What room in your house is edible?
The mushroom, of course.
Corny jokes aside, mushrooms are amazing multitaskers whose worth extends far beyond the culinary. They have long been used in Chinese medicine to treat allergies, arthritis and numerous other ailments. Mushroom extracts have also proven to be beneficial in the treatment of several skin ailments such as eczema and rosacea. They are a natural bug repellant and are used with great success in bioremediation; they may even prove to be a fuel source for the future.
Mushrooms are not a vegetable and not a fruit, but are fungi. Fungi, fungus from the Greek word sphongos or sponge because mushrooms absorb their energy from decomposing organic material, and once they break through the ground they can double their size in a mere 24 hours.
Mushrooms are a tremendous source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are the only non-animal fresh food source of vitamin B12. Loaded with all of those nutrients, they do a fantastic job in boosting the immune system and thanks to beta-glucans and linoleic acid they may also aid in the prevention of some cancers. They even help to lower cholesterol.
There are thousands of varieties of mushrooms ranging from the everyday button mushroom to the more exotic matsutake mushroom, which sells for $300 a pound. They can be canned, frozen or dried, making them a convenient pantry staple to have on hand to add to a stir fry or throw on a pizza. The large portabellas are great on the grill and make a tasty substitute for a burger. How about mushrooms for breakfast?
The largest living organism is a honey mushroom growing in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon. It covers almost 3-1/2 square miles, and it’s still growing.
Now that would make quite an omelet don’t you think?