Mushroom is the reproductive structure produced by some fungi. But as many of you think mushroom is not a vegetable, rather it’s a fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus. Its meaty flavor adds extra demand from people. There are different types of mushrooms, some taste sweet and others taste nutty. This article will guide you through the types of mushrooms and wonderful substitute for mushrooms that can be used for mushrooms.
Why Everyone should Eat Mushrooms
There are several reasons why you should eat mushrooms. This is not only health benefits of mushrooms but also culinary value. Following are the key reasons for it.
It helps you to lose weight. By eating mushrooms, you can regulate the glucose levels which lead to reduce your weight. The low calories and high nutrients included in mushrooms help to control the weight of the body well.
Mushroom can protect you against the damage from aging. That means it helps you to look young. Selenium, an antioxidant that helps to regulate the harm done by free radicals, is present in mushrooms. This in conjunction with the availability of vitamin E from mushrooms, acts to protect cells and helps reduce symptoms of aging.
A balanced dose of potassium is given by mushrooms, and potassium sources have ability to lower the high blood pressure because potassium reduces the effects of sodium on the body. It also tends to decrease the danger of stroke and Don’t forget to include some rosemary to your mushroom recipe to improve the blood circulation.
Mushrooms also contain calcium which is good for the bones. This serendipitous incident only improves the advantages for your bones. It has been shown that consuming sufficient quantities of calcium decreases joint pain, loss of mobility and even the risk of osteoporosis.
Different Types of Mushrooms
There are number of mushroom types that we can see in the market and the nutrients that it contains is differ based on the type. Thus, based on your required nutrients and mushroom recipe you have to choose the type of mushroom that you should go for.
Following mushroom species list in our article will guide you through the detailed explanations of 10 types of mushrooms.
One of the world’s most popular kinds of cultivated mushrooms. They’re also known as pearl oyster mushrooms or tree oyster mushrooms. In a variety of cuisines, oyster mushrooms are eaten and are particularly common in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking.
They can be dried and are generally cooked for feeding. Oyster mushroom identification is easy, it grows 5-20cm long with the dark grey color and has a savory flavor. Thus, most of you may like to eat oyster mushrooms and also, they work well in different dishes.
When comes to mushroom nutrition, there are 28 calories, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates and zero grams of fat in a cup of raw oyster mushrooms. since oyster mushrooms are a good source of protein and other minerals, this is good for vegetarians.
It’s a slightly mature version of the white button mushroom. Thus, having the similar flavor to the white button mushroom. These are also called as “baby bella” or “baby portobello” mushrooms. You can easily find cremini mushrooms in super markets.
Cremini mushrooms are a source of small amounts of vitamins and minerals. The enzymes and bacteria contained in cremini mushrooms provide several health advantages. Boosting immune system, cancer prevention and controlling blood pressure are few of them.
These are cultivated in Europe, North America, and parts of Asia, and grow naturally in pine forests at the base of trees. Gourmet chefs love fresh porcini, which can be sautéed and eaten as a side dish or added to risottos and pasta, while dried mushrooms give a rich taste to broths and stews.
Porcini mushrooms are often represented in flavor and texture as nutty and earthy with a meatiness. They have a similar taste to other mushrooms but with a deeper and nuttier flavor. The protein content of porcini mushrooms is high, with more than 33 grams of protein per 100 grams per serving.
These mushrooms have a large cap that varies from light to dark brown. Their cream-colored flesh is strong and somewhat chewy, and the stem is fibrous and sometimes removed before cooking, although it is flavorful.
These cooking mushrooms are quite expensive but they are worth the extra cost due to their rich, earthy flavor and meaty texture. Compared to button mushrooms, shiitakes have a more complex taste. For decades, Shiitakes have been used in traditional Asian healing systems for their health benefits.
They are rich in minerals like selenium. Naturally, mushrooms are low in fat and calories and are cholesterol-free. They contain vitamins A, B2, B12, C and D, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and zinc, and are a good source of fiber.
This mushroom may be referred to as the common mushroom, button mushroom, cultivated mushroom, table mushroom, and champignon mushroom. Their meaty texture helps to add the body to your meals, but their low-calorie content of 22 calories per cup ensures that your waistline will not expand the calories in white mushrooms.
Incorporate these in your cooking and benefit from many advantages linked to their nutrient content. In energy production minerals help, and phosphorus helps you create DNA. 86 milligrams of phosphorus are given by a cup of whole white mushrooms, or around 12% of your daily intake requirement.
Cultivated fungi are not exposed to light, resulting in a white color, whereas wild fungi typically have a dark brown color. They are mostly found at the grocery and are slightly larger and more expensive. Since they are the younger, smaller variant of mushrooms. To add a more full-bodied taste, a substitute for button mushrooms in soups, sautés and more.
Button mushrooms are usually white or very light brown, readily available, where the caps can vary in size. These mushrooms, plump and dome-shaped, have a mild, pleasing flavor that intensifies when cooked. Both raw and cooked, these easy-to-find mushrooms are very versatile and excellent for use. Also, canned and occasionally dried are widely available.
As they are sometimes referred to, matsutake mushrooms or “pine mushrooms” have been growing wild on the roots of red pines and other trees for over a thousand years. The spicy aroma of Matsutake is rare, intense, pine-infused-with-cinnamon-like.
There are a range of health benefits to the matsutake mushroom, from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to anti-fat and anti-tumor. This type of mushroom can be identifying as one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world.
You can easily identify beech mushrooms with their small caps and long stems emerging in small clusters. Beech mushrooms are the most popular mushroom varieties in China and Japan, where they are known as Shimeji. Beech mushrooms contain high levels of Selenium and rich in B vitamins.
They are wild and sometimes found growing on decaying beech trees. They have small round caps of mushrooms which, depending on the particular type, take on a mottled brown color or pure white. Apart from the base of the cluster, every part of it is edible. They have a crunchy texture with a delicious mushroom umami.
They are often regarded in traditional Asian medicine to have medicinal benefits. Much like portobellos, these mushrooms have a meaty texture. When baked, they have a more smoky, earthy taste. The most widely sold is dried mushrooms in Asian mushrooms.
An excellent addition to this diet is cooked Asian mushrooms. Fiber, protein, B vitamins, Vitamin D, antioxidants, and many other beneficial compounds are filled with them. Thus, by adding Asian mushrooms to your diet you can gain more medical benefits.
Different Categories of Mushrooms
Apart from the types of mushrooms we can see different categories of mushrooms.
Cultivated mushrooms are those that are commercially cultivated. To successfully grow mushrooms for the market, mushroom farmers use a variety of different methods and configurations.
Cultivated mushroom includes Maitake, Shiitake, Oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, portobello, cremini and many more. Almost all of the mushrooms that you are taking home from the market for kitchen use have been grown under controlled conditions indoors.
The mushroom is a fungus and mushroom farmers work hard to keep all other fungi and bacteria out of the growing area in order to keep the strain pure. The first cultivated mushrooms were grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The commercial cultivation of mushrooms began in France.
Wild mushrooms are those picked from nature by mushroom hunters and foragers. In appearance, some edible mushrooms are very similar to poisonous forms and can grow in the same environment. It is accepted that edible mushrooms are healthy to consume because they have been consumed regularly without any adverse effects.
Since someone ate them and became ill or died, poisonous mushrooms are known. No test or function exists to differentiate between edible and poisonous mushrooms. Thus, neither of mushroom should be eaten unless edibility is absolutely certain.
Truffles, morels, and chanterelle mushrooms are some of the wild mushrooms. You can also harvest the edible wild mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms can be described as macroscopic fungi which in the form of extracts or powders, are used to prevent, relieve or cure multiple diseases and/or to balance a healthy diet. Medicinal mushrooms are special strains of wild edible mushroom species that are used for compounds that improve their unique and extraordinary health.
They are a class of superfoods, as well as the mycelium biomass and spores or seeds of the mushroom, derived from the actual fruiting body. Chaga, maitake, reishi and turkey tail mushrooms are some of popular medicinal mushrooms.
Psychoactive Mushrooms often called as magic mushrooms. They are mushrooms with psychoactive properties. Among indigenous tribes, they are regarded as sacred medicine, having been used extensively in religious and spiritual ceremonies in the past especially in Central and South America.
