Recipe: Earth Angels

'Shrooms are Boomin' with riches.

By Robin Nixon, published on September 1, 2008 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

With their frumpy shapes and drab tones, mushrooms are not the beauty queens of the veggie kingdom. But while they may not dazzle the eye, these bosky treats bolster body and brain. Mushrooms provide stress-fighting B vitamins, such as pantothenic acid and riboflavin, and healthy doses of potassium to keep nerves and blood pressure under control. Don't let their humble hues fool you; mushrooms are loaded with phytonutrients, too. The "extreme" antioxidant ergothioneine exists most richly in fungi. Because they contain substances—such as lentinan—that act as immune enhancers, more than 50 mushroom varieties are under study as anticancer agents. Today, 90 percent of mushrooms consumed in the United States are white buttons. But it is the baby portabella, a.k.a. crimini, that takes the quiche. Criminis are loaded with goodies.

3 Power Packed 'Shrooms

Type: Crimini

Nutrients:

  • Selenium
  • Riboflavin(B2)
  • Copper
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Potassium

Health Benefits:

  • Aids antioxidants, may increase fertility, lower cancer risk
  • Antioxidant, may prevent migraines
  • Aids red blood cell production, nerve and bone health
  • Wards off heart and artery diseases
  • Aids stress responses
  • Mineral and electrolyte, aids nerve and muscle function

Type: Shiitake

Nutrients:

  • Copper
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Selenium

Health Benefits:

  • Aids red blood cell production, nerve and bone health
  • Aids stress responses
  • Aids antioxidants, may increase fertility, lower cancer risk

Type: White button

Nutrients:

  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Copper
  • Selenium

Health Benefits:

  • Antioxidant, may prevent migraines
  • Wards off heart and artery diseases
  • Aids red blood cell production, nerve and bone health
  • Aids antioxidants, may increase fertility, lower cancer risk

Fresh Mushroom Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes

Mushrooms are suited to any season, but the first cool days of fall seem to highlight their woodsy flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. brandy
  • 4 cups beef broth

Directions

Sauté onions in olive oil over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, until they soften and begin turning golden. Add mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add thyme and nutmeg, stirring and cooking 2 minutes more. Add brandy and stir well for 30 seconds. Add broth. Allow soup to come to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls.