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Mushrooms and Vitamin D

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vitamin D is important to the body in many ways. Muscles need it to move, for example, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D is found in cells throughout the body." Source:

Actually this was in a blog I read this morning from Victoria Boutenko which is what got me thinking I should blog about it too and share the info as well. This time of year many of us do not get sufficient sunlight to allow our own bodies to manufacture our own Vitamin D.

There are many sources of Vitamin D from foods such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, fortified milk, fortified cereals, eggs, beef liver, and mushrooms. I choose mushrooms because I am following a Vegetarian Diet and a Raw one at that.

Our bodies make our own vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin cells. Many people living in the northern hemisphere, however, suffer from lower levels of vitamin D during the fall, winter and spring. We can change all of this by making our own supply of vitamin D-enriched mushrooms by simply exposing them to sunlight. You can sun-dry or UV-zap store-bought or home grown shiitake, maitake, button, and many other mushroom species. Shiitake Mushrooms contain the highest levels of Vitamin D.

You can boost your Vitamin D levels in any mushrooms by exposing them to direct sunlight for 2 days. If you go a step further and sundry your mushrooms till you have made your own dried mushrooms the Vitamin D will remain in these sundried mushrooms for up to one year. Pretty easy huh? Great way to get your Vitamin D in during the winter I think.

The high vitamin D levels generated will last for more than a year. Surprisingly, even sliced and dried mushrooms -- including wild ones picked the year before -- will soar in vitamin D when placed outdoors under the sun. Now, the summer time, from June until September, is the best seasonal window for people in northern latitudes to make vitamin D-enriched mushrooms!

Here is one of my favorite ways to get Raw mushrooms into my diet in the form of a Savory Smoothie aka Raw Soup:

Rawkin Creamy Portabella Mushroom Soup

Raw Japanese Mushroom Soup

2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon nama shoyu or soy sauce
2 teaspoons liquid amino acids (I use Braggs)
2 scallions
1 cup oyster mushrooms or 2 cups other
1/2 lemon (juiced)
3 tablespoons cold presses extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 tablespoon unpasteurized miso
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup dried sesame seaweed

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup water, shoyu, and liquid aminos. Add onions and mushrooms; set aside to marinate for about 60 mins.

In a blender, combine the remaining 1-1/2 cups water, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, miso, and garlic and process until the mixture.

In a bowl, combine the marinated mushrooms and onions after draining off the marinade and blender mixtures. Sprinkle seaweed on top.

Makes 2 huge 12 oz. bowls of soup.

There are many ways to get mushrooms into your diet if you cook them opposed to eating them Raw. I used to love to just sauté them in olive oil and fresh garlic.
You have mushroom burgers, I talking about portobello caps marinated and then grilled, mushroom risotto, mushroom and barley soup, etc.

One of my favorite Spark People recipes is one by Kishy2:

Eggplant Portobello Mushrooms

6 5-to-6-inch-diameter portobello mushrooms, stemmed
1/4 cup olive oil
4 eggplants (unpeeled), finely chopped
6 tablespoons chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine
6 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Arrange mushrooms, rounded side down, on large baking sheet. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Sauté until eggplant is soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in red wine and simmer until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in Gorgonzola cheese and 1 tablespoon basil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom caps. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover mushrooms with aluminum foil. Bake mushrooms for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese melts, filling bubbles and mushrooms are tender when pierced with sharp knife, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon basil and serve warm.

What tasty ways do you get mushrooms into your diet?

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