MUSHROOMS, THEIR BENEFITS AND MUSHROOM PATE
Mushrooms are a superfood, and one of the most health-promoting foods on the planet. An estimated 50% of edible mushrooms are considered functional foods. They have been developed into functional foods and medicines for the prevention and treatment of several chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Almost every ancient civilization has used mushrooms for their healing properties. Edible mushrooms like maitake and shiitake have also been used as medicine throughout history. Other mushrooms that are too tough to eat have been used solely for medicinal purposes such as reishi. Studies show that mushrooms possess various bioactivities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and antidiabetic properties. The exact mechanism is still unclear and an area of active research.
Animal and cell studies show that mushrooms can stimulate the activity of immune cells, macrophages, and free radicals that can stop the growth and spread of tumor cells and cause existing tumor cells to die. Various polysaccharides in mushrooms including beta-glucans are believed to exert these cancer-fighting properties.
In traditional Chinese medicine, these unique herbs and Medicine are usually called tonics. A tonic herb is one that makes the body more resilient and strengthening the body’s natural defenses. They are also high in fiber and prebiotic. Prebiotics help nurture your gut.
As healthy as they are, they are also delicious served so many ways! They are great as the focal point of the dish as well as the magic behind a full-bodied soup by adding texture and deep warming flavor. Check out our Mushroom Pate with Garlic Crostinis below.
Mushroom Pate with Garlic Crostinis
For the Crostini:
1 Baguette, or any artisan loaf into 1/4″ thick slices, and slice a slight angle for longer pieces
½ cup Olive Oil
To taste Salt & Pepper
For the Pate:
2 1/2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Cashews
1 small Onion, finely minced
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
2 cloves Garlic
To taste Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp Sherry, optional
to taste fresh veggie crudites, such as sliced cucumbers, carrots, bell pepper, radish
Preheat the oven to 375˚.
Place the olive oil on a plate. Dip one side of each slice of baguette in the oil to coat. Season with salt & Pepper. Place in the oven for about 7-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Roast cashews in a dry pan over medium heat until golden brown. You could also do this in the oven: 10 minutes at 350 F.
In a hot pan on medium heat, add the oil and sweat the onions stirring often for about 4-5 minutes until translucent.
Add sliced mushrooms and garlic to the frying pan. Add some fat if necessary. Fry on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes stirring often until golden brown. Add the sherry to deglaze and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Turn the heat off.
Put cashews in the food processor and mix until finely ground. Add other ingredients (onions, mushrooms, parsley, salt, pepper) and mix until smooth.
Refrigerate until firm.
Eat as a dip with fresh veggies, crackers, or bread.