Although currently they are classified as a drug in many countries. These are surprisingly easy to grow. All you need is some basic equipment, a substrate, some spores, and a little patience. There are more than 180 species of mushrooms that contain the psychedelic chemicals. Psychoactive Mushrooms, mushrooms that have positive long-term effects on the brain.
There are number of poisonous mushrooms around the world in which a single gram of this mushroom is sufficient to kill a human being. You should aware about the edibility of the mushroom before you eat because most of the poisonous mushrooms look like edible mushroom.
You can easily identify poisonous mushrooms if there is any red on the mushroom including the cap, stem or pores. And also, when you cut the mushroom if it immediately turned into blue then again, it’s a poisonous mushroom. Thus, it’s safe if you don’t consume any mushrooms unless you are 100% sure of what they are.
Other than a food some mushrooms can be used for other purposes. For bioremediation, or cleaning up the environment, mushrooms are also used other than eating. They are capable of breaking down oil and other toxins from the atmosphere.
In order to make better compost, fungus may also help. Apart from these researchers now research about new inventions with mushrooms with regard to biofuels, packaging, cleaning products and textiles.
Classifying Mushrooms Based on How They Grow
Mushrooms can be categorized into different types based on how they grow. This is based on the way in which the mushroom receives nutrients.
Saprotrophs are decomposers that survive off dead species that have decomposed. They are classified into three categories: fungi, water mold, and bacteria. They are important for helping to recycle nutrients and other substances ecologically.
On dead and decaying wood, saprotrophic mushrooms grow. They will break down plant matter and turn it into nutrients and in doing so, speed up the decomposition of their host. These fungi play a crucial role in the breakdown of plant matter, where much of the carbon can be contained in terrestrial habitats.
The behavior of the fungi allows the environment to return much of this carbon as CO2. Water, oxygen, neutral or acidic soil, and cool temperatures are required for these mushrooms.
Mycorrhizal mushrooms and their host plant have a symbiotic relationship. This interaction between the two helps both the mushroom and the plant to benefit from it. The mushroom receives some of the sugar from the plant. The mushroom provides water and protection for the plant against certain illnesses.
This mushroom community attaches itself to the root system of a plant. They then grow through the soil, expanding the root system in this way. In the soil, both the mushroom and the plant will draw in more nutrients. In this sub-group, truffles and chanterelles fall.
For parasitic mushrooms, the link is one-way in favor of the mushroom. A typical example of parasitic fungi developing on the backs of caterpillars and other insects replacing the tissue of the host with their own is Cordyceps. Other fungi are parasitic in certain Cordyceps. The Cordyceps are a group of some 400 species. They flourish in humid forests, both temperate and tropical.
Endophytes take over the tissue of their host plant, including parasitic mushrooms. Endophytes do not affect the host and have a relationship that is symbiotic. They help the host of the plant acquire nutrients, water, and provide protection from illness.
Endophytes are species living in living plant cells, mostly fungi and bacteria. The relationship of host and this type of mushroom range from symbiotic to pathogenic. Many endophytes show specificity to one type of tissue, but others can be found in different places of the plant.
Substitute for Mushrooms
There are plenty of different types of edible mushrooms and its alternatives available in the market. Some of them are commonly available but some varieties are not in every supermarket near you. Therefore you have to go to substitutes which give the same tastes and nutrition. Here we listed some of the perfect substitutes for mushrooms if you prefer mushrooms other than the similar taste of alternatives.
|Mushroom Type||Perfect Substitute|
|Oyster mushrooms||Shiitake mushrooms, Maitake mushrooms, Edible puffballs, Chanterelles Mushroom|
|Cremini mushrooms||White Button Mushrooms, Portobello Mushrooms, Shiitake Mushrooms, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Ground chickpeas|
|Porcini mushrooms||Shiitake mushrooms, Truffle Oil, Zucchini, Tomato Paste, Thyme, Fish sauce|
|Shiitake mushrooms||Portobello Mushrooms, Cremini mushrooms, Porcini mushrooms|
|White mushrooms||Enoki mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms, Pearl mushrooms, Shiitake mushrooms|
|Brown mushrooms||Portobello Mushrooms, Cremini mushrooms, White Button Mushrooms|
|Button mushrooms||Cremini mushrooms|
|Matsutake Mushrooms||Portobello Mushrooms, Shiitake Mushrooms|
|Beech mushrooms||Enoki mushrooms|
|Asian mushrooms||Portobello Mushrooms|
If you don’t like mushrooms and want a nice alternative taste, followings are some of the alternatives are useful.
