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5+ A Day

Mushrooms

Mushrooms
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Availability

All year round.  Oyster, Wood Ear and Honey Fungus have limited availability.

 

Storage and Handling

Store in the refrigerator in a paper bag (remove plastic wrapping).Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating.

 

History

Mushrooms have been eaten in Europe, Russia, China and Japan for thousands of years and throughout history they have been used as medicine.

 

Facts and Varieties

  • There are over 250 edible mushrooms throughout the world. Although only a few are commercially available here, the variety is increasing
  • Button mushrooms:  These are harvested when still small and unopened. Once the mushrooms open to a stage where the gills are visible they are generally referred to as cups. Button and cups are the most commonly consumed mushrooms in New Zealand
  • Swiss Browns (also known as Brown Buttons or Gourmet Browns): these have a darker brown top than button or cup mushrooms, but similar looking gills. They are generally harvested when 3-5cm in diameter. Swiss Browns have a rich flavour which is similar to field mushrooms
  • Shiitake mushrooms: These have a traditional mushroom shape with a dark brown cap and often with small speckles around the rim  
  • Oyster or Phoenix Tail: (also known as abalone and pleurotte): These mushrooms have a very attractive fan shape and a delicate seafood/oyster flavour.  The colour can vary from a soft grey to a deep brown.  Underneath is a delicate and distinctive fan shaped gill formation that is a soft cream colour
  • Wood Ear (also known as Black Fungus, Jews Ear or Black Ear): This mushroom has a brown velvety / leathery texture which looks a bit like seaweed
  • Honey Fungus (also known as Jelly Fungus or White Ear) This unusual looking fungus resembles a cream coloured frilly sea sponge with a gelatinous texture and distinct but subtle honey aroma and flavour
  • Portobellos (also known as Brown Flats or Flats): These are button mushrooms which have been allowed to grow larger. They are usually harvested when about  8-10 cm in diameter, flat and with well formed gills underneath

 

Growing Facts

  • Mushrooms grow from spores not seeds – these are so small they are invisible to us
  • Mushrooms love moist, damp soils in a dark, cool spot with a humid climate
  • Typically, the easiest way to grow mushrooms is to purchase a mushroom kit

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 68g - 1 cup sliced, raw

Avg Quantity per serving Avg Quantity per 100g
Energy (kJ/Cal) 48/11 70/17
Protein (g) 1.6 2.3
Fat, total (g) 0.1 0.2
- saturated (g) trace trace
Carbohydrate (g) 0.1 0.2
- sugars (g) 0.1 0.2
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.7 2.5
Sodium (mg) 4 6
Niacin (mg) 1.4 2.0
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.16 0.24
Potassium (mg) 258 380
Selenium (µg) 5.2 7.7
Riboflavin (mg) trace trace

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 8th Edition, Plant & Food Research

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