Discover the health benefits of mushrooms and enjoy this simple spaghetti with chestnut mushroom recipe.
You know that foods are best eaten when they’re in season. They taste much better and their nutritional content is far superior. Seasonal produce tends to be cleaner because they can grow without chemicals like pesticides and waxes. Even if you can’t purchase organically certified varieties, your food will still contain lower amounts of chemicals.
Autumn, ‘fall’ for my American friends is the season of mushrooms! I love all types of mushrooms, and if you do too, it is great because they have many medicinal and health-promoting properties.
The Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Rich in antioxidants
Mushrooms contain an amino acid known as ergothioneine that can help reduce inflammation. They also contain germanium, an antioxidant that boosts immunity. Germanium also helps to chelate heavy metals, improve blood circulation and relieves chronic pain and inflammation.
Great source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, hormone balance and immunity. It also protects against cancer. During the colder months, our levels of vitamin D drop. If you don’t take supplements, mushrooms are a great way to get vitamin D. White mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms are great sources.
Good for gut health
Mushrooms contain pre-biotic oligosaccharides including chitin and beta-glucan that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.
May protect against cancer
Mushrooms especially shiitake contain a polysaccharide known as lentinan, which possesses anti-cancer properties. Shiitake mushrooms are an approved treatment for stomach cancer in Japan.
How to get the best out of mushrooms
Mushrooms are rich in protein, dietary fibre, B-vitamins, vitamin C, D and E. Mushrooms are also naturally low in fat. The way you cook your mushrooms can affect their nutritional content. Cooking, in general, destroys some of the nutrients in mushrooms, but at the same time makes antioxidants including carotenoids and ferulic acid more available.
The best way to preserve most of the nutrients in mushrooms is to either grill or microwave them. Frying and boiling tend to leech more nutrients.
Mushrooms are one of the last things I add when cooking. So I rarely cook them for more than a few minutes. If you’re making dishes where they need to cook for long periods, do your best to shorten the cooking time as much as you can.
When I’m not eating them in stir fries, I enjoy cooking mushrooms with spaghetti. One of my favourite recipes is provided below. This is one recipe where I cook the mushrooms longer than a few minutes to ensure that the flavour from the mushroom really infuses into the spaghetti.
Wild mushrooms are available in abundance in Autumn so feel free to swap them with chestnut mushrooms in this recipe.Print
Spaghetti with mushrooms
- 150g spaghetti
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional, I use water instead)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 red chilli pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- Nutritional yeast, to serve
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil (or water) in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the garlic and chilli. Cook for 1 minute then add the mushrooms. Cook for around 3 minutes to soften them then add the vegetable stock cube alongside around 120ml of hot water. Bring the
Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat down to medium and cook for around 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
In the meantime, cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain the spaghetti but reserve some of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the reduced sauce and toss gently but thoroughly until the sauce evenly coats the spaghetti. Add some of the cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley leaves.
Serve the spaghetti with extra parsley and nutritional yeast.
- Category: Lunch/Dinner
Keywords: Spaghetti, Mushrooms