Sunshine On Your Plate

Sunshine On Your Plate

How do you like your mushrooms?

Sautéed button mushrooms swimming in delicious butter and garlic? Sliced on a pizza or maybe in spaghetti sauce? Perhaps you like big, meaty portobello caps grilled to perfection?

There’s no doubt, mushrooms are delicious. More and more people are discovering fun new ways to prepare them. They’re a great source of protein and bring a wonderful umami to any dish.

Do you ever think about the health benefits of mushrooms?

That’s right, they’re actually quite good for us. Mushrooms can aid in balancing our energy, lowering cholesterol and even improve brain function. More research is being conducted each day into the functional benefits of mushrooms.

For example, did you know, mushrooms can actually produce Vitamin D? That’s right - just 15 minutes of direct sunlight can produce 200 to 800 IU in 3 ounces of mushrooms. Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfecti conducted research on shiitake mushrooms, drying them with the gills up and exposing them to sunlight for two days, six hours a day. What they found was the vitamin D levels soared from 100 IU/100 grams to nearly 46,000 IU/100 grams. The daily recommended allowance is 600 to 800 IU. At least 90 percent of the vitamin is retained after storage and cooking, making mushrooms a great source of Vitamin D.

Our furry friends in the animal kingdom must know this detail. Mushrooms have been found stashed in trees, gills up. Squirrels need their vitamins too!

Next time you get ready to enjoy some tasty mushrooms, consider setting them in the sun with the cap down for about 15 minutes. Just make sure you keep an eye out for squirrels. They know a good thing when they see it!

Next time you get ready to enjoy some tasty mushrooms, consider setting them in the sun with the cap down for about 15 minutes. Just make sure you keep an eye out for squirrels. They know a good thing when they see it!


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