While porcini mushrooms are known for their thick stem and delicous flavor, you might be surprised to learn they're packed with essential nutrients as well. Read up below to learn more about this healthful and versatile mushroom.
- ...help detoxify. Heavy potassium contents make dried porcini mushrooms helpful with eliminating fluid accumulation in the body. The mineral brings stimulates kidney activity so that excess water is excreted.
- ...help strengthen your bones. Dried porcini mushrooms contain a lot of phosphorus — this is good for teeth and bones and also helps to build up the body cells.
- ...are high in iron. Dried porcini mushrooms contain about 8.5 milligrams of iron in 100 grams. This is reason enough for vegetarians, and especially vegans, to eat them as often as possible since they help prevent iron deficiency when avoiding meat and animal foods.
- ...are packed with protein. from a biological point of view, mushrooms are not vegetables: Especially dried porcini mushrooms provide a lot of protein — a full 30 grams of protein per 100 grams. Fresh porcini is also packed with protein, which is especially good for vegetarians and vegans.
- ...contain vitamin D. Even a small portion of porcini (150 grams) contains approximately the recommended daily dose of vitamin D. Especially when the sun isn’t shining, the supply of vitamin D through food is important. It not only promotes strong bones and teeth, and strengthens the immune system, but it also prevents heart and circulatory diseases.
- ...can help boost your mood. the more serotonin the body produces, the better our mood. The most important building material in serotonin is tryptophan, and there is a lot of it (260 milligrams) in porcini mushrooms.
- ...can be hard on your stomach. Almost everyone finds porcini to be delicious, but not everyone tolerates them well. This is usually due to the substance chitin, which can cause problems for sensitive people.
What You Should Know About Porcini Mushrooms
The porcini is the king of gourmet mushrooms — and with good reason. Its pleasantly firm but tender and light-colored flesh has an incomparably elegant aroma and is also a pleasure to eat raw.
Often grown in the US throughout fall, other varieties are grown throughout Europe in spring and summer. Regarding their size, even if their "hat" reaches a diameter of up to 30 cm, their flesh remains firm and tender at the same time and retains a typical forest aroma.
How Healthy Are Porcini Mushrooms?
Unfortunately porcini, like all wild mushrooms, can store heavy metals and radioactive substances. For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises us not to eat wild mushroom dishes more than once a week and to limit our consumption to about 250 grams. But don’t panic, because porcini mushrooms are only in season for a short time, a slight overindulge once a year won’t hurt. Although, babies, toddlers, pregnant women and nursing mothers are better off without porcini mushrooms altogether.
|Porcini Mushroom Nutritional Info (100 g)|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
When buying, porcini mushrooms should look smooth, firm and fresh. They should not be too dry, but also not have any damp spots. The best porcini mushrooms have a subtle scent of forest and no wormholes.
Depending on the season and variety, porcini mushrooms grow in close proximity to spruce, oak and pine trees. They grow in both deciduous and coniferous forests, and are easily recognized for their brown heads and white-gray or white-brown stems. There is little danger in picking them.
Prepare fresh porcini as soon as possible. If you do not want to cook with them until the next day, it is best to store them dry and spread out flat on an absorbent surface (for example, on a tray lined with baking paper). The cooler, the better, however, they shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator. Rather a pantry, cellar, balcony or by an open window works best. It is important for air to get in so that the mushrooms don’t spoil.
In order to stock up on mushrooms, you might consider freezing them. First, clean the porcini, cut off the stems and then cut them into slices or pieces. Then boil in salted water for about two minutes, drain well. Next, place them in containers or bags, seal them well and put them into the freezer for three to four months. To prepare them, simply add the frozen porcini to a boiling sauce or soup.
Another way to preserve porcini is to dry them. Using this method, the delicious aroma becomes even more intense and you only need a small amount of the dried mushrooms to give dishes their typical taste. Clean and cut the porcini into thin slices, then place them on a baking tray and let them "shrivel" for six to seven hours with the oven door slightly open (just pinch a wooden spoon handle in between) at a maximum of 120 degrees F. Finally, pour them into clean screw-top jars or sealed containers and them store away from light. Prepared in this way, the porcini mushrooms will keep until the next season.
Even the most beautiful specimens lose their quality when they come into contact with water. It is therefore best not to wash porcini at all, or only briefly under running water. Drain the water well and dab the porcini thoroughly dry with a paper towel.
The best way to prepare porcini is by carefully cleaning with a small, sharp knife and a brush or paper towel. Do not remove too much when cleaning: the underside of the hat is particularly rich in nutrients and only needs to be cut out if it is rotten. The skin of the hat should only be carefully removed with a knife if there is a lot of dirt and bugs stuck to it.
What To Make With Porcini Mushrooms
The aromatic porcini mushrooms are the most enjoyable when their firm flesh is pure. Connoisseurs therefore steam or fry the sliced porcini only briefly in a little olive oil or butter, or they slice them very thinly and eat them raw (with a little oil and vinegar) like a carpaccio. A special treat is a briefly steamed porcini mushrooms with a little cream and finely chopped parsley with freshly cooked pasta.
Dried porcini mushrooms need to be soaked in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes before they are chopped and cooked.
Dried porcini can be used for a particularly long time if you grind them because then even the smallest amount can be enough. Simply work them into a very fine powder with a blender shortly before use and add them directly to the dish. The porcini powder gives broth, pasta sauces or potato soup, for example, a great taste and at the same time helps bind the liquid. It also tastes delicious if you use it to flavor a very ordinary cream sauce. And if you like to make their own pasta, a few teaspoons of porcini mushroom powder will turn your homemade pasta into a masterpiece.