Mushrooms, how to choose them and how to eat them safely

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Louise Hay
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I mushrooms have few calories, because they are composed of up to 90% water. They also have another positive aspect: they are very rich in trace elements and vitamins.

 «This is why they are useful and advisable, especially for those who follow one Slimming diet», Comments the doctor Paola Anselmi, nutrition biologist in Udine.

«To underline, in particular, the presence of two precious items amino acids: tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, essential for regulating the sleep rhythm and capable of naturally warding off aggression and irritability, and Lysine, indispensable for the growth of cartilages and calcification of the bones », specifies the nutritionist.




What do they contain

I mushrooms they are a source of trace elements. «Selenium stands out among all, a good one antioxidant, necessary for the prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system and to slow down the natural cellular aging », says the expert.

Also, they provide so many vitamins, especially of group B: "For example, vitamin B2, which keeps the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tract healthy, helps to strengthen the immunitary defense and protects eyes and skin.

And the vitamin B3, present in interesting quantities in non-cultivated varieties, which is important to ensure the normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids and to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, ensuring the best absorption of what we eat ", says the Dr. Paola Anselmi.


Because you don't have to overdo it 

"THE mushrooms contain chitina, a substance (formed essentially of cellulose) which gives hardness to the structure. They therefore remain in the stomach for a very long time », explains the nutritionist. «For this they must be consumed without exaggerating with the quantities, since they also tend to slow down the digestion of other foods.



Also, mushroom bites must be an exception because they can induce intolerances. Better therefore eat them to the fullest 1-2 times a week, not more. 


How to collect and consume them without risk

Mushrooms should only be collected from competent people. "A single toxic specimen can contaminate all the others it comes into contact with," warns the nutritionist.

«Consider, however, that they can be found in the offices of the local health authorities experts to ask for advice ". Also keep an eye on the fines: collection is regulated by the Regions and the rules vary a lot from one to the other. In general, however, it takes a card issued after passing an exam on the ability to distinguish the ok varieties from the dangerous ones.

Furthermore, a maximum daily limit must always be respected. Other things to keep in mind: «At the time of consumption i mushrooms they must still be firm and full-bodied. If they start to flake or are getting dark, don't eat them. The best thing, whether you collect them in person or buy them in-store, is bring them to the table during the day; otherwise, take care to keep them away from heat and light, ”concludes Dr. Anselmi.


If you buy mushrooms in oil

You are about to purchase a jar of mushrooms in oil? “Check that the lid is tightly closed, does not have swelling due to fermentation gases and does not “click-clack” when crushing it.


Also check that there are no obvious ones air bubbles and that the oil (sunflower oil is often used, because it has a less invasive taste) is clear, without turbidity ", advises the food technologist Giorgio Donegani.

«To guarantee maximum taste, give preference to porcini (the most valuable are the small and whole ones). And remember: once you open the jar, keep it in the refrigerator, with mushrooms always well covered in oil, for a maximum of 15 days ».



Dry & quality

They are mainly mushrooms from the god family Boletus, the porcini, to be dried. «Consider that from 10 kg of fresh ones you get only 1 kg of dry ones», explains Dr. Giorgio Donegani. “Prices cannot therefore be low. Furthermore, the more the slices are large and recognizable cap and stem, the higher the quality... and therefore the cost ".


Browse our gallery to discover the main species of mushrooms, how to recognize them, where to collect them. For each there is also a light and tasty recipe.


Porcine



How to recognize it: there are different types, but the most famous is the Boletus edulis, commonly called "brisa" or "settembrino". It has a sturdy, white or beige stem, a brown, fleshy and closed down cap.

Where to collect it: in the woods of firs, beeches and pines, in particular from July to November.


Method

Porcini mushrooms stewed in a pan (for 4 people)

800 g of fresh porcini mushrooms, 40 g of butter, 50 g of parsley, 1 clove of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh mint

Clean the mushrooms with a rag or a brush, without immersing them in water. In a pan, fry the butter, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the clove of garlic.