In Indonesia, Tempeh is actually a common ingredient. Specifically, it is a soy product that has a firm and distinctive texture. The flavor is almost similar to mushrooms. In order to get the same texture of mushroom you have to cut this to thin slices.
Tempeh is produced in water by soaking soybeans then partially cooking them. Tempeh would work well in a stir-fry or casserole. The beans are subsequently subjected to a mold that creates the tempeh. If you are allergic to molds, then tempeh is not a perfect substitute for you.
One of the most suitable choices for mushrooms is tofu. In order to imbibe the earthy taste of field mushrooms, you should slice tofu and submerge it with soy sauce. You can freely substitute the mushroom with tofu slices if you are trying to make a mushroom sauce.
But most of people don’t know how to prepare tofu. Its high protein content makes it a popular meat replacement. But if you are allergy to soy this is not the option for you.
Once the tomatoes dried through the heat of the sun they can be used as a substitute for mushrooms. During the drying process tomatoes are getting the earthy flavor. Many of you may love to use sun dried tomatoes as a substitute to mushroom as it adds unique flavor to your foods.
In order to enhance the flavor, you can season the tomatoes with herbs, parsley, and other spices before the drying process. As toppings for various dishes, sun-dried tomatoes may replace mushrooms.
Compared to mushrooms, they may have different tastes, but the texture they have makes the recipe earthy and tasty. Depending on the dish’s specifications, you can dice or slice them.
It’s really hard to find Garbanzo Beans. In only a few regions of the planet, this specific ingredient can find. This bean has two variants: the smaller one and the bigger one. Each can be used in various recipes, but smaller Garbanzo beans have a higher nutritional value than their big brother’s.
To substitute mushrooms in dry recipes, you can use garbanzo beans. Before use Garbanzo Beans as a substitute for mushrooms you have to cook them first.
This is common and easy find ingredient around the world. They are used in different recipes, but for hardcore vegetarians, they can also serve as a main dish. Mushrooms are somehow similar to the fluffy and sensitive texture of eggplants. For recipes that have mushroom toppings or foundation, their slightly sweet flavor often makes them a good ingredient.
Since the size of the mushrooms is long, you must cut them into small pieces before adding them to the mixture. f you have a slightly thin meal and want to substitute the mushrooms and add some bulk, eggplant is a perfect way to go.
Zucchini is a type of vegetable that is part of the squash family. For that reason, this veggie has the summer squash nickname. If they are ripe, the zucchini can grow as long as a meter. But this squash is usually harvested when they are still small. A young zucchini, which is similar to mushrooms, has a mildly sweet taste.
Somehow the texture of the flesh is also reminiscent of mushrooms. For pasta dishes, you can use zucchini as a mushroom substitute. All you need to do is cut or grate it into tiny bits. It is possible to replace other savory dishes, including mushrooms, with zucchini.
Compared to the common potatoes that you and me know, russet potatoes are large and long. It’s the ideal ingredients for fried and baked recipes. They should not be included in recipes for salads and soups. They can cause the dish to be soggy. Therefore, as a substitute for mushroom soups and sauces, you should not make them.
So that we can use russet potatoes as a substitute for mushrooms for dry recipes. The use of this potato variant will revitalize fried dishes that come with mushroom toppings. You just have to peel the potato and cut it down to the shape and size you want.
Can you freeze your potatoes? Freezing might be helpful to you when you are preparing your favorite dish.
With its special flavor, it is known that cilantro dazzles taste buds and improves all kinds of dishes. As they are vegetables that are quick to add and eat, they also perform well as replacements for mushrooms. While removing any brown or discolored leaves, it is important to wash this vegetable thoroughly.
