Magic mushrooms

I recently explained why it is important to take a vitamin D supplement in winter, but did you know you can also get a boost thanks to mushrooms?

Mushrooms are a nutritious, low calorie food that provides significant amounts of B vitamins and minerals (selenium, potassium, copper, and zinc). The season is still in full swing in England.

When exposed to sunlight or UV radiation, mushrooms also become an excellent source of vitamin D2. The vitamin D precursor, provitamin D2 that they contain is converted to previtamin D2 then isomerised to vitamin D2. Practically, just spread the mushrooms on a single layer under direct sunlight (not behind a window), ideally around midday, and let the magic happen. The bigger the mushrooms, the longer it takes for the process to happen, otherwise you can slice them which will increase the exposure to UV light and speed up the process.

Vitamin D is fat soluble, so prepare your mushrooms with a good dietary fat to increase absorption.

Super simple recipe idea: mushroom toastie.

I absolutely loooove mushrooms. I buy a generous quantity, combining different varieties for increased taste and health benefits. I slice and sautée them with garlic and thyme. When they are almost ready I add parsley, a bit of EVOO and pepper. Then I cut 2 large slices of sourdough bread that I rub with garlic (I love garlic too). I grate cheese on one, add the mushrooms, more cheese, more pepper, lay the second slice on top and put that in a pan. I cover with non stick paper and use a heavy cast iron pan as a weight on top, this works well, or you can use a toast maker if you have. This will grill gently and make a delicious lunch. I usually have green leaves on the side.

Let me know if you try, otherwise please share a recipe!

The nutrition tips here are to let the mushrooms grab a tan for 1-2 hours for vitamin D synthesis and to cut the garlic 10min before for increased antioxidant content.