After a couple of minutes, add a little chopped parsley, salt and pepper and the mushrooms (with the whole hat and the cut stems). Cook, with the lid on, for about 10 minutes. You can serve the porcini by yourself, as a side dish, or sauté them in a pan with pasta.

To give the dish more freshness, add a sprinkle of fresh mint.

Ovule

How to recognize it: The Amanita caesarea or "good ovule" is born enclosed in a sort of shell, like an egg, then develops an orange cap, even 20 cm wide, with evident yellow gills and a cylindrical stem.

Where to collect it: in the clearings, generally below 1000 m of altitude, in the month of September.


Method

Stuffed eggs (for 4 people)

1 kg of eggs, 2 eggs, 80 g of grated Parmesan cheese, 250 g of dry bread crumbs, extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, salt and pepper, oregano

Clean the eggs e take off your hats. Then take the stems, remove the whitish skin that wraps them, cut them into pieces and put them in a container with salt, pepper, oregano, a little oil, minced garlic and breadcrumbs.

Mix well and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then combine the beaten eggs and Parmesan and mix. Place the hats on a baking sheet, covered with the special paper, and fill them with the dough.

Pour a little oil on each one and cook at 180 ° C for 30 minutes.

Prataiolo

How to recognize it: the Agaricus campestris, better known as "prataiolo", sports a hat globular, whitish, with first light and then increasingly dark gills, until they become almost black, as the mushroom reaches maturity. Has a perfume reminiscent of almond and a slightly sweet flavor.

Where to collect it: grows in meadows starting from spring till toautunno forwarded.


Method

Champignon mushroom soup (for 4 people)

700 g of champignons, 10 g of dried porcini mushrooms, 40 g of butter, 20 g of flour 00, 500 ml of vegetable broth, 60 ml of fresh cream, 1 onion, salt and pepper, parsley, chives.

Sauté the thinly sliced ​​onion in a pan with the butter. Meantime clean the mushrooms well and cut them into quarters

Pour them into the pan, also adding the dried porcini mushrooms, flour and vegetable broth. Let it cook for half an hour and then use the hand blender to get a cream.

At the end add the cream, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chives and parsley.

Drum mace

How to recognize it: Macrolepiota procera, also called "bubbola" or "umbrella", is easy to see due to the large brown-gray cap, smooth in the center and then covered with scales. It has white flesh and a thin stem.

Where to collect it: in coniferous and deciduous forests and in meadows, in summer e autunno.


Method

Breaded drum bats (for 4 people)

10 drum mallets, 100 g of flour 00, 100 g of breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of milk, 2 eggs, oil for frying, salt and pepper

Clean the mushrooms, removing the earth residues and passing a damp rag over each one, then remove the hat and cut it in two, removing the stem (which you can use for a sauce).

Then put the drum sticks in the flour, then in a dish with well beaten eggs, salt, pepper and milk and, finally, in the breadcrumbs.

Meanwhile, heat the frying oil in a pan. Pour in the mushrooms a little at a time, so that each one can cook as best as possible. Drain and serve hot. The ok pairing is with a fresh salad.

Chanterelle

How to recognize it: Cantharellus cibarius, also known as "chanterelle", has the hat (with a curious funnel shape) and the stem of the same pale yellow color. Its flesh is thick, fibrous and white under the external cuticle.

Where to collect it: grows in fir woods, up to 2000 m of altitude, between spring and autumn.


Method

Spelled with chanterelles (for 4 people)

400 g of spelled, 400 g of chanterelles, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 onion, 50 g of carrot, 50 g of celery, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt

Brown the chopped celery, carrot and onion in a pan with a little oil. Add the spelled to the sauté and cover all the ingredients with a little water. Cook over low heat for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another pan, heat a drizzle of oil, add the parsley, garlic and the mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped. Season with salt and leave on the stove for 10 minutes, seasoning with turmeric only after cooking.

Pour the chanterelles into the farro e served with a little bit of fresh parsley chopped.


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