BUTTON MUSHROOMS 101: Versatile, Good for the Skin, and More!

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Button mushrooms, also referred to as white mushrooms, are the most common mushroom variety available in the US. Compact and plump, this variety has an abundance of vitamins that help metabolize fat, regulate blood sugar, and produce energy, as well as boost immunity and improve your complexion!

These little mushrooms have an earthy flavor that can easily be incorporated into many dishes. Chop them up and eat raw in a salad, sauté with olive oil and enjoy as a simple side dish or bake atop chicken. Stuff them with just about anything. Marinate and grill them. For a truly comforting dinner, layer button mushrooms with cheese and spices between lasagna noodles. Hearty and satisfying, button mushrooms will fill you up and leave you wanting to experiment more with their complex, scrumptious flavor.

Taste

Raw button mushrooms have a mild earthy flavor that pairs well with many dishes. Cooked mushrooms are a bit richer than the raw version, and sometimes take on the profile of the fats used to cook them in, such as butter or olive oil, so consider this in your recipes.

Availability

Button mushrooms, also known as cultivated white mushrooms, are grown indoors, which enables the crop to be readily available at your favorite grocery all year long.

Season

Button mushrooms are grown indoors under special conditions, allowing them to be available year round in both the US and Europe. However, they still have a prime season, which is between September and January.

Selection

Look for white button mushrooms with tight caps on firm stems. The underside of the mushroom, called the gills, should be close within the cap; if they’re spread out, the vegetable is past its prime.

Avoid mushrooms that have vast discoloration or soft spots, or are broken.

Organic Benefits

When deciding whether to purchase organic or non-organic produce, it’s helpful to know which fruits and vegetables are most affected by pesticides. Pesticides are toxins used to kill insects, invasive plants, and fungi during the growth of produce, and are potentially dangerous to people. National and international agencies agree that prolonged exposure to specific pesticides through food consumption is a potential health risk. Additionally, some studies indicate that organic fruits and vegetables have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than conventionally raised produce.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an environmental health advocacy and research organization in the United States. From cosmetics to produce, water to cleaning products, EWG provides insight regarding the impact of pesticides, manufacturing practices, and product ingredients on our health and environment. EWG produces a consumer guide ranking 48 fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue. The higher the rank, the lower the residue. In this ranking, the 12 most affected fruits and vegetables belong to the “Dirty Dozen,” and the 15 least affected are part of the “Clean Fifteen”. These lists help identify the produce that is most—and least—dramatically affected by pesticides. Button mushrooms are #35 on the full EWG list, very close to the “Clean Fifteen,” meaning that conventionally grown mushrooms of all types are generally safe from pesticides.

Storage

Keep unwashed button mushrooms in their original container or in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Alternately, store unwashed mushrooms, unpackaged on a tray and covered with lightly damp paper towels, in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Preparation

Wash button mushrooms in a stream of cool water. Wipe off excess dirt with a damp paper towel and let dry thoroughly before preparing. Don’t soak mushrooms, as they quickly absorb water and will become mushy.

All parts of the mushroom are edible, so you can use both the caps and stems, or just the caps. If you choose to use the stems, trim off just a bit from the woody end.

Nutrition Summary

B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin is helpful for metabolism, aiding in fatty acid energy release. Vitamin B2 is also important for metabolizing proteins, ketone bodies, and carbohydrates.

B3 (Niacin)

An energy-producing vitamin, niacin is responsible for transporting energy and metabolizing glucose within the cell. This vitamin may be helpful for regulating blood sugar after a carbohydrate-heavy meal.
Copper

A mineral that plays a role in producing collagen and keeping the immune system in proper working order, copper is an essential nutrient needed by the body in small amounts. Copper may also fight against free radicals, helping to delay the aging process. Energy production is also one of the many benefits of this important mineral.

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Helpful for metabolizing fatty acids and protein, two of the most satiating and long-lasting nutrients in the body, vitamin B5 is also responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of insulin receptors and energy maintenance.

Selenium

Although commonly described as a mineral, selenium behaves like an antioxidant, helping to reduce the number of free radicals in the body. This may aid in slowing the visible signs of aging, protecting cardiovascular health, and promoting the immune system.

Health Benefits & Medical Claims

There are thousands of types of edible mushrooms, from common to the very rare. And while some of the rarer varieties tout exceptional health benefits, some research suggests that the nutritional value of mushrooms is more or less the same, no matter the variety—great news for your wallet!

Research suggests that button mushrooms are particularly useful for weight loss. Their rich taste and hearty texture make them a great meat substitute. One study found that when women replaced one serving of meat with mushrooms each day, they lost more weight than those who didn’t include mushrooms in their diet. Plus, other research indicates mushrooms can help manage glucose levels in the blood, leading to reduced hunger and increased stamina. It’s important to note, however, that many of the studies regarding the health benefits of mushrooms were funded by mushroom producers. There is limited unbiased research available on mushrooms.

Little Known Facts
  1. White button mushrooms are part of the same species of mushrooms such as the cremini, Portabella, and brown.
  2. Growing mushrooms is a detailed process involving special humidity and temperature considerations, unique compost growing material, and hand harvesting.
  3. Ancient Egyptians believed that mushrooms contained special properties for immortality. Thus, the pharaohs decreed that mushrooms were only fit for royal consumption and prohibited commoners from eating them.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Yoffie Life disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.