You probably don’t need any more reasons to add delicious mushrooms to your diet, but just in case you do we thought now would be a great time to point out that besides being virtually fat-free, low in calories and carbohydrates, nutrient-rich mushrooms also one of your biggest potential allies in the fight against obesity and heart attacks and prostate cancer, three of the major health risks for men. That’s right, eating more mushrooms is pretty much a no-brainer.
Yup, mushrooms are pretty much a super food for men. If you don’t believe us, just look at the facts. They’re a good source of essential minerals – such as heart-healthy potassium (helpful to offset the effects of sodium and lower blood pressure) and selenium (that may protect against prostate cancer). Plus, their meaty flavour and hearty texture appeals to manly taste buds and is exactly what men need to stay lean and healthy. These nutritional heavyweights are also rich in anti-oxidants and Vitamins B and D.
Here are a few quick facts on why mushrooms are essential for men:
1. One cup of mushrooms contains a mere 18 calories and zero grams of fat making it a “must include ingredient” in any weight loss programme.
2. To lose weight but still gain muscle, all you have to do is to replace the meat on your plate with mushrooms. Not only are they low in calories, they’re high in fibre and pack a powerful protein punch too!
3. Selenium is a recognised ally against prostate cancer and a serving of Portabellini mushrooms (80-100gm) provides almost a third of your daily selenium needs.
4. Studies show that diets rich in potassium and low in sodium can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of men. Two-thirds of a cup of sliced, grilled portabella mushrooms contains as much potassium as a medium-sized banana. And, whilst a low salt diet allows 400-1000mg of sodium per day, fresh mushrooms contain only 14mg of sodium per 100gm. Impressively healthy!
5. Finally, adding mushrooms to your diet could improve your sex-life! They inhibit oestrogen production and contain enzymes that promote testosterone conversion making sure that testosterone levels remain high. And that’s never bad!
So many good reasons to throw a handful of mushrooms into every meal and the best news is that mushrooms are on supermarket shelves 365 days a year! And if you need a recipe or two, we’ve got you covered – check out the three deliciously easy mushrooms recipes to try below! (Psst, plus if you buy a punnet of mushrooms during June, you could win a Weber braai – look out for the promotional packs in stores and click here for more information).
Mushroom tempura with maple-soy dipping sauce
Serves 4 – 6
200g tempura flour
5ml Chinese five spice powder
5 chives, finely chopped
250ml soda water, chilled
3 – 4 big brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
oil, for frying
Maple-Soy Dipping Sauce:
60ml Maple syrup
45ml light soy sauce
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
Maple-Soy Dipping Sauce:
Place the Maple-Soy dipping sauce ingredients into a small pot. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Heat some oil in pot or deep fat fryer. Place the tempura flour, Chinese five spice powder and chives into a mixing bowl. Gradually add the soda water and lightly mix, until just combined. Do not overmix. Dip the mushroom slices, a few at a time into the batter and straight into the hot oil. Fry for 35-40 seconds per side and once golden and crispy, drain on paper towel. Serve hot, with the Maple-Soy Dipping Sauce and some extra chopped chives over the top.
Mushroom & chicken quesadilla
Makes 1 large
1 chicken breast fillet, sliced
205g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 (410g) can red kidney beans, drained
2 large flat wraps
5ml ground cumin or taco spice
100g cheddar cheese, grated
*finely dice 1 red onion and 2 tomatoes. Add fresh coriander and some sliced fresh green chilli if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chicken until cooked. Transfer to a plate and return the pan to the stove. Fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and the paprika. Cook for 1 minute and set aside. Place the beans and cumin into a mixing bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Lay a wrap on a flat surface and spread the bean mixture on top. Top with the reserved mushroom and chicken mixture, guacamole, cheddar cheese and fresh salsa. Lay the second wrap on top of the filling. Heat a large, non-stick pan on the stove and slide the quesadilla into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, turn (using a plate to assist) and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, place the quesadilla under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes, per side. Slices into wedges and serve.
Spicy beef & mushroom stew (Portabellini)
Serves 4 – 6
400g beef cubes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
8 baby onions, peeled
15ml brandy (optional)
15ml Moroccan Harissa paste*
1 tin diced tomatoes
750ml beef stock
400g portabellini mushrooms
salt and milled black pepper
10ml fresh parsley, chopped
*Alternatively substitute with Thai red beef curry paste
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the beef, in batches, for 2-3 minutes, or until browned. Transfer the meat to a plate and fry the garlic and onions, over a low heat, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Increase the heat and return the meat to the pan. Add the brandy, if using, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the harissa paste, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over a low heat for 1 ½ hours. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper and top with parsley. Serve with creamy polenta and seasonal vegetables.
Mushroom & onion bhajis (spice Indian fritters)
Makes 16 – 20
180ml cold water
120g chickpea or cake flour
2ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml curry powder
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, sliced and quartered
200g button mushrooms, sliced
oil for frying
To Serve (optional):
Place the water and egg into a jug and whisk together. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, curry powder, cumin seeds and salt and whisk until smooth. Add the onion and mushrooms and stir to coat. Heat some oil in pot or deep fat fryer, once hot, drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and fry for 30-45 seconds per side, or until the bhajis are golden-brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bhajis and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Serve hot, with lime wedges, mango chutney and fresh coriander leaves.