Food Trends: Make Room for Mushrooms!
From low-fat mushroom burgers to healthy coffee replacements and smoothie boosts, mushrooms are hot right now — and it’s not too late to get in on the ground floor of this huge trend. With the health benefits of these flavorful fungi coming to the forefront, consumers want mushrooms, and they want them in everything.
Champignon mushrooms, otherwise known as white button mushrooms, offer an effortless way to take advantage of this movement. Available year round and highly versatile, they’ve always been a painless product to not only stock, but also move off the shelves quickly. With consumers gravitating to mushrooms of all kinds right now, incorporating this ingredient has never been easier.
By educating your team and your customers on the best ways to use mushrooms and their many health benefits, you’ll keep them coming back for more, and show that you’re on top of the latest food interests.
A member of the agaricus bisporus species (along with cremini and Portobello mushrooms) white button mushrooms are the most consumed variety of mushroom in the United States — making up 90% of our mushroom intake.
Here’s why people are going crazy for them and how your organization can make the most of the enthusiasm.
Health Benefits of Champignon Mushrooms
Mushrooms are part of a heart-healthy diet. Research suggests regular consumption of fruits and vegetables can help prevent development of cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in the United States (and across the globe). Button mushrooms, in particular, were shown, in a 2010 study published in Nutrition Journal, to reduce inflammation in arterial cells and prevent white blood cells from collecting on arterial walls — both risk factors for heart disease.
Immune System Saviors
Eating champignon mushrooms may strengthen your immune system. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2007 showed that mushroom consumption enhanced activation of natural killer (NK) cells. As part of your innate immune system, this type of white blood cell limits the spread and subsequent tissue damage caused by tumors and microbial infections. The study therefore concluded that “intake of white button mushrooms may promote innate immunity against tumors and viruses” as a result of this effect on NK cells.
Full of Vitamins, But Not Calories
For a food with very little calories, champignon mushrooms are packed with health benefits, including vitamins B6, C, and D. Given the increasing consumer interest in plant-based foods for health, highlighting the nutritional value of mushrooms in store displays and on product packaging should be a key marketing strategy.
Mushrooms are high in both copper and selenium, which are involved in cellular respiration (helping cells break down sugars to use as energy) and the destruction of free radicals (reducing the risk of cancer), among other essential biochemical processes. They are also high in riboflavin, necessary for cellular growth and development, and niacin, important for physical energy and brain function.
Because they are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates yet relatively high in protein and fiber, mushrooms are appealing for people trying to lose or maintain weight.
Best Ways to Use Champignon Mushrooms
Mushrooms add flavor, texture, and volume to a recipe without many calories, making them a favorite amongst people looking to cut calories without sacrificing taste. They’re also high in the antioxidant ergothioneine, which protects against cancer — so let your customers know that cooking them in red wine (another antioxidant powerhouse) is a delicious way they can supercharge their health.
Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms can be eaten raw and this makes them great as a topping. Champignon mushrooms are delicious when sliced into salads, and our pre-sliced mushrooms make putting together healthy salads a breeze. For those in the food service business, sliced mushrooms are a must-have this year.
Dried mushrooms are a major convenience item, since they can be stored indefinitely without fear of spoilage. Ready to be used at a moment’s notice, you can use them to elevate dishes like risotto, frittatas, or pasta instantly.
The latest iteration of this trend, consumers are rapidly turning to powdered mushrooms of all kinds to boost the nutritional value of not just their soups and stews, but their lattes, smoothies, and homemade chocolate, too. Powdered mushrooms are already a great ingredient for food processors and CPG brands to incorporate into products, or for food retailers to offer on their shelves — but even food service businesses can hop on this trend by leveraging powdered mushroom to craft health-focused menu items.
Want to add more mushroom to your offerings this year? Seawind Foods offers Champignon mushrooms in sliced, diced, or powdered forms. Contact us today to request a sample, and to find out how your company can stock up on this versatile and trending food ingredient.