Have you ever thought about adding mushrooms to your favorite recipe to improve nutrition or making healthier recipes with mushrooms? I had never thought of this either until I entered The Mushroom Channel “Swap It or Top It” Contest last year. The challenge was to show how you blend, swap, or top burgers with mushrooms. The winners took home cash prizes worth $5,000, $1,000, or $500. Although I didn’t win, I didn’t walk away empty-handed. The contest taught me a lot substituting or blending mushrooms to make recipes healthier. I wanted to share this eye-opening experience with you (yes, I am a food geek).
According to a study from the Culinary Institute of America and the University of California-Davis, published in the Journal of Food Science, explored flavor-enhancing properties of mushrooms. The study found that blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat enhances flavor and nutrition and is the basis for how mushrooms and meat can combine for healthier alternatives to iconic American dishes. Traditional ground meat recipes prepared with 50 percent mushrooms and 50 percent meat. This technique of blending finely chopped mushrooms and ground meat together is called “Blendability“. Blending in mushrooms gives you healthier versions of the recipes you love like burgers, tacos, meatballs, meatloaf and pasta sauces.
What blendablity does:
- Calorie Reduction – Adding mushrooms can reduce calorie intake, and at the same time can add nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, b-vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Boost Flavor – Adding mushrooms can enhance the overall flavor, because of double the impact of Unami.
- Sodium Reduction – By adding mushrooms you can maintain flavor while reducing sodium intake by 25 percent.
So how exactly do you do sneak in nutrition by adding mushrooms at home? You can start with recipes that may already be in the weekly rotation. Simply chop mushrooms to match the texture of ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, turkey (or tofu) – and use in place of about half of the meat the recipe calls for. Or to go totally healthy, you could swap the mushrooms for meat altogether like I did with these Sloppy Joe Sliders.
I hope I have opened your eyes a little bit on how to make recipes a little healthier for you and your family. I hope your imaginations are running wild with ideas on recipes you could swap, blend or swap with mushrooms.
Tomorrow I will share the recipe I submitted for the challenge, so stay tuned…