Health

15 Health Benefits of Mushrooms According to Science (+5 Delicious Mushroom Recipes)

Many food experts and enthusiasts alike classify mushrooms as vegetables, but this is not the case. Mushrooms are scientifically classified as belonging to the Fungi Kingdom. Despite this, mushrooms are packed with nutritious benefits. This may come as a surprise as it is a well-known fact that the most nutritional foods are colorful yet majority of edible mushrooms are white. Mushrooms have been used as traditional medicine in several Asian countries for centuries, and it is only recently that Western scientists have begun investigating the medicinal properties of mushrooms (1).

This article aims to explore some of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms to human health. The article will also present delicious and healthy mushroom recipes that the readers can make at home.

Some of the major benefits of mushrooms according to science include:

1. Mushrooms can help in the fight against cancer


Different studies have found that edible mushrooms contain significant amounts of antioxidants (1, 2, 3). Antioxidants are responsible for scavenging the free radicals, which are responsible for cancer development in the body (4).

One study found that the Reishi mushroom improved cancer patients’ response to chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments (5). The study also found that the mushroom elevated the body’s self-defense against the cancer tumor cells in the patients, as well as providing them with a higher quality of life post-treatment.

The active components in mushrooms responsible for the death of cancer cells include lectin, krestin, polysaccharides, hispolon, psilocybin, and lentinan (6). Experts agree that the polysaccharides derived from mushrooms such as beta-glucan are extremely potent against tumor formation, and possess immunomodulating activities.

Studies have also shown that psilocybin, the active compound of hallucinogenic mushrooms, can help combat anxiety and depression in patients with advanced cancer (7, 8).

Another group of researchers found that regular dietary intake of edible mushrooms can result in a significant reduction of breast cancer risk (9). One study, which focused on the chaga mushroom, found that it promoted apoptosis of breast and prostate cancer cells, as well as demonstrating significant anti-inflammatory activities (10). The Reishi mushroom has also been proven to have therapeutic effects against Inflammatory Breast Cancer (11).

One study conducted on Korean premenopausal and postmenopausal women found that regular consumption of edible mushrooms significantly reduced the risk of breast cancer among the postmenopausal women (12).

Mushrooms have been found to be a source of the trace element selenium (13). Scientists have shown that selenium is important in the prevention of prostate cancer when taken in correct amounts (14). Another study found that high levels of exposure to selenium led to a decrease in the risk of breast, gastric, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancers (15).

One group of researchers found that selenium was effective in preventing lung cancer among people with lower levels of the trace element (16). The same study found that selenium was critical in the reduction of toxicity related to radiation treatment of lung cancer.

In addition, scientists have confirmed that some varieties of mushrooms contain Vitamin D (17). Several studies have indicated that there is a strong correlation between insufficient levels of Vitamin D and the development of cancer, especially colorectal cancer (18, 19). Studies have established that Vitamin D is effective in lowering the risk and mortality of colon, breast, and prostate cancers (19).

Another way that mushrooms help combat cancer is through their folate content (20). Portabella, Enoki, White Button, and Shiitake mushrooms have been found to be excellent dietary sources of folic acid. Studies show that an increase in dietary intake of folate is inversely related to lower occurrences of colon, pancreas, and breast and gut cancers (21, 22).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms contain folate, vitamin D, selenium, essential polysaccharides, and psilocybin, all of which are responsible for inhibiting tumor growth, causing cancer cells to die, as well as preventing inflammation that may result in the spread of cancer cells.

2. Mushrooms can help prevent and control diabetes

The vitamin D found in some mushrooms is important in controlling blood sugar in people. One study found that non-diabetic patients over the age of 65 years who were given vitamin D reported a lower rise in blood glucose over a period of three years (18).

Animal studies have demonstrated that the Reishi mushroom possesses hypoglycemic effects (23). One study discovered that polysaccharide extracts from the Reishi mushroom helped in regulating blood glucose levels in patients with type II diabetes (24). It is believed that the free radical scavenging and anti-oxidative properties of the Reishi mushroom help manage diabetes in animal and human models (25, 26).

