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Mushrooms are fungi which belongs to a kingdom of their own separate from plants and animals.
What makes them different form plants and animals?
Plants produce their food and energy using photosynthesis. Animals eat to acquire the energy and nutrients needed by the body. Mushrooms produce it's own either way. Their so called "mycelium" (vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony) grows around the food source, secretes enzymes that digest the food externally. The mycelium absorbs the nutrients being digested.
Mushrooms can be consumed by humans as food. The most common edible mushroom is the Pleurotus ostreatus or commonly called as the Oyster Mushroom. It was known to have been cultivated in Germany as a subsistent measure during the World War I. Today, Oyster mushrooms are commercially grown for food. By the way, they are called oyster mushroom because of their appearance looking like an oyster.
It is known for it's heatlh benefits which are listed as follows:
Rich source of protein
low in calories
rich in fiber
contains iron, zinc, potassium, selenium and phosphorus
folic acid and calcium
rich in vitamins such as Vitamin C, D, B1, B3, B5, and B12
also known to have anti-oxidant and anti-cancer and lowers cholesterol.
Mushrooms are prepared as food and best served as stir fried or as part of every stew in the house. At home, the kids don't actually like to eat even the button mushrooms in can which are also commonly topped in pizzas and pastas.
I know, it is not a good thing to lie to kids but I do a lot of tricks for them to consume vegetables and fruits. My kids are the most picky eater kids I've ever known and the only thing I can do is to trick them with my recipes.
Mushrooms for them are weird looking. Even when I was younger, I never tried eating mushrooms knowing that it grows everywhere and not sure if that is really safe to eat. Then I learned about it being grown and cultured for food and that's when I thought it's safe to eat. Still, I wash them many times and check under its caps because sometimes, worms grow inside it.
So, I learned a few recipes for mushroom and the best one for me is the soup especially during cold weather.
Then, going back to my kids, I learned a recipe where I could trick them to eat mushrooms. I fried it like chicken skin and they really thought it was real chicken skin. Although, the cooking method isn't as healthy as the most common mushroom recipes are being cooked, still I felt kind of successful for being able to feed them something that is not their type. They eat it during snack or meal time.