As every vegetarian could tell you, mushrooms are an important food in any diet because of its high levels of protein – making it a staple in many vegetarian dishes and used as meat substitutions. Mushrooms are also a great source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, folate, iron and zinc! What people don’t know is that mushrooms also have a whole host of other uses.
From being thrown into a mushroom fettucine to being used for coloured dyes, mushrooms might just be one of the most versatile foods around. Talk about a super food!
Everything from mushroom tea to mushroom fettucine
We all know that mushrooms are a delicious addition to any meal (especially a creamy pasta) but mushrooms are now commonly being used in teas! Mushroom teas have been around for thousands of years in eastern medicine, but its only now becoming popular in the western world. Mushroom tea helps with stress-reduction, immunity and has a long list of health benefits.
While you’re sipping your mushroom tea and enjoying the included health benefits, you could also be creating your own mushroom coloured dyes. For the craft obsessed out there, you can create every colour of the rainbow using 16 different mushrooms mixed with a colour catalyst – usually ammonia or iron pot. Some mushrooms have vivid blue, green, red and orange pigments to them. Most mushroom dyes can be easily extracted in simmering water and doesn’t take too long – it’s the perfect project to experiment with for the mushroom obsessed.
Along with having so many fantastic health benefits and crafty uses, the mushroom industry is also the ultimate recycler which benefits the environment in a huge way. Mushroom food is made from poultry litter, wheat straw, water and other organic materials which creates the perfect nutrient-rich soil for delicious and high-quality mushrooms. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to use mushrooms in a fresh dish, check out HelloFresh. Once the mushrooms are harvested, the remains go back into the earth, creating a nutrient rich potting mix. Not only that, but wild mushrooms, such as saprotrophic mushrooms are decomposers. These mushrooms release acids and enzymes that break down dead tissue – like plants and decaying wood – recycling it into compost or soil.
Feeling inspired by this super food?
With so many uses and benefits to the environment and the human body, mushrooms really are one food not to turn your nose up to. Mushrooms have so much to offer, and it’s exciting to see what else is left to be discovered! But first, it’s time to think about a delicious mushroom-based dinner.
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