If you are planning to surprise your Valentine and make a dish at home, this vegan mushroom risotto will be a great choice. It’s rich and savory without needing the traditional Parmesan, especially if you take a little extra love in making a homemade stock. Remember that mushrooms have the yum factor from glutamic acid, and risotto is typically nicely creamy and sticky.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
I would pick cremini mushrooms (aka Italian Brown mushrooms) for this recipe and in general over traditional white button mushrooms because they have deeper, denser and earthier flavor and more health benefits. However, the common white button mushrooms are one of the few non-animal sources of Vitamin D, so either way you cannot go wrong.
Cremini mushrooms in particular have a very unique quality: they can help increase Secretory IgA (SIgA). SIgAs are our intestinal antibodies that fight bacteria and viruses and also instruct other parts of the immune system there not to overreact to foods (food sensitivities). Having a robust SIgA can decrease incidence of colds and flu. Unfortunately, many of our patients have low SIgA. In one study, eating just 100mg blanched cremini mushrooms (about 3 oz) increased SIgA by 53%. After a week of that, SIgA level was still elevated by 56%. This suggests that just even having these mushrooms once a day can help improve your SIgA levels for a whole week.
Since mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll or covert sunlight into food, they have to forage on decaying or organic matter, but as a result, in human body, mushrooms can absorb an help eliminate toxins: fat in the blood, pathogens, and excess mucus in the respiratory system. As a result, all mushroom are considered cleansing.
Mushrooms are a rich source of glutamic acid, which enhances the flavor of the savory food they are cooked with. They are also high in protein, B2, and zinc. All mushrooms except oyster and maitake contain ergothioneine, an amino acid that can help reduce inflammation.
Making your own vegetable stock
You can certainly use a store-bought organic broth or even water (which I what I normally use), but there is a benefit to making your own broth and freezing extra for those times when you may need it. I find that the store-purchased broths just taste awful and dead. In contrast, making your own gives you autonomy, choice of ingredients, lightens up the kitchen (smells good) and tastes delicious.
Tips for A Great Vegan Mushroom Risotto
Make sure you sauté it with olive oil and then add the stock or water gradually and not on high heat – this will help make it more creamy. If the heat is too high, liquid will evaporate too fast. Keep the heat high enough for the stock to bubble when not stirred, between medium low and medium. It does not matter when you add mushrooms. They will come up right.
Enjoy this delicious Vegan Mushroom Risotto recipe! Next week we have a decadent chocolate chia pudding for you, so you can have that for dessert for Valentine’s dinner! Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Follow me on Pinterest!
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