You’re Cleaning Mushrooms Wrong

This is a public service announcement, and it won’t take long. If you’ve been reading Heated this month, you may have noticed that we’ve been talking a lot about meat alternatives — such as high-tech burgers that “bleed” like beef but are made mostly of plants (that sort of thing), and this mushroom-nut burger. Well, before any of this stuff existed, people who wanted something “meaty” without eating meat ate mushrooms. For better or worse, the default “oh, so you don’t eat any meat?” dish served to vegetarians at restaurants and parties was a portobello “burger” or some analogous concoction where the mushrooms masquerade as meat.

Whether you cook mushrooms constantly, infrequently, or somewhere in between, there’s a decent chance you’re cleaning them wrong.

There’s this myth that you should never ever wash mushrooms because they’ll absorb too much water. Instead, what we’ve been taught to do is daintily wipe the dirt off with a damp cloth or paper towel.

This is maddeningly slow and a huge waste of time. To clean mushrooms, you should rinse them under running water. Yes, mushrooms are porous, and if you leave them sitting in a bowl of water they will soak it up like a sponge. But a quick blast of running water to wipe the dirt off will not make them any worse for wear, and will save you a lot of time and frustration in the kitchen.

If cleaning mushrooms is less frustrating, maybe we’ll cook more mushrooms. If we cook more mushrooms, maybe we’ll eat less meat. If we eat less meat, maybe (definitely) we’ll be healthier and so will the earth. PSA over.

By: Mark Bittman

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EAT A VEGAN MEAL

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Each year, the average American consumes 175 pounds of meat and poultry, almost double the global average. Eating less red meat may do you a favor: It can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. “Learn to love big heaps of vegetables,” says Mark Bittman New York Times food columnist and author of VB6.

To achieve that feeling, Bittman says to try meatless proteins, such as lentils, edamame, garbanzo beans and tofu. He also recommends roasting six sweet potatoes. “The more you cook and have stuff around, the less you’ll depend on junk.”

He’s right! Once you prepare your meals ahead of time, the less likely you will make bad food choices. I think salads are super easy. Every weekend I spend over $70 dollars on organic vegetables and fruits. Apples alone I spend about $10 dollars. Between me and my three children, we go through apples quickly. Salads are great for lunch and dinner. They’re easy to make and can be very filling. Just pile on the fruits and vegetables and don’t forget your plant-based protein. You can’t go wrong!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes with garbanzo beans:

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Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp of olive oil
3 chopped garlics
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped cranberries
2 cups garbanzo beans
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic and red peppers. Cook until onions are slightly translucent. Add kale, garbanzo beans and cranberries then, sauté for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers. Toss in almonds.

Yield 4 servings

The idea here is to eat more plants, especially leaves. Plants are a great source of vital nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, and minerals. And eat as many different kinds of plants as possible. They all have different antioxidants and so help the body eliminate different kinds of toxins.

Sources:
January 2014 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Kale food facts: High Vitamin K and Anti-Cancer properties
Plant-Based Research