The polysaccharides in Maitake mushrooms have also exhibited hypoglycemic action in patients with type II diabetes, while the beta-glucans found in the Reishi mushroom have been found to also possess hypoglycemic properties, as well as destroy the present diabetic symptoms (25, 27, 28).

Scientists also opine that mushrooms are effective in preventing hyperglycemia owing to their high fiber and protein content, as well as low fat concentration (27). Some of the anti-diabetic activities of mushrooms include inhibiting the absorption of glucose, increasing insulin release, providing antioxidant defense, lowering inflammation, as well as the regulation of insulin dependent and independent pathways (28).

Studies have shown that mushrooms contain natural enzymes and compounds that resemble insulin that help in the breakdown of starch and sugar, as well as improve insulin resistance in the body (29). Furthermore, mushrooms contain compounds that ensure the proper functioning of the liver, normalize blood pressure, as well as other endocrine glands that control and regulate the production of insulin and its associated hormones (29).

Another animal study found that extracts from the oyster mushroom was effective in lowering glucose levels in diabetic mice, as well as repairing DNA fragmentation and chromosome damage caused by the diabetes (30). Thus, it is hoped that mushroom consumption can help reverse the damage diabetes causes on DNA and chromosomes in human beings.

The beta-glucans found in mushrooms actively reduce blood glucose levels thereby inhibiting the onset of diabetes, as well as reversing the damage in diabetic patients (31).

Bottom Line: mushrooms have anti-hyperglycemic substances that help lower glucose levels in the blood stream. Thus, mushrooms can be used in the control and prevention of diabetes.

3. Mushrooms are effective in the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases

Some edible mushrooms contain vitamin D, which scientists have shown is useful in the prevention of heart disease. The vitamin protects the heart by suppressing inflammation around the heart and the vessel walls that surround it (18).

Regular dietary intake of mushrooms is recommended in the prevention of atherosclerosis and LDL oxidation, both of which are significant contributors to cardiovascular diseases. Experts explain the effectiveness of mushrooms in this regard is due to their low fat but high fiber content, as well as their antioxidant properties (27).

In addition, mushroom intake has been shown to decrease the levels of total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol while at the same time increasing the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol (29). Their ability to lower the bad cholesterol in the blood is attributed to the presence of essential beta-glucans in the mushrooms (31).

One of the major complications that arise from diabetes is different types of cardiovascular diseases. As mentioned in the previous section, mushrooms contain beta-glucans that help in the prevention and control of diabetes, thereby preventing the occurrence of CVDs in patients (31).

Another study found that oyster mushrooms were effective in reducing diastolic and systolic blood pressure in patients, intimating that mushrooms can be used in the prevention and control of high blood pressure in people (31). Effective control of hypertension can prevent diabetes as well as other cardiovascular diseases, among other connected complications.

Studies have shown that regular intake of foods with relatively high levels of dietary fiber such as mushrooms can help reduce the risk of coronary disease, as well as CVD mortality (32). Scientists believe that dietary fiber targets the risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases such as high levels of LDL-cholesterol (33).

Mushrooms are also one of the richest foods when it comes to potassium content. One study showed that potassium had the potential of lowering blood pressure, and slowing down the spread of renal disease, both of which are essential in preventing cardiovascular diseases (34).

Studies have also indicated potassium-rich foods such as edible mushrooms can aid in preventing stroke, especially amongst post-menopausal women (35). Scholars have also demonstrated that reduced levels of potassium in the body increases the risk of ischaemic heart disease, heart arrhythmias, heart failure, and ventricular hypertrophy (36).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms can help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases because they contain dietary fibers, vitamin D, potassium, and polysaccharides, all of which are effective in lowering bad cholesterol, controlling blood pressure, preventing inflammation, as well as controlling the levels of blood sugar in the body.

4. Mushrooms can boost immunity

One study found that daily consumption of shiitake mushrooms improved human immunity significantly (37). The same study found that the mushrooms also caused a drop in inflammation in the participants.

Mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which are important stimulating the immune system by increasing immunoglobin, and immune response cells such as natural killer cells (38, 39).

Shiitake mushrooms have been found to stimulate the action of macrophages, as well as their formation (40, 41). Extracts from the cordyceps mushroom are also known to stimulate the activity of macrophages (42). Macrophages are the white blood cells that are usually the first to respond to infections.

Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, an immune modulator that has the capability of increasing CD4 and neutrophil cells (43, 44). CD4 cells are the white blood cells responsible for targeting HIV, while neutrophil is the primary white blood cell that is responsible for battling the infection.

Edible mushrooms contain selenium (13), which, if in right quantities, can help enhance the immune function, especially when it comes to the clearing of the poliovirus (45).

Selenium also helps prevent immoderate immune responses thereby preventing chronic inflammation (46).

Consumption of cloud mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) on a regular basis has been shown to enhance immunity in patients with breast cancer, with promises that the mushroom has the same effect when faced with other types of cancers (47).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms help in boosting immunity because they contain beta-glucans and selenium, among other compounds that are important in stimulating the immune system.

5. Mushrooms can help with weight management

Vitamin D, a major component of several edible mushrooms, is useful in reducing the risk of obesity. Studies have shown that low levels of the vitamin are significantly associated with a higher risk of obesity (18).

The high fiber content found in mushrooms has been linked to weight loss owing to the fiber’s ability to suppress appetite, preventing people from overeating, as well as improving metabolic function (48, 49, 50).

Animal studies have shown that dietary intake of Shiitake mushrooms results in lower weight gain, lower levels of fat deposition, as well as lower levels of triglycerides (51).

One study found that eating low energy density food such as mushrooms instead of high-density foods such as meat could reduce daily energy and fat intake, thereby promoting healthy weight management (52).

Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of beta-glucans in mushrooms can prevent obesity in people. Scientists have demonstrated that these compounds help reduce body weight (31, 53).

One particular study found that volunteers who took a mushroom diet exhibited a lower basal metabolic rate, reduced waist circumference, higher satiety, lower fat and calorie intake, lower glucose levels, reduced levels of the obesity biomarker, lower cholesterol, and lower overall weight, compared to volunteers on a meat diet (54).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms are effective at assisting in weight management owing to their high content of fiber, beta-glucans, and vitamin D.

6. Mushrooms can boost energy levels, reduce stress, and improve brain function

Mushrooms contain a wide variety of vitamin B including vitamin B12 (55). Majority of the subtypes of vitamin B are crucial in cell energy production boosting cell energy levels in the body (56).

Thiamine (vitamin B1) helps supports the function and structure of the cell membranes in the cell. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps in the metabolism of fatty acids in the brain, it regulates the thyroid hormones as well as the absorption of iron in the same organ. Niacin (vitamin B3) repairs brain DNA, provides antioxidant protection, and supports oxidative occurrences in the brain. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) supports oxidative processes, as well as determining and supporting the function and structure of the brain cells (56).

Pyridoin (vitamin B6) is critical in the regulation of serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, as well as glucose in the brain. Deficiency in this vitamin is signified by depression, dementia, and receding cognitive function (56).

Biotin (vitamin B7) is essential in the metabolism of glucose in the brain, and homeostasis. Folate (vitamin B9) and Cobolamin (vitamin B12) are integral to the process of gene expression and DNA repair, and their deficiencies results in severe fetal development issues, psychiatric issues, as well as severe forms of anemia (56).

The Vitamin D contained in some mushrooms is critical to brain function. One study showed that chronic Vitamin D deficiency resulted in cognitive decline in elderly patients over a six-year period (18, 57). Another study found that an increase in vitamin D levels could help protect against Parkinson disease (18, 58).

Studies conducted on the Antrodia camphorata mushroom have shown that its fruiting body prevented inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain and surrounding areas (59). In addition, the fruiting body improved memory function in both animal and human models. The same study found that the vegetative part of the mushroom provided protection against the risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease (59).

