is best because mushrooms absorb much of the pollutants in the air, water, and soil they grow in. The caps are best when smooth and unblemished, avoid slimy ones. If you’re buying small mushrooms, flip them over and see if the cap is separating from the stem. If it is, it’s less fresh so choose ones with no gap.
Storage: NEVER in a plastic bag or open container, they’ll spoil much quicker. Refrigerate them in a closed paper bag and they’ll be good for about a week.
Nutrition: The most nutritious mushrooms are shittake and maitake.