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Learn to Love: Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms, aside from the phrase being my new favorite expletive substitute (it is up there with dang and crud), are fast becoming known as a new super food. Since they have been used medicinally in Asia for over 6,000 years, I'd really have to admit their status as a super food is "new" to me. And possibly you, too?

Did you know that they contain protein? I, for one had no idea that 8 ounces of shiitakes contain almost 5 grams of protein. Although mushrooms are often treated like veggies, they are a fungus and have no roots, leaves, flowers or seeds. Shiitakes contain lentinan and L-ergothioneine. If you have never heard of those substances before, neither had I, since they don't come up all that often in casual conversation. Lentinan helps bolster the immune system, strengthening its ability to fight infection and disease. That is why this compound is being researched for its ability to fight cancer and AIDS. Some researches think it might even help with allergies. L-ergothioneine is a powerful antioxidant, which fortunately is not destroyed when the mushrooms are cooked.

Shiitakes make a great addition to stir-fries. I enjoy them sautéed with asparagus and ginger. Or you might enjoy them, like YumSugar does, on a mushroom pizza. Since these mushrooms are becoming increasingly popular, they are easy to find in most grocery stores. If you can't find them there, you should try an Asian market.

Learn to love them - they are good for you and tasty!!!

Join The Conversation
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
oh i love love love!!!
suzanne suzanne 10 years
Hi SU3 :WAVE: I'm still :ROTFL: (I'm so enjoying myself that I almost forgot to campaign... Vote for Fit!
SU3 SU3 10 years
:ROTFL: :ROTFL: LOL suzanne! :D
suzanne suzanne 10 years
:ROTFL: Look!!!! My typo got me "bleeped." :OOPS: Apparently, its shiitake not shitake. :JUMPIN: That was so funny... I did it again! :ROTFL:
suzanne suzanne 10 years
This info grabbed my attention because my "Sweet Babboo" and I were standing in front of the mushroom section of the produce isle just this past Sunday. We considered the other mushrooms :? but in the end, grabed the old regular white ones for our Mushroom Sherry Sauce... We hereby pledge to broaden our mushroom horizon with shitakes - now that we know we have a healthy reason to!!! :)
the-clam the-clam 10 years
8 ounces is half a pound of mushrooms! They reduce when you cook them, though. It's good to know that your protein intake does add up even if you don't eat meat.
KandiQTC KandiQTC 10 years
I'm a huge fan of shiitake!! So healthy, and personally, I love their taste and smell. (I'm also a fan of most Japanese food tho)
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