Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A mushroom a day ...

by Evan Noetzel, Chef Educator Today

With as many possible culinary applications as varieties—portobellos (pictured), chanterelles, shiitakes and white buttons, to name a few—mushrooms have long been an ingredient of choice among chefs (and chef-instructors) around the world. And while much of the popularity of mushrooms can be attributed to their range of complex tastes and textures, the Mushroom Council is quick to point out that edible fungi also are prized for their nutritional benefits.

On its Web site's "Nutrition" page, the Mushroom Council recently published a series of downloadable PDFs and other resources detailing why mushrooms "deserve attention for their unique contributions to a healthful diet." One such PDF, entitled "Mushrooms: Light in Color, Dark in Nutrients," shows a side-by-side comparison of the percentage of certain nutrients in mushroom varieties versus those in other healthy foods, like carrots and broccoli. Another available PDF, "How Mushrooms' Nutrients Stack Up," gives a complete breakdown of the many nutrients packed into mushrooms.

For additional educational resources provided by the Mushroom Council, visit their Web site.