Fresh portabella mushrooms grown and distributed by South Mill Champs

Portabella Mushrooms

Portabella mushrooms have really made a name for themselves in the past decade. Known for their rich flavor, meaty texture and impressively large caps, they have been widely integrated into culinary delights around the world, having greatest influence on those who enjoy or vegetarian or vegan diet, being served as burgers, fajitas and even “steaks.”

In some regions, the term “Portabella Mushroom” has become interchangeable with “Portobello” and falls under the botanical classification Agaricus bisporus. Other regional names include Agaric cultivé, Flat Chestnut mushroom, Champignon, and the Cultivated Mushroom.

The portabella mushroom has an impressive nutritional profile and is packed with B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and pantothenic acid. Portabellas also contain an impressive amount of potassium (as much as a banana), which is an important mineral that aids in nerve, muscle and heart function.

The portabella mushroom is one of the largest varieties of farm cultivated mushroom with a circular cap that matures to approximately 6 inches or 15 centimeters. The firm, spongy, flat cap rests on a thick stem and ranges in color from a deep brown to tan. Under this robust cap are a series of gills, a veil, and a dense white stem. The entire mushroom is edible, so there is no need to peel or scrape out the gills.

Proper storage entails refrigerating the mushrooms in their pre-packaging. When purchased loose, place them in a brown paper bag and refrigerate. Plastic bags and containers tend to accelerate their breakdown.

DID YOU KNOW? Portabella and criminis are the same mushroom! When a crimini is not harvested and left to grow, it matures into a portabella mushroom. It grows from a crimini into a portabella in a matter of days!

Health Benefits of Portabella Mushrooms

There’s a common misconception that because mushrooms aren’t colorful, they aren’t nutritious, and portabella mushroom had fallen victim to this myth for a very long time. In the 1980s, researchers began exploring the nutritional value of mushrooms, including the portabella, and were excited to find the do, in fact, contain important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and contribute many other wellness benefits.

Portabella Mushroom Nutritional Profile

These flavorful and meaty mushrooms deliver a wide range of dietary benefits and have also been linked to improved cardiovascular health1, weight management2,  immune system support3 and improved quality of life4.

This is how one serving (84g) of portabella mushrooms performs nutritionally:

  • 19 Calories
  • 3 Grams of Carbohydrates
  • 2 Grams of Protein
  • 1 Gram of Dietary Fiber
  • 0 Grams of Fat
  • 0% DV of Sodium
  • 0 Milligrams Cholesterol
  • 2 Grams of Sugar
  • Gluten-Free

One serving (84 grams) of portabella mushroom is a good source of niacin (24%), copper (27%) and potassium (7%). They also contain riboflavin (8%), pantothenic acid (19%), and antioxidants selenium (28%) and ergothioneine (2.8 mg).

Culinary Applications of Portabella Mushrooms

When it comes to flavor, portabella mushrooms are king! As this mushroom grows, it develops a rich and robust flavor and dense meat-like texture, making portabellas the perfect meat substitute in burgers, tacos, fajitas, pastas and more. Their large size and ability to hold its shape when cooked also make them ideal for stuffing with cheeses, seafood, or other flavorful fillings. Portabellas can be grilled, baked, sautéed, deep-fried, or roasted.

This variety can be used it a wide range of mushroom recipes.

The portabella mushroom has such enormous flexibility and potential – from stuffed appetizer to center-of-the plate main dishes – this unique mushroom is delicious, nutritious and a must-try.

Portabella Mushrooms FAQs

The following frequently asked questions about portabella mushrooms should help clear up any confusion, miscommunications or myths.

Q: Can You Eat the Gills of a Portabella Button Mushroom?
A: Yes, the gills of edible mushrooms such as the portabella can be eaten. However, it’s not unusual for chefs to remove the dark gills for aesthetic reasons as they can alter the color of sauces, soups or gravies.
Q: How Do You Clean a Portabella Mushroom?
A: Simply wet a clean paper towel and gently wipe down the portabella mushrooms cap and stem. Once cleaned to your liking, set the mushroom aside to dry. Only wash mushrooms when you are ready to use them.
Q: Which is Correct Portobello or Portabella?
A: Both terms identify the large-capped mushroom. These names have become almost interchangeable. Other commonly used names include Agaric cultivé, Flat Chestnut mushroom, Champignon, and the Cultivated Mushroom.
Q: How Do You Prepare a Portabella Mushroom?
A: Start by cleaning the mushroom with a damp paper towel. Depending on the recipe, the stem and gills of the mushroom may need to be removed, although they are completely edible. There is never a need to peel portabellas, they can be eaten in their entirety, depending on the dish.
Q: Can Portabella Mushrooms Be Used as a Meat Substitute?
A: Portabella mushrooms have long been praised by vegetarians and vegans for the ability to stand in for meat. Their intense flavor and meaty texture make them an easy-to-use alternate for meat in burgers, fajitas, tacos, pasta and pizza. They are also delicious when dried and preserved as jerky.

Sources:

1 Lee DH, Yang M, Giovannucci EL, Sun Q, Chavarro JE. Mushroom consumption, biomarkers, and risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study of US women and men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Sep 1;110(3):666-674. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz057. PMID: 31172167; PMCID: PMC6736198.

2 Cheskin LJ, Davis LM, Lipsky LM, Mitola AH, Lycan T, Mitchell V, Mickle B, Adkins E. Lack of energy compensation over 4 days when white button mushrooms are substituted for beef. Appetite. 2008:51;50-57.

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity. Written in March 2016 by: Giana Angelo, Ph.D. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. Reviewed in February 2017 by: Catherine Field, Ph.D. Professor of Nutrition, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta.

4 Valverde ME, Hernández-Pérez T, and Octavio Paredes-López O. Review article Edible mushrooms: Improving human health and promoting quality life. International Journal of Microbiology 2015, https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/376387. Open Access.

 

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