With more than 14,000 different species of mushrooms that grow around the world, the mushroom is an unassuming food that should be more carefully considered on National Mushroom Day!
History of National Mushroom Day
Not only do mushrooms offer a delicious flavor when eaten on their own or added to various dishes, they are also one of the most sustainably produced foods on the planet. So no one needs to feel guilty about filling up on them!
Plus, mushrooms are low in calories and contain a wide variety of nutritious substances that are part of a healthy and balanced diet for humans. So eat a lot of mushrooms and eat them often!
Originating in Australia, National Mushroom Day is particularly meant for mushroom farmers, restaurants, cafes and health professionals to enjoy and celebrate everything related to growing and eating mushrooms. Now is the best time to learn about mushrooms and eat mushrooms – a food that is certainly worth celebrating!
How to Celebrate National Mushroom Day
The celebration and enjoyment of National Mushroom Day comes along with eating them and raising awareness for the benefits to the people as well as to the earth. Consider implementing some of these interesting ideas in making plans to celebrate the day:
Enjoy Eating Mushrooms
In honor of National Mushroom Day, the first order of business is to buy and eat some mushrooms! Add them to a salad, make them into a creamy soup, saute them, put them on a burger, steam them in the microwave, or stuff the caps of larger mushrooms. The options are almost endless when it comes to different ways to prepare and enjoy eating mushrooms!
Get a Health Boost with Mushrooms
While they might look a bit bland, mushrooms are chock full of healthy nutrients that can build into an already balanced diet. Depending on the type of mushrooms, they can bring a variety of different benefits to the diet, including:
- Mushrooms contain important minerals. Containing amounts of selenium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and thiamine, mushrooms offer a rich source of healthy, necessary minerals for the diet.
- Mushrooms are low in calories. Enjoying a handful of mushrooms is no problem, even for those who are trying to count their calories. Of course, it depends on the particular variety, but one cup of crimini mushrooms contains only 15 calories, which is hardly even noticeable in the grand scheme of things!
- Mushrooms are anti-inflammatory. Because mushrooms have been shown to help the body fight off inflammation, these little gems are believed to be helpful in promoting a strong and effective immune system. In fact, researchers have shown that, when people eat mushrooms, microphages are stimulated which help reduce susceptibility to various illnesses.
- Mushrooms can help lower the blood pressure. As a source of potassium, mushrooms offer the capacity to keep the cardiovascular system healthier. Potassium is known to reduce blood vessel tension and therefore lower the blood pressure.
Learn Fun Facts About Mushrooms
In honor of National Mushroom Day, celebrate by learning a few bits of information about this little food and share it with someone else to raise awareness for the day. Start with some of these fun facts:
Even though mushrooms don’t need light to grow and are very capable of growing in the dark, they do produce Vitamin D when they are exposed to ultraviolet light during the growing process.
Because they are grown indoors, mushrooms have a growing cycle that is year-round. And because they are not affected by the weather, mushrooms can be grown in all 50 of the United States as well as all over the world.
Some mushrooms can glow in the dark! At least eighty different species of mushrooms are able to glow in the dark, and some are so bright that they have earned the nickname “electric mushrooms”.
Mushrooms can help people stay young. With high amounts of certain types of antioxidants (ergothioneine and glutathione), mushrooms fight off free radicals and arm the body with the ability to reduce the occurrence of age related diseases and illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Cook With Mushrooms
In general, mushrooms are affordable, healthy and low in calories. Plus, they can be a super versatile way to get creative with cooking meals. Consider some of these ideas when it comes to adding mushrooms to various styles of cooking:
- Put chopped fresh mushrooms on pizza as a delicious topping. Choose meatless pizza with dairy-free cheese to make the meal more vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
- Add mushrooms to stir-fry. One delicious way to eat mushrooms, especially for kids who might not be ready for their strong flavor or texture, is to combine them with a variety of other vegetables in a Chinese style stir fry meal. Include with carrots, celery, snap peas, broccoli and tofu with some delicious soy sauce.
- Eat mushrooms for breakfast. Mushrooms make a delicious addition to breakfast food. Saute some to serve with scrambled eggs, or chop some fresh mushrooms and put them into an omelet.
- Mushrooms can be made into a delicious cream sauce that can be used in all sorts of ways. Try using it as the center of a ravioli. Pour it over rigatoni pasta. Make it into a mushroom soup. Serve it with steak and potatoes, and more.
Go Mushroom Picking
In honor of National Mushroom Day, schedule a time to go mushroom picking! This is a hobby that used to be a regular occurrence but is now a bit less common. Still, in certain areas of the world, mushroom picking remains a delightful outdoor activity that can bring loads of family fun! However, it is important to be careful and to go with someone who knows what they are doing because it’s easy to mistake poisonous mushrooms for edible ones.
So be sure to stay safe and don’t just pick and eat random mushrooms that are found in the forest without checking their viability with an expert first. Some parks or forest areas might even offer mushroom picking tours so people can learn in real life while enjoying the activity.
National Mushroom Day FAQs
Do mushrooms have protein?
Yes, mushrooms have protein, but the amount depends on the particular variety.
Are mushrooms good for you?
Yes! Mushrooms are a low-calorie source of fiber antioxidants and protein.
Should mushrooms be refrigerated?
Put mushrooms on the top shelf of the refrigerator to keep them the freshest.
Can mushrooms be frozen?
Mushrooms can be kept in the freezer for up to twelve months at a time.
Should mushrooms be washed?
While mushrooms purchased from stores or farmers markets can be quickly rinsed or wiped with a damp cloth, they don’t need to be thoroughly washed.