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How to Get the Most Out of Your Store-Bought Mushrooms

Woman hands slices mushrooms in kitchen. Female making mushroom sauce.Mushrooms are a great source of nutrients and have been linked to a variety of health benefits. While they do contain some vitamin D, it is important to note that the form of vitamin D found in mushrooms is typically D2 or D4, not D3, except in the case of shiitake mushrooms.
By placing your store-bought white button mushrooms gill-side up in direct sunlight for 15-20 minutes you can increase their levels of vitamin D.  With 100 grams (about one cup of mushrooms) you can increase the vitamin D2 from 40 IU to 400 IU!  This will not be enough to replace supplementation as Vitamin D2 is not as well absorbed as Vitamin D3 but can provide a tasty boost to your diet.
Some additional potential health benefits of mushrooms include:
  • Immune system support: Mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which have been shown to stimulate the immune system and help fight infection.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Some varieties of mushrooms contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Improved brain function: Mushrooms are a good source of choline, a nutrient that is important for brain health and may improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Weight management: Mushrooms are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied while eating fewer calories.
  • Improved nutrient absorption: Mushrooms are a good source of copper, which is important for the absorption and use of iron in the body.
Remember to not overcook the mushrooms as this does diminish fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.  So, set some in the sun, then toss them on your salads, scrambled eggs or as a cup to hold your favorite healthy dip.
For a delicious mushroom recipe featuring pan-seared salmon and spinach, take a look at the one below I found through the Oh Snap! Let's Eat! food blog.
Pan Seared Salmon with Spinach and Mushrooms
  • 1 lb salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz spinach fresh
  • Salt and pepper, as desired
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron or large skillet on medium-high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add salmon fillets to pan. Sear for about 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Flip the salmon fillets to the other side. Season with salt, and then let it cook for another 4 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
  • Remove salmon from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil, minced garlic, and mushrooms. Cook stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
  • Add spinach to pan. If too much to add in the beginning, add it in batches.
  • Cook stirring occasionally until wilted, which only takes about 1 minute. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
  • Sometimes if I’m worried that the Salmon cooled down too much, I dump it back for a second in the pan to warm up before serving.
  • Remove from heat, and serve with pan-seared salmon.
In Good Health,
Joan O'Keefe, RD