Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider’s Viewpoint: The Trend to Blend: How Mushrooms Can Enhance Your Meals

Okay America, it’s time to get trendy for this grilling season. The trend to blend that is.

So if there was a way to save money by preparing your foods to be more flavorful but contain fewer calories and more nutrition (without the addition of high tech equipment or fancy ingredients), would you be interested? I hope that answer is yes! Because I would like to introduce you to one of my new favorite tricks, the “trend to blend.”

The trend to blend means to blend finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms with your favorite meat recipes such as tacos, burgers, chilis, casseroles, etc. Since the chopped mushrooms match the texture and color of meat, your family won’t even notice the change.

But what they will notice is …

  • Tastier meals. With the addition of a savory umami element, and a juicier, more appealing texture, recipes will be more flavorful.
  • More satisfaction. Low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetables such as mushrooms add bulk and volume to your recipes, allowing for an extended portion size without extending calories!

And what you’ll know …

  • More matters. You can easily add a serving of vegetables to traditional recipes that would not typically count toward your daily vegetable intake.
  • Cut calories and fat. It will amaze your eaters that while increasing the flavor, you can still manage to save on calories and fat. According to the Mushroom Council, substituting mushrooms for lean ground beef in an entrée just once every week can save you 20,000 calories in one year (or about 6 pounds).
  • D-lightful decisions. This one little culinary swap, can increase the nutrition in the entire meal. Mushrooms are one of a very short list of foods items that naturally contain vitamin D, which can be a common short coming in many individual’s diets.
  • Savings can add up. By using cost-effective ingredients, such as mushrooms, to extend portion sizes of higher priced protein sources, the price per serving can be reduced, ultimately saving on your weekly grocery budget.

The Blend is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Chop up your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of the ground meat in the recipe.
  2. Cook and season mushrooms the same way you would meat.
  3. Combine the cooked meat and mushrooms and use the mix to complete your recipe. No extra pans. No complicated techniques. Just great-tasting food with a healthy twist.

Our friends at the Mushroom Council remind us that at first this one extra step may take some time to become a natural habit, but after experiencing the benefits, you will quickly realize that it has never been easier to use mushrooms to transform your meals and your health!
Meredith Mensinger
Corporate Dietitian
Redner’s Markets, Inc.
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