Another study found that mushroom consumption leads to increased protection from Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia (60).

Cordyceps, otherwise known as caterpillar fungus is effective in increasing cellular energy, and enhancing physical stamina in athletes as well as the elderly (61). The caterpillar fungus has also been long recognized as a tonic for reducing fatigue in individuals (62). Another study found that the caterpillar fungus could help improve exercise performance in healthy individuals aged 50-75 years (63).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms contain vitamin B and D, both of which are integral to proper brain function. Mushrooms have also been known to help reduce fatigue, and increase energy levels especially in athletes and the elderly.

7. Mushrooms possess antiviral , antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial activities

Several credible studies have demonstrated that the Reishi mushroom possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties (23).

One particular study demonstrated that polysaccharides from dietary sources such as mushrooms could inhibit the cell-to-cell infection of HIV, as well as cell free infection (64). Another study indicated that the triterpenes found in the Reishi mushroom possess strong anti-HIV properties (65, 66).

In addition, polysaccharides from the Abalone mushroom, and the tinder conk mushroom suppressed the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (67, 68). The Maitake mushroom is also considered a strong anti-HIV agent (69).

In addition, the Reishi mushroom, alongside other herbs, has been shown to enhance recovery in patients suffering from herpes genitalis and herpes labialis (23, 70).

Polysaccharides derived from the almond mushroom showed strong antiviral activities against the herpes simplex virus (71, 72).

Another study found that an acid from the Reishi mushroom has shown to be effective in protecting animal organs from damage caused by Hepatitis B (73).

Extracts and polysaccharides from the Shiitake mushrooms have shown antiviral activity against the poliovirus and the herpes simplex type 1 virus (45, 74). Water-based extracts from different varieties of mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake, chaga, and the compact tooth, have shown protective activity against the Herpes simplex virus type 2 in mice models (74).

The Shiitake mushroom has been known to exhibit antifungal properties against a number of fungal infections due to the high content of lentin, an antifungal protein (44).

The Reishi mushroom has demonstrated significant antibacterial properties against a number of bacterial infections such as E. coli, M. luteus, S. aureus, Salmonella typhi, Proteus vulgaris, and B. cereus (23, 27, 75). Studies have shown that extracts from the Reishi mushroom are more effective against these bacterial infections than major types of antibiotics.

One group of researchers found that the extracts from the wood ear mushroom were effective in combating infections from the E. coli and S. aureus bacteria (76). Another study found that extracts from the king oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) possessed similar antimicrobial activities against E. coli and S. aureus (77).

The extracts from the tinder conk mushroom have displayed antibacterial properties against Helicobacter pylori, which is a bacterium responsible for stomach ulcers (67).

The selenium found in mushrooms possesses anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties (78).

A group of researchers found that the beta-glucans found in the oyster mushroom have the potential of protecting athletes from infections of the respiratory tract (79).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms contain compounds that demonstrate anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties in the human body. These compounds are effective against HIV, Herpes Simplex, polio, as well as bacterial and fungal infections.

8. Mushrooms can help in the treatment and control of gastric and liver injuries

Animal studies have demonstrated that the fruit body of the Reishi mushroom possesses protective properties against liver injuries caused by ingestion of carbon tetrachloride and ethanol (81, 82). It is believed that the extracts from the mushroom can provide hepatic protection owing to its free radical scavenging properties.

The Shiitake mushroom has also demonstrated efficacy in protecting liver cells from galactosamine and paracetamol induced liver injury as well as other types of acute liver injury (83, 84). Furthermore, the vegetative part of the Shiitake mushroom contains vanillic and syringic acids, both of which hinder liver fibrogenesis, a process that could lead to liver cirrhosis or fibrosis (85).

Other studies have conclusively shown that the Reishi mushroom can help heal gastric ulcers (23).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms contain compounds that are effective in preventing and repairing injuries in the liver and gut.

