The Best Ways to Cook Baby Bellas

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Baby bella mushrooms are just one of the many types of edible mushrooms.
Image Credit: Lisa J. Goodman/Moment Mobile/GettyImages

Baby bella mushrooms are just one of the many types of edible mushrooms. They also go by the names cremini mushrooms and baby portobello mushrooms. Since they are low in calories yet rich in nutrients, baby bellas make for a popular diet food.

While you can eat mushrooms raw, you can also cook them. Some of the best ways to cook baby bellas include roasting and sautéing. You can also grill mushrooms.

Baby Bella Mushrooms Nutrition Facts

Mushrooms count as a vegetable serving, though they are typically classified as fungi. Since the USDA recommends that adults consume between 2.5 and 3 cups of vegetables per day, mushrooms are a great way to meet this dietary requirement.

According to the USDA, a 3-ounce serving of baby bella mushrooms contains the following nutrients:

  • 20 calories
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 3 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber

Cremini mushrooms also contain potassium, iron and vitamin C. Since they are low in fat and carbs yet contain a moderate amount of protein, they can be incorporated in many diet types. Other nutritional benefits of cremini mushrooms is that they are rich in B vitamins and vitamin D.

Mushrooms are commonly consumed on a vegan diet due to their protein and vitamin D content. They have an umami flavor that allows them to be used in plant-based recipes for fish and meat substitutes. However, mushrooms are lower in protein than meat. If you follow a vegan diet, do not rely exclusively on mushrooms for protein, though you can serve them alongside other protein sources like soy and legumes.

Read more: 8 Food Trends You're Going to See Everywhere in 2020

Roast Baby Bella Mushrooms

Roasting is a popular cooking method for a variety of vegetables. It is an easy and healthy alternative to frying, though it can be time-consuming.

A quick way to get the flavor of roasted mushrooms without waiting a long time is to use your oven's broiler function. Simply add your fungi and vegetables of choice to an oven-safe dish with optional oil, sauce, seasonings and spices.

According to this recipe by Mayo Clinic, here is how to roast baby bella mushrooms:

  1. Combine all ingredients — asparagus, mushrooms, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and black pepper — to a bowl and toss.
  2. Allow the mixture to marinate for one to two hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Transfer contents to a nonstick baking sheet.
  4. Turn the broiler on a high setting.
  5. Cook the mushroom and vegetable medley for two to three minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Using the broiler to roast mushrooms has the advantage of requiring less fat to cook. This is something to consider if you follow a low-fat diet.

Read more: Nutritional Value of Portobello Mushrooms

Sauté Baby Bella Mushrooms

If you want to add mushrooms to a stir-fry or noodle dish, consider sautéing them. Adding vegetables to a nonstick pan, skillet or wok with some oil is a quick and easy way to cook them.

According to this recipe by Harvard Health Publishing, all you need to sauté mushrooms is the fungi themselves and a ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Simply bring a frying pan to medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Toss to coat and allow them to sauté for approximately five to seven minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through.

Once sautéed, you can enjoy the baby bellas on their own, as a side dish or incorporated in another recipe. For example, you can add sautéed mushrooms to a shepherd's pie or pot pie recipe.

For more ways to include baby bella mushrooms into your diet, try these LIVESTRONG.com recipes:

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