Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mushrooms – Quick Tasty and Nutritious Snacks for you and your Family

Most people classify mushroom as a vegetable but in fact it is a fungi. There are more than 14,000 varieties of mushrooms, out of which 3,000 are edible and a few others are termed as poisonous.

Cultivating mushrooms is easy and many people cultivate mushrooms as a thriving business or a hobby. Mushrooms have great nutritive value and they are used in soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, curries and rice to enhance the flavor of the dish. Mushrooms are high in water content and low in calories, which is why they are popular in weight loss diets. Mushrooms are rich in potassium that is great for reducing high blood pressure. They are rich in antioxidants too, which protects your body cells from free radicals. The white button mushrooms (top left) help fight breast and prostate cancer. The shell type mushrooms (top right) strengthens your immune system to fight flu, colds and other viral diseases.

Try these quick mushrooms snacks that will be a great hit with your family, especially your children.

Mushroom Cheese Balls

1 ½ cups flour (maida), 1 cup grated cheese, ¾ cup blanched and finely chopped mushrooms, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ cup milk or as needed, ½ tsp oregano, 1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro chopped, salt and pepper to taste and oil for deep frying.

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and knead it to a soft dough. Make small balls of the mixture and deep fry till it turns golden brown. Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.

Crispy Grilled Mushroom Sandwiches/Patties

12 slices of bread

For the filling – 2 cups blanched and finely chopped mushrooms, 1 cup finely chopped onions, 1 cup finely chopped boiled potatoes, ½ cup each of corn, peas, carrots, 2 green chillies finely chopped, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro finely chopped, 2 tbsp oil for cooking.

In a pan, heat a little oil and splutter the cumin seeds and sauté the green chillies and onions until they turn translucent. Add in the mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes more. Add all the other vegetable and finally the seasonings. Mix well and cook them till all the water disappears. Lightly grease the patty maker/sandwich maker with oil. Fill in enough mixture between two slices of bread, place it inside the s/w maker and grill the sandwich till done.

Mushroom Burger

6 burger buns

For the burgers – 2 cups of blanched and finely chopped mushrooms, 2 cups of mashed potatoes, 1 cup roughly mashed boiled peas, 1 cup crushed cornflakes, 1 slice of crumbled brown bread, ½ tsp chilli flakes, ½ tsp chaat masala/curry powder, 1 tsp mint leaves finely chopped, salt and pepper as required and oil.

Cut the buns in half and lightly toast it in butter on their inner sides. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the burger and knead it into a firm dough. Divide the mixture into 6 equal sized patty and shallow fry it on both sides in a pan, till they turn golden and crisp. Take one half of the burger bun and apply a layer of mayonnaise, followed by lettuce leaf and the mushroom patty. Place a slice of tomato and cheese slice over the patty and cover the lower half of the bun with another half of the bun. Microwave the burger for about 30 seconds and then serve.

Mushrooms Fritters

400 grams of button mushrooms, blanched and cut into two halves.

For the batter – ½ cup flour (maida), ½ cup cornflour, ¼ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp finely chopped mint leaves, 1 tbsp coriander leaves, ½ tsp paprika/chilli flakes, ½ crushed black pepper corns, ½ tsp chaat masala/curry powder, salt to taste, water as required.

In a bowl, mix together very well, all the batter ingredients with a little water, into a smooth flowing consistency. Dip each mushroom piece into the batter and shallow fry in a pan in small batches of 10 mushroom halves until they turn golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with ketchup.

Glazed Honey and Sesame Mushrooms

400 grams button mushrooms blanched (small size)

For the marinade – 2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 3 tsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp paprika or chilli flakes, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp sesame seeds, salt and pepper as required.

For the sauce – 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp thai sweet chilli sauce.

Mix the ingredients of the marinade well. Marinade the mushrooms in the mixture. Heat a pan and stir fry the marinated mushrooms for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the honey and thai sweet chilli sauce and stir fry for another couple of minutes on a low flame until the mushrooms are well coated and glazed with honey and sesame seeds. Take off heat and serve hot.

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