Produce Spotlight on Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, which help the body produce energy from food. Fresh mushrooms are available year-round in Massachusetts.
Shopping for Mushrooms
Look for fresh mushrooms that feel dry and firm. Avoid dark spots. Mushrooms with a stronge, sweet, earthy scent are the most flavorful. Varieties with closed caps have a mild flavor and open caps with gills showing are more robust. Purchase fresh mushrooms prepackaged or in bulk to select the amount you need. Canned or dried mushrooms have a longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms.
White or Button – common mild-flavored variety; excellent raw or cooked. Color varies from white to light brown and size from small to jumbo.
Cremini, Crimini, or Baby Bella – firm texture; range in color from light tan to brown. Rich, earthy flavor is more intense than white mushrooms.
Portobello or Portabella – large, mature cremini mushrooms that have a deep, meaty flavor and firm texture. Remove stems before using.
Shitake – large, broad, umbrella-shaped caps. Color varies from tan to dark brown. Rich, full-bodied, smoky flavor and meaty texture. Best when cooked. Stems may be used to flavor stock.
Storage and Preparation
- Store unwashed mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Avoid airtight containers that collect moisture and spoil mushrooms faster.
- For best quality, use fresh mushrooms within 1 week.
- Before using mushrooms, clean off any dirt with a dampened paper towel or soft brush. Rinse briefly under cold running water and pat dry.
- If the stems are tough, you can snap them off and discard or use them to flavor a homemade stock. Chop, slice, or cut mushrooms into wedges.
- Sauté mushrooms with garlic and herbs for a delicious side dish, serve over cooked rice, pasta, or use as a pizza topping.
- Add mushrooms to your favorite soups, stews, or sauces.
- For a vegetarian taco filling or burger, roast portobello mushrooms with bell peppers.
- Add chopped white or button mushrooms to a garden salad.
½ pound white mushrooms =
3½ cups whole =
2½ cups chopped =
1 cup cooked
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.