9. Mushrooms can aid in treating vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is critical to the proper functioning of the body yet millions of people worldwide are considered vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is the main cause of rickets (in children), and osteoporosis, as well as a contributory factor in the development of multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and different types of cancer (86).

Mushrooms are considered a good source of vitamin D (17), and scientists deduce that mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet B rays can be used in curing vitamin D deficiencies (87). This is because exposing the mushrooms to UVB increases their vitamin D content significantly.

In addition, normal edible mushrooms contain a compound known as ergocalciferol, which can be transformed into calcifediol, a pre hormone, in the liver and kidneys, thereby increasing the levels of vitamin D in the body (87).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms are a critical source of vitamin D, especially for vegetarians. This vitamin is critical for the proper functioning of the human body.

10. Mushrooms can be effective in promoting oral health

Purified extracts from the Shiitake mushroom have demonstrated antibacterial properties against oral bacteria and other pathogens, illustrating their importance in promoting oral health (60, 88).

One study found that extracts from the Shiitake mushroom, when used as an oral mouthwash, led to a better plaque and gingival index compared to a water placebo, and a leading mouthwash. The study concluded that the shiitake extract could be instrumental in preventing and managing periodontitis, gingivitis, and dental caries (60, 89).

Another study found that extracts from the shiitake mushroom inhibited the demineralization of dentin, thereby promoting oral health (90).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms are good for oral hygiene because their inherent compounds destroy pathogens in the mouth.

11. Mushrooms can protect against aging, and age-related degenerative diseases

Scientists have discovered that specific mushrooms can aid in the inhibition of age-related degenerative diseases of the brain (91). For instance, the bitter tooth fungus (Sarcodon scabrosus) helps to rejuvenate the production of neurites in the brain, which are essential for the building of neurons in the brain (92). Extracts from the Reishi mushroom protect the neurons in the brain from dying, as well as encouraging their differentiation (93).

The Lion’s Mane mushroom is responsible for not only promoting neuronal differentiation, but also ensuring the survival of the neurons (94). One study found that the mushroom was effective in repairing cognitive impairment in persons aged between 50 to 80 years old (95).

Owing to their considerable vitamin D content, mushrooms are considered important in the prevention of age-related macular deterioration (96).

Another study found that extracts from the almond mushroom helped reduce oxidative stress in the brains of aged mice, as well as increased the antioxidant capacity of brain compounds. In addition, the extracts stimulated the respiratory enzymes of the mitochondria in the brain (97).

Researchers also found credible evidence to suggest that edible mushrooms can help in the mitigation of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, both of which are age-related degenerative conditions (98, 99).

Bottom Line: Mushroom extracts have been proven effective in inhibiting the progression of age-related degenerative diseases such as dementia by stimulating neuron growth in the brain.

12. Mushrooms can help prevent or control allergies

Several scientific studies have implicated that mushroom extracts can be used in the treatment of allergic conditions. Animal studies have shown that extracts from the Reishi mushroom possessed properties that inhibited the release of histamine in the cells of the animals (27).

Scientists have also discovered that dietary intake of the Poplar Knight mushroom eases, as well as destroy the allergic symptoms in patients who suffer from Buerger disease and hives (27).

One study revealed that the vegetative part of the shiitake mushroom could prevent and treat allergic asthma in animal models and clinical trials (100).

Bottom Line: mushrooms have anti-histamine capabilities thereby preventing allergic reactions and conditions including asthma.

13. Mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory properties

Conclusive scientific studies on the black hoof mushroom (Phellinus linteus) have shown that it contains anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent and control arthritis and ear edema, both of which are caused majorly by inflammation (25, 27).

Selenium, a trace element found in mushrooms, has been proven efficient in modulating inflammation in the body, preventing instances of chronic inflammation (45, 101). Excessive inflammation can result in cancer, coronary disease, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

The Reishi mushroom has also been shown to be useful in easing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (102). In addition, one study found that both the Shiitake and white button mushrooms were effective in reducing the risk and severity of arthritis caused by collagen in mice studies (103). Based on the findings, the scientists hypothesized that the mushrooms could be effective in preventing, and managing rheumatoid arthritis in humans.

