These days a new delicacy has made way into my kitchen. It is neither a vegetable nor a fruit. No, it’s not even eggs nor chicken or meat. Well, any guesses? I am talking about a fungus which puts off a lot of people. Yes, it is indeed the dull coloured mushroom.
This dull coloured fungus has taken a special place in my kitchen. My daughter loves them and is fascinated with them. She often wonders that I always tell her not to pick up mushrooms when she goes out to play but still I serve her the same. Well, if I tell her that they are poisonous maybe she will stop eating them 🙂 So I just tell her that the ones with the vegetable vendor are better and I want a box full of the white pearls.
These are not only delicious but also healthy. Many people not only refrain from eating these but are also hesitant to serve them to their children. But the humble mushroom is to be blamed for this. Since when the rain cometh these mushrooms spread across like a wildfire and there are more than 100 species of mushrooms which are wild and poisonous. The poisonous ones can be recognized. Next time when you go shopping then spot for characteristic features like leafy shaped gills, warts, white distinct gills on the bottom, which indicate they are poisonous.
Agree there are many poisonous ones but mushrooms like the white button ones to the Italian porcini and the shiitake and crimini are all edible. These are used tastefully and artfully in the culinary affairs as these ooze flavours, textures and are a very good source of vitamins and minerals.
Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants which are not knocked down or deactivated while cooking. The simple button mushrooms can give a run to vegetables like carrots, peppers and tomatoes when it comes to antioxidants. Click To Tweet
Since mushrooms gain the goodness of broccoli, salmon, green vegetables, berries it has becomes the latest member of the superfoods list. When the humble mushroom is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin D and iron then why don’t we serve them to our children. I am sure it will cause no harm instead only help them strengthen their immune system.
Here are top reasons why you should serve mushrooms to your child:
- Source of Iron: We are all aware that iron helps in the formation of the new blood cells, thus it is important for growing children. The daily requirement of iron can be met by serving your child mushrooms.
- Super Antioxidant: Mushrooms are known to neutralize the free radicals present in the body, thereby, acting as super antioxidants.
- Source of Vitamin D: This vitamin is obtained thru the sun and an obvious reason why it is called the sunshine vitamin. Children sometimes don’t get the required amount of this vitamin through sun and they become deficient for the same. Though mushrooms not high in vitamin D, when exposed to light they can generate vitamin D. Here is a quick tip, before you cook mushrooms, place them under a bulb or a windowsill for sun and they can help to fulfil the deficiency.
- Vitamin B12 Presence: Since this vitamin is found in animal products, there is a great dependency on supplements. Many children and adults equally are deficient for this vitamin. But here is the good news, that mushrooms are a plant-based (fungi) form of this vitamin.
- Source of Calcium: Mushrooms are rich in calcium which helps in the development, strengthening and formation of bones and teeth. Calcium also helps in the absorption of iron.
- Boosts the immune system: It has been revealed that mushrooms contain certain biochemicals which strengthen the immune system. It helps your child stay healthy, have a good eyesight, tones the blood circulation and also protects against liver damage. Mushrooms are also believed to be good against fighting cancer.
You can use mushrooms in many ways. Simply saute them or add them to your omelettes. Add extra power to your pizzas or make a creamy mushroom salad. Toss it in your salad or give an extra dose of nutrition to your pasta. Maybe you can stuff them with cheese or onions and bake them or make mushroom gravy masala. While you make all these scrumptious recipes don’t forget to try butter mushrooms as well.
I am sure with so many yummy dishes to choose from your child cannot say NO to mushrooms for long 🙂 Till then Happy Mushrooming 🙂
This post has been written for the National Nutrition Week observed from the from 1st – 7th September. The theme for National Nutrition Week 2018 is ‘Go Further with Food’