Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Mushrooms are packed full of amazing nutrients and have been involved in the health of humans since ancient times. The compounds in mushrooms help to support the immune system and prevent infections (they are known to contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties) and have been linked in studies to helping prevent auto immune diseases such as arthritis.
Mushrooms are versatile and are often used to substitute meat – they are easy to add to salads, soups, breakfast, and pasta dishes.
Mushrooms are a great source of protein, are rich in selenium and vitamin D and are a good source of B vitamins including folate and niacin which are all important to fertility and general health too.
Eaten raw, mushrooms are a great prebiotic food and help to feed the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut.
The very fact that white mushrooms contain a great amount of vitamin D (they produce more when placed in sunlight because they are rich in the vitamin D precursor ergosterol, which ultraviolet B converts to ergocalciferols, also called provitamin D2) means that they are a great food to include in your diet, not only in relation to supporting the immune system and fertility but also for hormone health and bone health.
Cheese and Chilli Stuffed Mushrooms
Ingredients: (makes 4 portions)
8 field mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 green chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
85g cheese of your choice
3 tablespoons grated Cheddar cheese
2 rashers streaky bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease/line a baking dish with greaseproof paper.
Carefully remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop the stems finely.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the chopped mushroom stems, garlic and chilli until softened and until mushrooms release moisture – for about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, cheddar cheese, chopped bacon(optional) and mushroom/chilli mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the mixture into mushrooms, allowing it to mound slightly on top of the mushrooms. Depending on the size of your mushrooms, you may need to use more/less mushrooms in accordance with the amount of filling.
Place the mushrooms in prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown. Serve straightaway.