They are perfectly edible to eat as a snack, while you can add cilantro to rice dishes, pasta, and especially Indian and Pakistani entrees. For those who are health conscious and prefer locally grown vegetables and fruits, there are also organic versions.
If you enjoy good tasting different types of mushrooms and want to imitate the flavor but do not have fresh mushrooms, this is the best choice. Mushrooms, as they dial up the umami taste, are a common ingredient in many recipes.
We have all heard of sweet, salty, bitter and sour tastes; umami, which is a savory flavor that you will sometimes get from slow-cooked meat or a beef broth, is the fifth part.
The umami spice comes in a container and has no adverse health issues associated with any of the other flavor enhancers. Five different seasoning powders, including tomato powder, soy sauce, roasted cabbage, porcini extract, and shiitake extract, are available to choose from.
This is another perfect substitute for mushroom. Onions can be spicy, but they have a lot of vitamins and flavor. Red onions are particularly spicy and are not perfect for every meal. White onions, however, taste a little sweeter and serve as the ideal topping for burgers, chicken, fish, and poultry dishes.
It is possible to saute onions, fry them using air fryer, or even portions of the baked dishes. This gives them the variety that when deciding on vegetables to add to meals, most people look for.
While different in flavor than mushrooms, when cooking or making quick, healthy snacks, onions should always be on your list for last-minute or evergreen replacements.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
As we explained above in this mushroom identification guide different mushrooms types gives you different levels of nutrition and taste. Here we have listed some of health benefits of mushrooms for your life.
- Mushrooms are good source of nutrients. They’re free of sugar, low-sodium low-calorie, and free of cholesterol.
- Mushrooms can protect you from heart diseases. The antioxidants included in mushrooms avoid the damaging of free radicals that is the reason for heart diseases and cancers. And also mushroom has ability to boost the immune system of your body.
- Mushrooms comprising of beta glucan which is help your body to regulate blood sugar, boosting heart health and reducing the diabetes. Most importantly 2 types of mushrooms which are Oyster and shiitake mushrooms have large amount of beta glucan compared to other types.
- Also, they are rich with B vitamins. Riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid are B vitamins included in mushrooms. For red blood cells, riboflavin is good. For the digestive system and for preserving healthy skin, niacin is good, and for the nervous system, pantothenic acid is good and helps the body create the hormones it needs.
- Copper is another nutrient included in mushroom. Copper helps the body generate red blood cells, which are used by the body to deliver oxygen. The mineral is also important to other body processes, such as the maintenance of healthy bones and nerves. A 1-cup serving of mushrooms will provide around one-third of the daily recommended amount of copper even after being cooked.
How Long do Mushrooms Last
Mushrooms are extremely nutritious ingredient that you can add for your foods. But sadly, when you carry them home from the grocery store, they still do not stay fresh for very long. Generally fresh whole mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, while fresh sliced mushrooms can last up to 7 days.
In the fridge, cooked mushrooms will last between 7-10 days. But still depending on the variety again it differs. In your freezer, freezing your mushrooms will allow them to last for 2 to 12 months. For up to a year, dried mushrooms will last. And when kept refrigerated, pickled or canned mushrooms can last for 4 to 6 months.
How to Store Mushrooms
If you properly store fresh mushrooms, they’ll stay fine for up to a week. It is easy to do if you follow following seps. In a brown paper bag, put whole unwashed mushrooms and fold the top of the bag over. Then stick the bag in your fridge’s main compartment.
This works because the bag retains the mushrooms’ excess moisture so that they do not get soggy or moldy.
Avoid putting mushrooms near mushrooms near foods with strong tastes, they will absorb them like a sponge. Don’t store other foods over them because the squished and bruised mushrooms cannot be kept for a longer time.
If you want to store your mushrooms for more than a week you should freeze or dry them before store it.
Do mushrooms go bad?
Mushroom is a fungi that rot and grow bacteria. So, if it kept for a longer time it can go wrong. And also, there’s a similarity among edible mushrooms and poisoning mushrooms. Thus, unless you clearly identified the differences of mushroom you should not eat. Otherwise, you become sick.
