No matter whether you spell it portabella or portobello—if you’ve never had one of these meaty mushrooms, you’re in for a great treat! We’re not talking about the small brown baby bellas, though. Portabellas, the mature version of the cremini mushroom, can grow as large as your hand (up to 6 inches) and have heavy stalks that you can snap off easily before cooking.
Mushrooms are extremely versatile; they take on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking, hold seasoning well, and can be grilled, broiled, and sautéed with very little preparation. “Besides being nutrient dense, mushrooms are one of the healthiest foods for improving the efficacy of the immune system,” explains Jackie Elnahar, RD, Esq., head of Teladoc Health Dietitian Services. “Studies have shown mushrooms to decrease inflammation and help prevent cancer.” Here’s the scoop on their nutritional value:
- Low calories (only 22 calories per cap)
- Almost nonexistent fat
- Low carb
- Great source of copper, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B3 (niacin)1
Store portabella mushrooms in the fridge and use them within a week. After trimming off the stalks, wipe the tops with a slightly damp paper towel or special mushroom brush. Don’t peel the brown surface off the mushroom; it may look dirty but it’s not. And don’t immerse these mushrooms in water because they’ll absorb too much liquid. (Chef’s tip: Don’t toss the stalks; after trimming off and discarding the thick bases, you can slice and drop them into soups and broths.)
Grilled portabella recipe
Portabellas take well to any combination of your favorite savory herbs and spices. Start by brushing both sides of the caps with olive or canola oil and then sprinkling the seasonings on both sides. Mushrooms don’t need to be marinated longer than a couple hours. (Fun tip: Salt-free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash and Spike are perfect for this type of mushroom.)
Once the caps are grilled (about three to five minutes per side until they’re soft and dark brown), you can slice and serve them as a side dish or pop them between a whole-grain hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, salsa, or a little garlic aioli. The result? The juiciest, most flavorful “burgers” your friends and family have ever tasted!
Try this super-easy grilled recipe from allrecipes.com.2 Each batch serves three people.
- 3 portabella mushrooms
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped onion
- 4 gloves garlic, minced
- Clean mushrooms, remove stems, and place the caps on a plate with the gill side up (smooth side down).
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the other ingredients. Pour the mixture over the caps and let them marinate for one hour.
- Grease a hot grill to prevent sticking. Without draining the marinade from the gill side, place the caps on the grill, smooth side down.
- Grill over high heat 10 minutes, until tender. Serve immediately.
Nutrition data per serving: 217 calories; 19 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat); 0 cholesterol; 13 milligrams sodium; 11 grams carbohydrate (1.9 grams dietary fiber, 5 grams sugars); 3.2 grams protein; 589 milligrams potassium
Your doctors at Teladoc wish you a safe and fun summer. When outside, be sure to protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated, and protect children and pets from hot grilling equipment and open flames. If you have a non-emergency medical situation, remember that we’re always here. With our handy app, you have access to U.S. board-certified physicians who can help diagnose and recommend treatments for a wide variety of conditions, including skin rashes, tummy ailments, sun exposure, insect bites, and much more.
Now go slather on sunscreen (broad spectrum, SPF 30+), grab a refreshing icy beverage, and be sure to eat your vegetables!
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