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Mm...Mm...Mm...Mushrooms to Remember

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Nature gives us a highly nutritious treat that comes in many different shapes, sizes and colours. It grows either wild in wooded areas and may be harvested late spring to late fall, or it is cultivated and available year-round.

Nature gives us a highly nutritious treat that comes in many different shapes, sizes and colours. It grows either wild in wooded areas and may be harvested late spring to late fall, or it is cultivated and available year-round. It adds both elegance and earthiness to a dish. You’ve guessed it: the mushroom.

Button or white mushroom, the most common type, is available in almost every health food or grocery store. Other types are black trumpets (also called horns of plenty), Chanterelles, cremini, enoki, oyster, porcini (mostly available dried), portobello and shiitake.

Mushrooms are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins such as niacin and folic acid. They contain some of the top nutrients that support the immune system, including polysaccharides (complex sugars), which are proven cancer fighters. Mushrooms have been used for everything from the common cold to cancer, HIV and tuberculosis.

When I prepared this month’s recipes, two memories came to mind. The first led me back to my childhood, when our whole family used to roam the woods looking for mushrooms. At home, we strung them up to dry. My mother always cooked wonderful meals with these forest delicacies. The second memory comes from visits to Asia with the alive tour group. At almost every second meal, we were served mushrooms in varied dishes. At one memorable meal at a vegetarian restaurant, eight of the 13 courses were mushroom, a different species each time.

Mushrooms absorb the essence of whatever they’re cooked with and impart their own robust, nutty flavour. I hope you discover new ways to enjoy the mushroom in these delectable recipes and create some fond memories of your own.

Bell Peppers With Mushroom Stuffing

Wild Mushroom Pasta

Rice Souffle with Mushrooms

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