There are signs that you can identify mushrooms have gone bad. If mushrooms became slimy by keeping it in the fridge for so long, it’s no longer fit for eating. If the mushrooms dry out and get wrinkles then again you should not eat. Then the dark spots are a sign that fungi are starting to go bad.
Apart from these if you store mushrooms for more than 2 weeks and if mushrooms emit an order, of course they’ve gone bad.
How to dry mushrooms?
Since mushroom is a nutrients ingredient lot of you may ask how to dry them and keep them for a longer time. And also drying mushrooms you can get deep umami flavor of the mushrooms which can be used to soups, braises, and stir-fries.
You can buy dried mushrooms from your grocery but you can dry mushrooms in an oven or using a dehydrator, but also you can dry them by not using either of them.
You can put them in an open container with good airflow and leave them for 1 week to dry. By doing so you can keep mushroom for a quite long time.
How to freeze mushrooms?
If you’re a mushroom lover you want to keep mushrooms for a longer period. Then freezing is the best option that you have. When you are going to freeze make sure the mushrooms that you used are not dry, shriveled, darkened, and having dark spots. Then you need to wash your mushrooms by using cold water.
We always recommend using purified water for cooking-related activities because the water contains minerals that are harmful to the human body. So take filtered water from your countertop water filter and use it for cooking and drinking.
Mushrooms should cook before freezing. There are two ways that you can follow when cooking them. One is sauteeing where heating the mushrooms in a frying pan with butter or oil for five minutes. Other one is steaming. Thereafter give sometimes for mushrooms to cool completely. Then you can spread them on a cookie sheet and freeze them.
How to keep mushrooms fresh?
Mushroom is a vegetable that’s having 80 to 90 percent water content. That’s the reason for harder to keep mushroom fresh for a longer time. The first step of keeping mushrooms fresh is when you are buying mushrooms make sure you’re buying fresh looking mushrooms from the grocery.
As the second step for keeping mushrooms fresh is let them to breathe. If you store them in a air-tight container or plastic bags there’s a higher chance that they will spoil.so best way to store them is using a paper bag as we already mentioned in the earlier part of the article. And make sure the top of the paper bag is open.
What are mushrooms good for?
With mushrooms, you can’t go wrong. They’re free of sugar, low-sodium low-calorie, and free of cholesterol. They’re also filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Based on the form of mushroom, nutritional benefits differ. Overall, however they are a strong source of Antioxidants, Beta glucan, B vitamins, Copper and Potassium.
If you have minor inflammation, such as some fracture, or if you have some autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, Mushrooms are a perfect food to consume.
While they are small and light in calories, they are strong in other respects. One serving only has around 15. Mushrooms have around 15 minerals and vitamins.
How to tell if mushrooms are spoiled?
The telltale sign of a spoiled mushroom is a slimy film. Once the slime starts, it’s a slippery slope into the darkening in color and mushy texture that suggests the inedible variety’s mold. Another sign that your mushrooms are about to spoil are wrinkles and dry spots. Use them immediately if they are only beginning to dry out and are not discolored, slimy, or smelly.
Among the first signals that the mushrooms are going bad are bruises and brown or black spots. Consider cutting off the blemish and using the rest of the item for bruised mushrooms and other items with no other signs of spoilage. If dark spots cover your mushrooms, just dump them in the trash.
What does a bad mushroom look like?
Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious indications that your mushrooms need to go into the garbage. The bad mushrooms are slimy. Sliminess also takes place on mushrooms that have been sitting for too long in the refrigerator. Although at this stage, they are certainly not dangerous, tossing them is still good.
Sometimes, older mushrooms don’t get slimy and instead dry out and get wrinkles. Dark spots are another indicator that your mushrooms are beginning to go bad. Your mushrooms should not have a scent that is obvious or heavy. They’ve gone bad, if you can smell them.
Mushrooms are fungal-derived products. But edible mushrooms, despite their status, are still on par with other veggies when it comes to the nutritional content they have. They are known to be able to minimize health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Some people do not like them or are allergic to them. Fortunately, these substitutes for mushrooms that I have mentioned in this article can somehow cope with this problem.