Bottom Line: Some edible mushrooms help in regulating inflammation in the body, thereby assisting in the prevention of inflammatory diseases including edema and arthritis.

14. Mushrooms are good for the hair and skin

Scientists have found that the bioactive compounds found in mushrooms including selenium, terpenoids, vitamins, phenolic, and polysaccharides among others, possess anti-wrinkling, moisturizing, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties, all of which boost the health of the skin (104).

Mushrooms, such as the button mushroom, contain tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the first step in melanin formation for the skin (105). Another study found that the tyrosinase extracted from the button mushroom was effective in the treatment of vitiligo and other similar skin conditions (106).

Scientists have also discovered that mushroom extracts are effective in increasing the turnover rate of the human skin, as well as repairing the damaged molecular components of the dermis that provide elasticity and structure to our skin (107).

Selenium, a constituent in some edible mushrooms, has been known to possess potent hair-strengthening capabilities (104). One study found that diminished levels of selenium caused severe hair loss during menopause (108).

Another study showed that the Reishi mushroom was the strongest inhibitor of the transformation of testosterone into DHT, which, if in high levels, results in baldness in males (109, 110).

Researchers also found that the beta-glucans found in the Reishi mushroom helped protect animal models that were suffering from Lewis lung carcinoma from hair loss (111).

Bottom Line: mushrooms contain several bioactive compounds that help protect the skin from aging and losing its pigmentation, as well as protect against hair loss in both men and women.

15. Mushrooms are a source of copper

Mushrooms are an excellent dietary source of copper because they are able to accumulate this mineral from the environment into their fruiting bodies (112, 113). Human beings require trace amounts of copper in order for their bodies to function effectively.

For instance, proper levels of copper in the body permit adequate absorption of iron in the intestines, allow for adequate release of iron from the spleen and the liver, as well as ensure that iron is properly incorporated into hemoglobin (114). Owing to its integral role in iron utilization in the body, it is known that copper can help prevent anemia.

Copper is also useful in regulating blood pressure, promoting blood coagulation, hormone synthesis, and in the transformation of energy (114).

Individuals who suffer from copper deficiencies have problems with blood pressure control, proper heart functioning, and issues with the breakdown of glucose and cholesterol (114, 115). Studies have also found that copper deficiency is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis (114).

Bottom Line: Mushrooms contain copper, which is important for various biological functions including iron absorption, release, and utilization. The mineral is also important in energy transformation in human cells. Copper can also help in the prevention of osteoporosis, blood pressure complications, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Tasty and Healthy Mushroom Recipes

Mushrooms have been a part of gourmet meals in different parts of the world for centuries now. Their exemplary taste and their unique flavor have made them a significant part of most meals, especially for people who are looking for ways to substitute meat with other healthier foods. The following are some tasty and healthy mushroom recipes that you can make for you and your family members, and friends.

Cream of Mushroom and Barley Soup

This high fiber delicacy is capable of serving four people (116).

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of white mushrooms (sliced)

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil

  • 200g of pearl barley

  • A liter of chicken or mushroom stock

  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

  • 3 finely chopped celery stalks

  • A teaspoon of salt

  • 4 minced shallots

  • A teaspoon of ground pepper

  • 200 ml of white wine

  • Two cups of boiling water

  • A tablespoon of minced sage (fresh)

  • Two tablespoons of butter

Procedure

  • Boil the barley, and about 200 ml of the broth in a saucepan. Cover the saucepan, and let the mixture simmer for the next 25 minutes, and then remove from heat.

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven, and add the shallots, followed by the mushrooms when the shallots become soft. It should take 8 minutes for the mushrooms to become brown.

  • Pour in the sage, pepper, salt, and the celery, and cook until they are soft.

  • Add the all-purpose flour and stir it in for approximately one minute then add the white wine followed by the rest of the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the fire, to let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

  • Pour in the cooked barley, and let the mixture continue cooking. Finally, pour in the sour cream.

