Everyone has that one food that they really don’t care for, including me! A few years ago, it was mushrooms. I couldn’t stand them, until I started trying them in different ways, like stuffed and roasted, on pizza, etc. I eventually started to be ok with them, dare I say, like them? So now I’m a mushroom fan.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when a new idea of being a “blenditarian” showed up in my inbox. If you haven’t heard of this new movement, it is the idea of supplementing a meat recipe with ground up mushrooms. It gives you moisture, a similar meaty texture, and that oh-so-popular umami flavoring. I had to give it a try, so I started with the basics: burgers, meatloaf, and taco meat. The burger was certainly the winner for me, but they all turned out great! Even the mushroom-haters in my life gave it a try and gave it a thumbs up (maybe slightly begrudgingly, but that’s ok).
So what are the benefits to supplementing your meat with mushrooms?
- Flavor! Mushrooms boost the umami taste in the dish. Umami is often described as a savory, meaty flavor.
- Nutrition! Mushrooms are a great source of nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, potassium, etc. By adding them to your meat mixture, you also decrease the amount of meat consumed per serving. This could mean reducing the amount of saturated fat, which is great for heart health.
- Budget! Meat is typically the expensive component of a meal. Stretch your dollar further by adding mushrooms. A pound of beef that typically makes 4 burgers can then make 5 or 6 (depending on the beef to mushroom ratio used).
If you are looking for a way to increase the volume of your meals without breaking the bank, to increase the nutritional value of your meals (more veggies!), or just looking to boost the flavor, this could be something to try!
With a few extra steps (roasting and processing), you can easily incorporate mushrooms into your favorite meat dishes! Check out my recipes, links below!
3 Recipes That Will Change The Way You Think About Mushrooms
Beef and Mushroom Burger
Something that I hear a lot from clients when they use lean ground beef is “it is so expensive AND it tastes dry!” By adding some mushrooms to the mix, you can stretch 1 lb of ground beef much farther than before AND it adds moisture, while keeping the saturated fat content down. Check out the recipe here.
Beef and Mushroom Meatloaf
This most definitely is not your mom’s old meatloaf recipe. We use lean ground beef, and the mushrooms give a nice hearty flavor! Recipe here!
Beef and Mushroom Taco Meat
The RBA love affair with tacos is no secret. Here is another “blenditarian” version to add to the mix! You can find the recipe here.
If you are looking for additional healthy swaps to make in your cooking, call (301) 474-2499 or click here to make an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians today!
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.