Gourmet mushrooms can enhance nutrition of meat dishes, baked goods and noodles
Gourmet mushrooms can be used to replace ingredients or enhance the nutrition of a meal.
The past few years have been a revolutionary period for plant-based foods. The rollout of plant-based burger patties and meats has generated a lot of interest in how people can incorporate more meat substitutes in their meals without overly affecting the taste and texture.
While mushrooms are technically not plants, their decent amounts of dietary fibre and protein can help boost nutrients in meals. More than 100 scientific studies have analyzed applying edible mushrooms to meals to see how it tastes and how it affects the nutritional content. There was a review of many of these studies in Foods, an international scientific journal.
Mushrooms are often turned into a powder to add as a seasoning or as a supplement to the meal. That can be done by drying mushrooms and then pulverizing them in a blender.
Here are three types of foods that have been tested by being replaced or supplemented by mushrooms.
Burgers and sausages
While mushrooms cannot completely replace the energy and protein content of meat, adding mushrooms to sausages and burgers has seen acceptable results for taste, texture and nutrition.
Substituting part of a pork lean meat sausage with Shiitake mushrooms improved the fibre, moisture, umami taste and antioxidant activity. Researchers in China tried four different samples of sausages with Shiitake mushrooms substituting 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent of the pork. All the sausages were thought to be good enough to eat, but the 25 percent sausage mix had the best characteristics for texture and taste. The samples did see less protein, ash and pH levels with the increase of mushrooms in the sausages.
King Oyster mushrooms have also been used to replace pork back fat in sausages, according to a study in China. A boiled version of King Oysters as fat replacement enhanced the essential amino acid content in the sausages, while raw, deep-fried and fried versions enhanced the nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be reproduced by the body and are helpful for tissue repair, nutrient absorption and protein synthesis. The sausages also saw a significant reduction in fat and an overall increase in moisture, fibre and protein, said the study.
Using mushroom powder in cookies, cakes and muffins helped increase protein, fibre and antioxidant properties.
One study in Korea found a pinch of Chestnut mushroom powder in cookie batter increased the antioxidant activity, which can help support healthy cells. The powder also achieved higher ratings in the study for taste, texture, and colour when it made up three percent of the cookie batter’s total weight.
Another study in Korea discovered that enriching rice muffins with Shiitake mushroom powder and the byproduct of juiced carrots help improve antioxidant activity. The muffins with the powders also had slightly better ratings from consumers than a regular rice muffin, according to the study.
Oyster mushrooms are supposed to help with nutrition and taste in wheat flour for noodles. Substituting four percent of wheat flour with Oyster mushroom powder didn’t affect the cooking time too much, increased the protein and fibre, and was acceptable in the taste test, according to researchers in India. A study in Bangladesh argued that a five percent substitution of wheat flour with Oyster mushroom powder had better sensory scores than higher percentages as well.
There are many possibilities on what you can do with gourmet mushrooms. You can pick up fresh mushrooms in person at our facility or at a farmers’ market. You can grow your own mushrooms right at home with our grow kits. Either way, you’ll have fresh mushrooms to use in recipes, and you can always turn the leftover mushrooms into powder to use in more recipes. Check out our shop!
Disclaimer: The information about health benefits in this article is for educational purposes only and has not yet been evaluated by Health Canada or the FDA. Mushrooms are not intended to replace any medical treatment.