Food in focus: mushrooms

Must have mushies! They are one of the hottest items hitting out shopping lists, as more and more people look for tasty alternatives to help them cut back on meat – whether that’s to save money, look after their health or look after the planet.

Buttons and cups, portobello and porcini… Mushrooms come in all different shapes and sizes. They’re an incredibly versatile veggie that can be used across a wide range of dishes and cuisines.  

While we generally call them a veggie, mushrooms are actually a fungus and are part of the fungi kingdom. For the botanists out there, this is because mushrooms have no leaves, roots or seeds, and don’t need light to grow – all things the classic veggie needs to flourish.  

A tasty alternative to help cut back on salt 

Mushrooms have a distinct flavour that really packs a punch. Umami, meaning ‘tasty’, is the savoury taste that gives mushrooms their deliciously unique and satisfying flavour.  

Cooking with foods that have natural umami flavours can help bump up the taste and make it easier to use less salt in cooking.  

Not just delicious, but nutritious too. 

Mushrooms are a mighty little veggie (or technically a fungi) with more antioxidants than most. They contain a range of vitamins, such as riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and folate which help fight fatigue and support normal growth and development, and minerals like copper and selenium, which help support a healthy immune system.  

For more tips on supporting your immune system visit our Immunity Hub.

Check out these delicious mushroom recipes!

Mushrooms and vitamin D 

Scientific research has found mushrooms can be ‘activated’ by sunlight to generate significant levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in helping your body absorb calcium, keeping your bones strong and healthy and optimising muscle function.  

Simply leave a serve (100g) of fresh mushrooms in the sun for 15 minutes before cooking them help meet up to all your daily Vitamin D needs

Best ways to eat mushrooms?  

Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner… there’s no meal that mushrooms can’t master. Here are some of our favourite ways to enjoy them: