Low in calories and rich in protein, mushrooms are ideal for vegans and dieters alike. Cooking mushrooms in the oven is easy — all you need is a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and aromatic herbs or spices. This delicious meal will delight your senses without adding inches to your waistline.
Always drain the liquid when cooking mushrooms in the oven. This will give them a crispy texture and prevent them from getting soggy.
Why Cook With Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are best known for their high protein content. It's not uncommon to see vegans and vegetarians using them as a substitute for meat. These veggies are low in fat and sodium, contain no cholesterol and abound in antioxidants. They have been used as food and medicine for centuries.
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More than 25,000 mushroom species exist, and about 25 are edible, according to a November 2014 review in the International Journal of Microbiology. These functional foods boast high doses of vitamin D, potassium, selenium, fiber and bioactive compounds. Some contain phytonutrients with antimicrobial effects. Others are rich in sterols, polyphenols and other antioxidants that may protect against inflammation, plaque buildup, allergies and heart disease.
Portabella mushrooms, for example, have only 19 calories per serving (one cup, raw). They also provide 7 percent of the daily recommended potassium intake and a whopping 27 percent of the daily recommended allowance of copper. Other key nutrients include:
- 1.8 grams of protein
- 3.3 grams of carbs
- 1.1 grams of fiber
- 0.3 grams of fat
- 4 percent of the DV (daily value) of zinc
- 7 percent of the DV of phosphorus
- 29 percent of the DV of selenium
- 2 percent of the DV of vitamin B12
- 24 percent of the DV of niacin
A single serving boasts nearly one-third of the daily recommended amount of selenium. Your body needs this mineral to produce antioxidant enzymes that fight cell damage, points out the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Selenium also protects against inflammation and may improve carbohydrate metabolism. When consumed in adequate amounts, it may lower diabetes risk and reduce insulin resistance, as noted in a review published in the Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in May 2018. Too much of it, on the other hand, may have the opposite effect.
Read more: Nutritional Value of Portobello Mushrooms
Cooking Mushrooms in the Oven
Mushrooms are prized for their high nutritional value and distinctive flavor. From a mushroom tofu scramble and pan-roasted mushrooms to grilled or marinated mushrooms, you can experiment with hundreds of recipes. With their rich aroma, these veggies can be cooked in a multitude of ways and make a healthy addition to any diet.
Real Simple provides a handy guide on how to choose the best types of mushrooms for your recipes. Enoki, for instance, should be consumed either raw or added to stir-fries at the last minute. Oyster mushrooms become tender and moist during cooking but tend to deteriorate quickly. Shiitake mushrooms are nearly impossible to overcook, which makes them ideal for oven-baked dishes.
Read more: The Best Ways to Cook the Puffball Mushroom
Cooking mushrooms in the oven takes less than one hour. The result will depend on the ingredients used. You may add butter, garlic oil, rosemary, chives, Parmesan cheese or even wine. Roasted mushrooms and onions, for example, taste completely different than foiled-baked mushrooms with rosemary and thyme. The best thing about roasting is that it brings out all their meaty, intense flavors.
Make sure the mushrooms are completely dried before cooking them. These veggies have a porous surface and absorb liquids easily.
Start by tossing the mushrooms with olive oil and then add salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, place the mushrooms onto a baking sheet and sprinkle spices and herbs all over. Roast them for about 15 minutes, drain the liquid and continue to roast for half an hour or until browned.
Fine Cooking features a similar recipe, which calls for cremini or small, white mushrooms. They also recommend tossing the mushrooms with sesame sea salt after cooking or adding rosemary-lemon thyme oil before you roast them.
The secret to perfectly roasted mushrooms is to drain off the liquid that accumulates in the baking pan after 10 to 20 minutes of cooking, states Real Simple. Excessive moisture will prevent the mushrooms from browning and affect their crispiness.
Add healthy fats, such as olive oil or garlic oil, to prevent the mushrooms from drying out in the oven.
For best results, remove the liquid and cook them for another 30 minutes or so. Use the liquid in homemade sauces, soups, rice dishes and other healthy meals for extra flavor.
- International Journal of Microbiology: "Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Portabella Mushrooms"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Selenium in Diet"
- Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences: "The Role of Selenium in Insulin Resistance"
- Real Simple: "A Guide to Mushrooms"
- Fine Cooking: "Basic Roasted Mushrooms"
- Real Simple: "The Genius Trick to Cooking Perfectly Roasted Mushrooms"