Authentic Mushroom Risotto

This dish will take approximately fifty minutes to prepare, and can serve six individuals (117).

Ingredients

  • A pound of thinly sliced Portobello mushrooms

  • 1 lb. of white mushrooms

  • ½ to 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese (grated)

  • ½ cup of white wine or white wine substitute

  • 6 cups of chicken broth

  • Three tablespoons of olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons of butter

  • Three tablespoons of finely chopped chives

  • Two diced shallots

  • A cup of Arborio rice

  • Salt to taste

  • Black pepper to taste

Procedure

  • Heat the broth under low heat

  • Put two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan, let it heat, and then put in the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for about three minutes, or until they are soft.

  • Place the mushrooms and accompanying liquid in a proper bowl and set aside.

  • Heat the remaining oil in a skillet, and cook the shallots for a minute.

  • Pour in the rice, and thoroughly stir until it is coated with oil. When the rice turns golden in color, pour in the wine, remembering to stir profusely

  • Add half of the broth into the rice, and stir until it is completely absorbed. Add the remainder of the broth slowly, and continue to stir until the rice is tender but firm.

  • Remove the mixture from the heat, and pour in the mushrooms and their liquid, as well as the parmesan, chives, and butter. Season the food with as much pepper and salt as you prefer.

Mushroom Pork Chops

This savory meal takes approximately 40 minutes to get ready and can serve six individuals (118).

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. of sliced mushrooms (preferably Crimini)

  • A cup of sliced onions

  • 4-6 pork chops

  • A can of cream of mushroom soup

  • Salt and pepper depending on your taste

  • Two teaspoons of olive oil

Procedure

  • Put salt and pepper on the pork chops

  • Heat one teaspoon of oil in a large skillet, and sear the pork chops in the hot oil for two-three minutes on both sides. Remove the chops once the turn brown, and cover them to keep them warm.

  • Add the remainder of the oil in the skillet, and pour in the mushrooms and the onion. Sauté them until they are brown. Return the chops, add the cream of mushroom soup, and cover the mixture. Reduce the heat and let the mixture cook for another thirty minutes, and then serve.

Chicken with Mushrooms

This meal is best served over rice or noodles, and it can serve four individuals. The meal takes approximately 45 minutes to be ready (119).

Ingredients

  • 300g of white button mushrooms

  • Two beaten eggs

  • Two boneless chicken breasts

  • One cup of breadcrumbs/ 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup of chicken broth

  • 3/ cup of sliced mozzarella cheese

  • Two tablespoons of olive oil or butter

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. In the meantime, massage the chicken breasts in the beaten eggs, and then roll them in the all-purpose flour or breadcrumbs.

  • Heat the butter or olive oil in a large skillet, and sear both sides of the chicken breasts, until they turn brown. Put half of the mushrooms in a pan, and place the browned chicken pieces on top of the mushrooms. Spread out the remaining mushrooms on top of the chicken pieces. Then place the mozzarella cheese on top of these mushrooms. Pour in the chicken broth.

  • Place the pan inside the oven and bake for the next thirty-five minutes.

Mixed Mushroom Omelette

This recipe takes approximately 30-40 minutes to prepare and cook. It can serve between 2-4 people depending on the portion of ingredients used (120).

Ingredients

  • 20-80g of butter

  • 150-300g of mixed and sliced mushrooms (button, Swiss, Portobello)

  • 4-8 separated eggs

  • Two tablespoons of chives and onions

  • Salt and pepper

Procedure

  • Heat half of the butter in a frying pan over low to medium heat. Pour in the mushrooms and cook for four minutes until they are tender. Remove from the frying pan, and cover them to keep them warm.

  • Combine the eggs with the salt and pepper and whisk until soft peaks emerge.

  • Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan over medium heat until it begins to foam. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan, ensuring that they cover the entire base. Add the mushrooms and the chives and allow cooking for another two minutes.

  • Cut the omelette into two and place on the plates. You can serve the omelette with cherry tomatoes.


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