Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Sonoma Diet Daily

The Hidden Benefits of Mushrooms
They're not technically vegetables — without roots, leaves, or seeds, they're considered fungi — but mushrooms can be an invaluable part of your diet. Although they've gotten a bad reputation for being largely nutrient-free, they're actually a great source of selenium, a mineral that helps to boost your immune system and to decrease your risk of cancer. They're also extremely low in calories (about 20 in a cup), so they help you feel fuller at little cost to your weight loss program.
With so many varieties to choose from, you can add mushrooms to soups and salads, or sauté them with a little bit of olive oil and seasonings for a wonderful side dish. Here are a few kinds to try:
The most common variety found in grocery stores. Use them raw or cooked in salads and soups, or sauté them for a tasty side dish. Cooking brings out their natural woodsy flavor.
These darker-colored mushrooms have a more intense, earthy flavor and can be used in place of white mushrooms in almost any recipe. They're best when cooked.
A larger variety of the crimini mushroom, portobellos are wonderful as an entrée and can be grilled, stir-fried, or stuffed and baked.
These large, meaty mushrooms work well in stir-fries, soups, and side dishes, or as a meat substitute. They're also a wonderful addition to tomato sauces and pasta dishes.
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Dr. Guttersen's Tip of the Day
Safety First

While it may be tempting to pick the beautiful wild mushrooms you see in your backyard or along your favorite wooded trail, don't do it. Many varieties are poisonous, even when eaten in small amounts.

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