Chanterelles

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 22. Apr. 2020
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​Chanterelles are a favorite mushroom of many chefs, famed for their delicious nutty flavor and exquisite, meaty texture. Chanterelle season lasts relatively long, sprouting in mid-late June and lasting through late autumn, allowing for plenty of time to enjoy this delicious ingredient. 

chanterelles

Chanterelles...

  • ...can aid in weight loss. Chanterelles are about 92 percent water, making them low in calories in fat which high in fiber, which keeps you fuller for longer.
  • ...are high in iron. 100 grams of chanterelles provide 6.5 milligrams of the mineral, which stimulates blood formation and ensures fluid oxygen transportation in the body.
  • ...supports digestion. Chanterelles contain so much fiber that a 200-gram portion is enough to provide a third of the recommended daily amount - good for the intestinal flora and digestion!
  • ...supports healthy vision. 100 grams of chanterelles contains about a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes eye and skin health. They’re also a good source of beta-carotene, a plant pigment which protects cells from free radicals and can also be converted into vitamin A.
  • ...aren't for everyone. They are difficult to digest and can cause issues for those with sensitive stomachs.
  • ...should not be eaten daily. Chanterelles can store heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, which can damage organs like the liver and kidney in large doses. For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises eating only about 250 grams of chanterelles once a week.

What You Should Know About Chanterelles

Rainy summers have some culinary advantages, one of which is an abundant mushroom season. In old times, chanterelles were incredibly abundant, however are more rare in recent years.

Origins

Unfortunately chanterelles have become rare and expensive in recent decades. Only in Eastern Europe does it still grow relatively frequently and that is exactly where the lion's share of edible mushrooms comes from.

Seasonality

Chanterelles are harvested from the end of June to October/November.

How Healthy Are Chanterelles?

Like all edible mushrooms, the fine and aromatic chanterelles are a healthy and equally delicious treat. At 92% water, chanterelles are low in fat and calories but relatively rich in fiber, making them a great option for dieters. The high water content and satiating high fiber content makes chanterelles a great secret weapon against  ravenous appetite.

Chanterelles are a good source of iron, potassium and niacin, which are necessary for many vital body processes, such as the production of fatty acids or blood formation. The vegetable proteins found in chanterelles are considered particularly healthy, especially when combined with other proteins like eggs.

Depending on the location where they grow, chanterelles can unfortunately absorb and be contaminated with heavy metals, like many wild mushrooms. Organ and nervous system- damaging heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury can be stored in chanterelles; for this reason, WHO advises not to eat wild mushroom dishes more than once a week and to limit the consumption to about 250 grams. For most people, regulating your consumption to these guidelines is totally fine, however more sensitive populations such as babies, toddlers, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid chanterelles altogether.

Incidentally, experts recommend eating no more than about 250 grams of chanterelles per week for another reason. Chanterelles contain polysaccharide, a difficult-to-digest carbohydrate which can irritate sensitive stomachs and intestines. Chanterelles also contain purines, an organic compound that can cause issues for gout patients.

Chanterelle Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 21
Protein 2.4 g
Fat 0.5 g
Carbohydrates 0.2 g
Fiber  3.3 g

 
Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

Chanterelles are generally harvested in small quantities by hand, which can make them pricey. However they’re generally more affordable then some other high-end varietals of  mushrooms, such as porcinis or lamellars, which makes chanterelles a great substitute. 

When shopping for chanterelles, look out for a bright yellow color, and ensure the mushrooms don’t have any, dark moist spots. If the mushroom top looks dark or wrinkled, they’ve dried out and lost most of their flavor.

Storage

Chanterelles don’t keep for long, 1-2 days in the refrigerator at most.

Preparation

Excess water can render mushrooms spongy and tasteless. Therefore, it’s better to gently clean mushrooms with a damp towel, rather than rinsing them. 

What To Make With Chanterelles

The slightly spicy and peppery flavor chanterelles are known for are best enjoyed when the mushrooms are prepared as simply as possible. Spices and other ingredients should only highlight the chanterelle’s flavor, not cover it up. Cook time should be kept as short as possible, or they’ll become tough.

Chanterelles are perfect as the star of risottos or creamy soups, but also go well with meat, pasta, dumplings or delicious omelette recipes. 

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