Mushrooms And Meatless Cuisine

Vegetarian or not, meatless cuisine is moving towards the forefront of many American meals. Regardless of diet, consumers still expect a unique, flavorful dish that’s healthy and rewarding. With standard-bearers like portobellos and exotic varieties like hen of the woods and morels, mushrooms offer the best of both worlds. When expanding your meatless menu, here are a few reasons from mushroom masters Basciani Foods to consider the famous fungi!

Health Benefits

  • Mushrooms not only contain antioxidants, but are also a good source B vitamins riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and pantothenic acid (B5), boosting your metabolism and discouraging the growth of free radicals!
  • Already the only fruit or vegetable with a source of vitamin D, some farmers have been experimenting with growing portobellos fortified with enough extra vitamin D to satisfy an entire daily dose in three mushrooms!
    • Better yet, vitamin D is tricky to include in vegetarian or vegan diets, as it mainly comes from meat or dairy, so mushrooms are key!
  • Low in calories but containing a decent amount of protein, mushrooms are already a heart-healthy alternative to meat.

Environmental Benefits

  • Mushrooms are great recyclers: they are grown in pasteurized agricultural by-products such as corn cobs and hay, and after harvesting, their growing material is used again as a rich fertilizer.
  • Unused mushrooms can be made into other vegetarian based dishes like veggie-patties, making them a great partner in the fight against food waste.

Cost Benefits

Besides being delicious, mushrooms are a lower-cost meat alternative. Here are some general price comparisons based off 4 oz portions.

Mushrooms                                                               Other Meat Alternatives

Button- 35 cents                                                       Tofu- 34 cents

Cremini- 46 cents                                                     Tempeh- 59 cents

Portobello- 75 cents                                                 Seitan- 63 cents

Tofurkey- 98 cents