Mushrooms are gaining power as a food source not only packed with nutrients but also one of the most versatile foods on the market. They help with a range of ailments, from gout and cancer prevention to weight loss and reducing blood pressure. They are also great to enjoy on their own or to add on to your meals, be it sauces, a braai or meat alternative. Health fanatic Vanessa Sew Chung Hong from Denny Mushrooms shares creative ways to incorporate them into your daily life:
1. Drinks. Believe it or not, celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow use the fungus to make drinks such as mushroom smoothies and shakes. Gwyneth caused a stir last year when she released a recipe using vanilla mushroom protein powder. Similarly, mushroom cocktails are now making an appearance across the world, thanks to their earthy taste. Their flavours are being infused with whisky, vodka and gin.
2. Mushroom variants. Your mushroom vocabulary may include portobello and white buttons. They are nutritious and loaded with vitamins and minerals. The new trend is to use fresh mushrooms in convenient foods such as burger patties.
3. The blend trend. Mushrooms are applauded for being great additions to weight loss programmes, thanks to their 92% water content and no fat. Health fanatics blend them with meals to reduce calorie intake. A study by the Culinary Institute of America and the University of California-Davis found that by incorporating finely chopped mushrooms into cooked dishes and using a ratio of 50/50 (mushrooms/meat or fish), participants were able to reduce their calorie intake without losing any flavour.