MUSHROOM

Mushrooms: Mysterious fungi that is nutritious

Mushroom can be mixed with beef, sautéed for breakfast or accompany rice or ugali.

In Summary

• Ensure you store them in the fridge and wash or trim unless it is time to cook.

• Before cooking, it is advised to leave them in water for several hours until they are soft and get them from a reliable source.

Beef mushroom and ginger stir fry
Beef mushroom and ginger stir fry
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

Kenya produces 500 tonnes of mushrooms per year, against a demand of 1,200 tonnes from hotels and domestic consumption.

The mushroom business is gaining momentum as more people seek its nutritional benefits.

For Natalie Amugitsi from Kapsabet town, she prepares mushrooms at least once a week.

The delicacy which is popular in the Western region is not only nutritious but can also be prepared in different ways as a side dish or main course.

“Mushroom can be mixed with beef, sautéed for breakfast or accompany rice or ugali,” she told the Star on Thursday.

“Not every mushroom is edible, so identifying the poisonous and non-poisonous mushroom is key,” she said.

She said one way you can tell a mushroom is not edible is if it has a bad odour, has dark spots, it is very bright and those that are in the shape of an umbrella with white rings around the stem.

Some non-edible mushrooms are not lethal but can cause liver damage, respiratory, hallucination and death between 1 – 2 days after consumption.

Natalie recommends going for a mushrooms that are not old, as they are tender and easily digestible and have a high composition of vitamin B which help form the red blood cellsand improve the brain health.

Its choline content helps in muscle movement and boosts the memory and vitamin C reduces cardiovacular diseases.

It’s nutritional and medicinal composition is high as they are fat free, low in sodium and cholesterol.

Packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals, the nutritional levels vary depending on the mushroom type.

Tips for buying and serving

“Choose the ones that are firm, dry and unbruised, avoid those that are withered and slim,” Natalie advised.

“Ensure you store them in the fridge and wash or trim unless it is time to cook,” she said

Before cooking, it is advised to leave them in water for several hours until they are soft and get them from a reliable source.