Earthy, dense and almost meaty, Portobello mushrooms can be a really delectable substitute for other less nutritious foods.

PortobellosTake for example the Portobello mushroom fries that are the inspiration for today’s flavor. Their texture and size actually makes them perfect for this substitution, providing a dense and inviting texture and complex flavor, with hints of umami.

Portobello mushrooms are actually a grown up version of the common or button mushroom also called the crimini. Mushrooms have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Interestingly, “The first evidence that mushrooms were used as human food in prehistoric Europe is the recent find of a bowl of field mushrooms in a Bronze Age house near Nola in Italy.”(Dalby, 2003).

friedportobelloFrom a culinary perspective, Portobello mushrooms are great. They are great grilled, baked, sliced up and stir-fried, used in a sandwich, a replacement for burgers, you name it. The inspiration for this flavor was Portobello fries, seasoned and then baked to a crispy deliciousness and lastly, sprinkled with some parmesan cheese. Yum.

From a health perspective, Portobellos have a very similar nutrient signature to the rest of their mushroom relatives. They are a great source of vitamins A, B, and D as well as minerals like potassium, copper, zinc, and calcium. Crimini mushrooms also exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties as well as being highly antioxidant. They can help decrease oxidative stress and systemic inflammation. They’re a great addition to your dietary repertoire.