Did you know that the common button mushroom is not only tasty, but is a super food?
From strengthening the immune system to boosting cardiovascular integrity, researchers are beginning to realize that this unassuming member of the edible fungi family outshines some of it’s more exotic cousins, such as maitake or shiitake, when it comes to delivering health benefits.
Here are a few highlights found in button mushrooms:
- Contain a special fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which helps to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers.
- Contain important trace minerals such as selenium, zinc, and manganese.
- Provide a power antioxidant known as ergothioneine which helps to prevent oxidative damage, especially to our DNA.
- Boost our immune system to increasing strengthen the activity of our white blood cells.
- Helps to decrease chronic inflammation.
Also known as criminis, or mini *portabellos, Agaricus bisporus, has been with us since we were hunter-gatherers. Of course, they were growing wild in those caveman days, but we hungry eaters know a good thing when we taste it, so our ancient ancestors have long ago learned to cultivate them.
So do take advantage of this common, yet extraordinary mushroom. Go forth to your local grocery store, get some button mushrooms, and cook away to satisfy your taste buds, and nourish your body.
(*Portobello mushrooms are simply overgrown criminis.)
Mushroom Pâté on Potato Crostinis
What makes this yummy appetizer even better is that it is gluten-free! Instead of the traditional crostinis, which are toasted bread rounds, we are going to make them from potato slices. It’s really easy, and oh so good!
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, stems removed, roughly chopped
2/3 cups walnuts, soaked for 4 hours
½ medium onion, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
2 teaspoons tamari
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat a sauté pan on medium heat, and add in the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss in the diced onions and sauté for about one minute, then add in the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, sage, and tamari. Cook for about 6 – 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender.
Allow mixture to cool slightly and transfer to a food processor. Add in the walnuts, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste.
For the Crostinis:
(A large cast iron skillet will be ideal for making these crostinis.)
3 medium yukon potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds
3 – 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
Sea salt to taste
Heat the cast iron pan to medium high and add in one tablespoon coconut oil.
Swirl pan to coat well. Place the potato slices in one single layer into the pan.
Allow to brown on one side for 3 – 4 minutes, then flip them over and brown for another
3 – 4 minutes. Lightly season with sea salt.
Transfer cooked slices onto a paper towel. Add in more coconut oil to do the next batch.
To serve, place a rounded teaspoon of the mushroom pate onto each crostini, then top with parsley or a sliver of sun-dried tomato as garnish.
For Love of Food and Friends,
Martin KR and Brophy SK. Commonly consumed and specialty dietary mushrooms reduce cellular proliferation in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 Nov 1;235(11):1306-14. Epub 2010 Oct 4. 2010.
What’s New and Beneficial About Crimini Mushrooms, www.whfoods.org