If eaten frequently, mushrooms are best cooked. In the raw state they contain hydrazines which have caused cancer in laboratory animals. Hydrazines are destroyed in cooking. Fresh mushrooms contain a broad variety of nutrients in very small amounts. White button mushrooms, Agaricus bisporus, that Americans most often eat, are good sources of B-vitamins, vitamin D, and several minerals, including zinc, selenium, potassium, and copper. Some research indicates they may enhance immune activity. Use only commerical, not wild mushrooms unless gathered by someone who can distinguish the edible from poisonous. For nutrient value on other types of mushrooms, research them on the Internet.
Purchasing Buy mushrooms with caps closed completely so that the gills on the undersides are not exposed. 8 oz. = 3 cups raw sliced.
Storage Mushrooms like a dry atmosphere. Do not store in a plastic bag. Place in brown paper sack with a few air holes for circulation.
Cleaning Do not clean until ready to use. Wipe with a paper towel or soft brush. If you need to wash them, wipe them dry immediately.
Preserving Mushrooms are highly perishable. Use within two or three days. The shelf life can be extended two or three days by cooking them.
Cooking Aluminum cookware will darken them. Sauté or stir-fry. If you desire to get mushroom flavor into a liquid, cook them until the juice comes out.
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