Move over white button, there’s a new mushroom in town! Crimini mushrooms are often overshadowed by the other mushrooms in the Agaricus Bisporus family – white button and portabella – but are quickly emerging as the mushroom of choice among chefs and foodies.
This up-and-coming mushroom is an easy transition into experimenting with other mushroom varieties. Its size and shape is familiar for those who love white button mushrooms, however, their flavor is slightly deeper, so they can easily be used in any recipe that calls for white buttons. Their firmer texture also holds up well to cooking making them an excellent choice for mushroom-blended dishes. No sacrifices need to be made when crimini mushrooms are blended into classic dishes like meatloaf, chili, pasta sauce and burgers.
The crimini mushroom is actually a smaller, less mature version of the portabella mushroom, which is why it has been nicknamed baby portabella, baby bella or mini bella. Its name also varies depending on the region, also being called cremini, café mushrooms, swiss brown and chestnut mushroom.
The best way to store crimini mushrooms is to refrigerate them in the original packaging. If the package has been opened, place the remaining mushrooms in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator to help preserve them. Before consuming a crimini mushroom raw or integrating it into a cooked meal, wipe them gently with a damp paper towel and rinse them in a colander under cold water. It’s important not to wash mushrooms until you are ready to use them.
Health Benefits of Crimini Mushrooms
Don’t be fooled by their less than colorful appearance, crimini mushrooms are a nutrient-dense food, offering up many vital vitamins and minerals that can help support a healthy immune system1.
Crimini Mushroom Nutritional Profile
While they might be low in calories and fat-free, crimini mushrooms are packed with important nutrients. One serving (80g) of crimini mushrooms contain:
- 18 Calories
- 3 Grams of Carbohydrates
- 2 Grams of Protein
- 5 Grams of Dietary Fiber
- 0 Grams of Fat
- 0% DV of Sodium
- 0 Milligrams Cholesterol
- 1 Gram of Sugar
One serving (80 grams) of crimini mushrooms is a good source of copper (44%), selenium (38%), riboflavin (30%) and pantothenic acid (24%). Adding just one serving of mushrooms to your daily diet has linked to improved cardiovascular health2, weight management3, immune system support1 and improved quality of life4.
The full-bodied flavor of the crimini mushroom prompts chefs to include them in dishes such as salads, soups, pasta sauces, stir-fried vegetables, and appetizers. One of the unique ways to leverage crimini mushrooms is to finely chop them and blend them into ground beef for burgers and meatballs.
Here are some delicious ways to include crimini mushrooms in family-favorite meals:
- Sliced and Integrated into Quesadillas or Tacos
- Sautéed and Served on top of Burgers or Steak
- Finely Chopped and Blended into Ground Meat Dishes
- Integrated into Stuffing, Casseroles and Pot Pies
- Finely Diced into Duxelles
- Simmered in Soups and Gravy
- Stuffed with Cheeses, Seafood or Other Fillings
- Battered and Deep Fried
Their texture, flavor, and versatility prove a pleasant surprise for chefs and foodies alike.