Types of Mushrooms: We find many people around in our life who love experimenting with everything they see everywhere. But when it comes to food, many are very cautious about what to eat and what not to eat. Some love eating healthy fruits and vegetables, whereas some love is eating meat. But when it comes to mushrooms, many pause as they consider it a fungus- and conclude that it is not edible. But many are not aware that many types of mushrooms are edible and safe to eat. Also, eating mushrooms is beneficial to health as they are low in fat, low in calories, free from cholesterol, and low in sodium. They are also full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
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Why Should We Eat Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants; they help protect the body from damaging free radicals and help keep you safe from cancer and heart diseases. They boost the immune system and protect against aging signs.
Beta-glucan is the mushrooms that will regulate the blood sugar levels and keep you off from diabetes. Pantothenic acid, niacin, and riboflavin are in high levels in the mushrooms; they protect the heart, keep red blood cells in a good state and keep the digestive system healthy.
Potassium and copper in the mushrooms will keep muscles, nerves, and hearts in a good functioning state. Also, bones and nerves remain healthy when you eat mushrooms.
Types of Mushrooms
When talking about types of mushrooms, we are primarily talking about the edible ones below and their uses, along with the best ways to cook them.
- Bay Bolete Mushroom: These mushrooms have both edible and not edible ones. To identify the edible types, turn the cap over and look at the fleshy part of the mushroom. If the flesh looks spongy, then you can happily eat them. You can eat the younger ones raw, whereas older ones are good for drying. If you do not like any of these options, you can cook any of them in vegan butter, which will make a delicious dish. The dietary fibers in these mushrooms stimulate digestion, thus relieve us from constipation problems.
- Button Mushroom: These are the most common mushrooms we find everywhere. You see them in both white and brown colors. When you cook them, they add a mild flavor to any dish. You can saute them in butter and white wine to add richness to your dish. But if you want to bake, pick older button mushrooms as they have a firm texture and mild taste. You can see them in spaghetti sauces and as toppings on the pizzas frequently. They are rich in proteins and low in calories. They have cholesterol-lowering effects and fight cancer effectively. But if you find them in nature, be careful as they appear similar to death cap mushrooms which are poisonous.
- Portobello Mushrooms: These mushrooms are nothing but the mature form of cremini or white button mushrooms. When fully grown, they lose most of their moisture and have a meaty texture and mild flavor. These features make them the best choice to replace them for meat in vegan meals, vegetarian burgers, omelets, pasta sauces, pizza, and sandwiches. They are often baked and tastes the best when grilled. They work as natural anti-inflammatories and protect you from the risk of cancer.
- Hedgehog Mushrooms: Popularly known as sweet tooth mushrooms, you can identify them with their orange or yellow cap, fruity odor, and toothy underside. These mushrooms hand down and have spiky shapes resembling a hedgehog. But if it is an older one, it will taste not very pleasant, which will disappear when you cook it at adequate heat. You can harvest them anywhere, and they have a nutty, sweet taste and a crunchy texture. You can either simmer them in milk, pickle or saute them in butter and eat. These mushrooms are significant sources of zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese.
- Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: They are widely known for their medicinal properties and appear like a mane. But these mushrooms are edible, unlike other medicinal mushrooms. The sweet-savory flavor and stringy meat texture will give out lobster or crab flavor. The phytochemicals in these mushrooms have healing properties that will keep the brain healthy, boost mood and concentration, and support the immune system.
- Maitake Mushrooms: These mushrooms have a strange shape and have the meaning of dancing mushrooms in Japanese. They are part of significant meals in Japanese and Chinese Cuisines. You can find them on the basis of oak trees. Add them to pizza or ramen for a hearty meat alternative. It has a rich flavor and adds complex flavors to the meals. They have high medicinal properties and help with lowering blood sugar.
- Cremini Mushrooms: These are the older versions of button mushrooms and look firmer and browner and work best in stews and soups. Also known as baby portobello, and look similar to button mushrooms except for their size. You can use them instead of button mushrooms if they are not available. You can use them in spicy and savory dishes. They help in reduced salt intake and control blood pressure.
- Morel Mushrooms: Though these mushrooms look unattractive with a honeycomb texture, they are widely popular. They are costly, as they are hard to cultivate. They have a nutty flavor, meaty texture, seem chewy when eats but are tender. They go well with many dishes and are best to serve inside ravioli or with meats. They seem delicious when you saute them with butter. Whatever the way you prepare, you must cook to neutralize any toxins in them. There are poisonous morels known as false morels, one of the ways in which you can easily identify them is they are not hollow when sliced. Morel Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D and help in strengthening the bones.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: These mushrooms are mainly sold dried. They taste similar to portobello mushrooms, meaty and chewy. They will taste the best in soups and sauces. They give an earthy and smoky flavor to the food. Their stems, when cooked longer, give a chewy texture. They are said to give high medicinal benefits like boosting white cell production, protecting from cell damage.
- Porcini Mushrooms: These are a major part of Italian cuisines and are known as hog mushrooms in Italy. They have a white stem and a reddish-brown cap. These are flavorful, being nutty and creamy, and are meaty. You can find them fresh, dried, or canned, but when you buy dried ones, soak them in hot water for fifteen minutes and then cook them. They taste the best in soups. They are a good source of protein and will help in aiding weight loss. They are rich in antioxidants and help in killing the cancer cells in the colon.
Types of Non-Edible Or Poisonous Mushrooms
We have many poisonous mushrooms that are dangerous for consumption. Most of these look similar to edible ones, so it is not suggested to consume if you are not sure about what it is. Some of them are explained below:
- Death cap mushrooms: This is considered the deadliest of all the available types. It looks similar to edible ones. There are amatoxins in these mushrooms, which are capable of handling the heat, so they do not die when cooked. After you consume them, it takes twelve hours to show the reactions, which include abdominal pains, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, intensified thirst, and loss of fluid from body tissues. The severe effects of eating these mushrooms are side effects on the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. It will lower the blood sugar to a high level, and urinary output from the body decreases. It will finally lead to the death or coma of the person who has consumed it.
- Deadly appealing: It is a type of gilled mushroom that contains amatoxins. They are widely seen throughout Europe and parts of Asia. These are fairly innocuous and have been mistaken as edible varieties, but poisonings because of these mushrooms are not very common. Accidental consumption of these mushrooms will lead to liver toxicity and have dangerous consequences if treatment is not given.
- Destroying angels: These mushrooms are actually species of white mushrooms. These are toxic fungi that look similar to meadow and button mushrooms. It takes five to twenty-four hours for symptoms like kidney failure, convulsions, delirium, vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure, and may lead to death.
- Webcap: Webcap comes in two species which are deadly but look similar to edible ones. They have a poison called Orellana in them, which causes flu-like symptoms in the beginning. It will take two or three weeks for symptoms to come, so the scope of misdiagnosis is more. Orellana will ultimately cause kidney failure and death finally.
Conclusion on Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms contain ninety percent water in them. They are popularly known as the meat of the vegetable world. If you have never tried mushrooms, you must try them as they are delicious and are part of major cuisines. Along with these, they offer a wide range of health benefits. If you start cooking with them, you have a wide range of options to cook in the kitchen. This article includes the popular edible and non-edible types of mushrooms. Go through them and make your choice of mushrooms part of your diet and enjoy the nutritional benefits they offer!