Mushroom and Bacon Salad Recipe

You have bought or picked some delicious looking mushrooms, Portobello or button, brought them home and now what will you cook?
You don’t have to go to our mushroom cookbook and recipe page (please do, please do … it’s OK, stick right here 😉
There are so many mushroom recipes in non-mushroom recipe books, which is hardly surprising.
I was leafing through one of my old favourites, Carole Handslip’s ‘The Sainsbury Book of Salads’ from 1984 and here we are:

Mushroom and Bacon Recipe

Mushroom and bacon salad. Why mushrooms and bacon go so well together might be a future subject, but for the moment, here we go.
The mushrooms are not cooked in this recipe, so to persuade them to drink up your tasty garlic dressing, slice them thinly.
This salad is one of those which is tastiest when served lukewarm. Pull the mushrooms, sitting in the dressing, from the fridge, a good hour before adding the hot bacon.
When using button mushrooms, I enjoy their taste when raw, so you can also modify the recipe in this way if you are like-minded. Slice or chop your mushrooms, fry your chopped smoky bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon or similar weapon, remove the bacon from the pan and add to the mushrooms. Now you you are left with some hot bacon fat in the pan, so turn down the heat and carefully add some lemon juice. Watch out for the mixture spitting! Now you can pour this tasty dressing over the bacon and mushrooms. Don’t forget the chopped parsley, it goes really well with this. I think chopped, curled parsley is yummier for this than the flat-leaf variety, principally because of the texture.
Anything missing?
Yes! Have you made some fresh bread? Don’t worry if you haven’t, a good chunk of soft-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside, bread from the shop, once warmed in the oven, will do just fine.

If you would like some more suggestions for making a garlic dressing, leave a comment below 🙂

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Are Mushrooms Good For You? Nutrition.

Are Mushrooms Healthy? Part I, Nutrition.

The Quick answer:

Yes. Mushrooms are high in protein, very low in simple carbohydrates, rich in high-molecular weight polysaccharides, high in antioxidants and low in fat. They are a good source of B vitamins (riboflavin (B₂), niacin (B₃), pantothenic acid (B₅)) and ergosterol (provitamin D₂). They contain essential minerals, particularly potassium, copper and selenium. They are also high in dietary fibre (between 20% and 50% of dry mass), including β-D-glucans (Beelman et al. (2003) Int. J. Med. Mushrooms, 5: 321-337). Because most fresh mushrooms have a water content of around 90%, nutritional analyses based on their dry weights are more useful when comparing them with other foods.

And More Details:

We’re obviously talking about whether edible mushrooms are healthy here and not the poisonous varieties (no sniggers at the back please).

In 1930 the Food and Drug Review wrote: “The magic words ‘health giving’ are today the most overworked and loosely applied in the advertising lexicon.” (F&D Rev., 14 (Feb. 1930), 41-44)

So not much has changed, has it?

In the US, the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Vol 2 declares:

‘ … any food bearing the nutrient content claim “healthy” contain at least ten percent of the Daily Value (DV) per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, or fiber, if the food instead contains at least ten percent of the DV per RACC of potassium or vitamin D.’

And the FDA in “Use of the Term “Healthy” in the Labeling of Human Food Products: Guidance for Industry” says:

‘You may use the term “healthy” or related terms (e.g., “health,” “healthful,” “healthfully,” “healthfulness,” “healthier,” “healthiest,” “healthily,” and “healthiness”) as an implied nutrient content claim on the label or in labeling of a food that is useful in creating a diet that is consistent with dietary recommendations if:

(i) The food meets the following conditions for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and other nutrients’

Help! Let me out of here! Now everybody is totally confused, and in fact, various authorities are making new efforts to be clear on the question of ‘What is healthy’. We’re all confused.

So what does the international food standards body, the Codex Alimentarius Commission say?

GUIDELINES FOR USE OF NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS

Nutrition and Health Claims (CAC/GL 23-1997)

Low in energy means under 40 kcal (170 kJ) per 100 g (solids)
(In a 100-gram serving, raw white mushrooms provide 93 kilojoules (22 kilocalories))
Low in fat means under 3g per 100 g (solids)
(In a 100-gram serving, raw white mushrooms provide 0.34 g fats)

And, although the nutritional content varies slightly according to the substrate on which they were grown, here are some typical values (not including water) :

Mushroom                          Fibre      Protein Fat          Carbohydrate

Agaricus bisporus             18.23     41.06     2.12       28.38

Pleurotus florida               23.18     27.83     1.54       32.08

(Source: Teklit GA, Chemical Composition and Nutritional Value of the Most Widely Used Mushrooms Cultivated in Mekelle Tigray Ethiopia. J Nutr Food Sci 2015, 5: 408)

Here are the values from the USDA Database. Note, these are for raw mushrooms, not dry mushrooms. These are easier to compare against the Codex’s requirements.

Agaricus bisporus, white raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 93 kJ (22 kcal)
Carbohydrates
3.26 g
Sugars 1.98 g
Dietary fiber 1 g
Fat
0.34 g
Protein
3.09 g
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(7%)

0.081 mg

Riboflavin (B2)
(34%)

0.402 mg

Niacin (B3)
(24%)

3.607 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)
(30%)

1.497 mg

Vitamin B6
(8%)

0.104 mg

Folate (B9)
(4%)

17 μg

Vitamin B12
(2%)

0.04 μg

Vitamin C
(3%)

2.1 mg

Vitamin D
(1%)

0.2 μg

Trace metals
Iron
(4%)

0.5 mg

Magnesium
(3%)

9 mg

Phosphorus
(12%)

86 mg

Potassium
(7%)

318 mg

Sodium
(0%)

3 mg

Zinc
(5%)

0.52 mg

Other constituents
Water 92.45 g

  • Units
  • μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
  • IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database﷯

Now you can decide whether to call mushrooms ‘healthy’ in respect of mushroom nutrition. High protein, low fat? I think the answer is clearly ‘healthy’ 😊

To find recipes for these healthy mushrooms, browse our mushroom recipe and cookbook store.

 

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How to Dry Mushrooms

Drying mushrooms in the sun

Easy Steps to Dry Mushrooms

Step 1a – Grow your mushrooms

Pleurotus or Oyster Mushroom growing on sawdust

Look for mushroom kits in our Grow Mushrooms Store.

Methinks that we need a quicker solution. Ding, Ding!

Step 1b – Buy, Borrow, Beg or Steal your Mushrooms

Ah, that was a quicker way of getting some Agaricus bisporus, or button mushrooms. Phew.

(Disclaimer: theft is usually illegal 🙂 )

Step 2 Clean and Slice Mushrooms

We may get into the wash/wipe/brush mushrooms controversy in another article. For the moment we mean ‘clean somehow’ your mushrooms.

Do I need to tell you how to slice a mushroom? Life’s too short, and nor may you borrow one of my favourite knives – it was my grandmother’s and has an edge on it like a … like a … like a very sharp knife.

Step 3 Load Your Food Dryer

Unless you live in a hot, dry, sunny climate (you wish!) do not use a washing line.

Drying button mushrooms on the washing line

Find your electric food dryer or dessicator (it’s next to your yoghurt maker and that lonely icecream maker).

Haven’t got a food dryer? Search for “food dryer” in any of our mushroom shops.

Start loading the food dryer’s trays with the sliced mushrooms.

Food dryer tray with sliced mushrooms and more

Loading tray with sliced Agaricus and more

Food dryer tray with sliced mushrooms first tray full!

Follow your food dryer’s instructions, and after a few hours you will have a delicious ingredient to keep in your kitchen store cupboard.

In the US, you can choose your dehydrator here.
In the UK, click on these dehydrators.
The food dryer shown here is my Andrew James Premium Digital Food Dehydrator.

(Cheat recipe tip: you can also buy dried mushrooms in our mushroom store)Save

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