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10 Magical Ways to Cook and Eat Mushroom Stems

Can you eat mushroom stems
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / silviarita

Can you eat mushroom stems, and do you want to? Read on to learn why mushroom stems are good for you and how to prepare them quickly & deliciously.

If you’ve been wondering whether or not you can eat mushroom stems, you’re not alone. It’s an increasingly popular question in home cooking and the culinary world. Some people systematically cut off stems and throw them away when preparing them for a recipe, while others eat the whole mushroom. The truth is the mushrooms we find at grocery stores, and farmers’ markets have edible stems. And you can cook them into healthy and delicious dishes!

Can You Eat Mushroom Stems?

Can you eat mushroom stems? Yes, and you should!
Can you eat mushroom stems? Yes, and you should! (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Laila_)

There seems to be a dilemma about cutting off mushroom stems or eating them. Some people remove them because that’s what they were taught. Others never heard of doing that and eat the entire thing. But not only can you eat mushroom stems — you should!

Edible mushrooms, meaning ones that aren’t poisonous, are entirely consumable since neither the stems nor the bodies are harmful. Indeed, some mushroom stems are woody with little to no flavor, like certain wild varieties. These can be easily avoided when you clean them and see strong trunks with a wood-like texture. In that case, feel free to cut them off. You can compost any vegetable scraps you don’t eat. However, most mushrooms at grocery stores, such as white or brown, portobello, and chanterelle, have tasty stems.

Eating the whole food is convenient and reduces food waste. Both mushroom stems and tops have various health benefits:

  • They are packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of certain diseases.
  • They are rich in vitamin D, which our bodies only generate when we are exposed to sunlight.
  • They have a lot of potassium, which can help to lower blood pressure.
  • They have anti-inflammatory properties that help to boost your immune system.

Recipe Ideas

Add mushrooms to your shopping list if you are hosting a vegan BBQ.
Add mushrooms to your shopping list if you are hosting a vegan BBQ. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / unserekleinemaus)

Eating mushrooms with stems is really no different than eating them without. You will want to make sure that you’ve removed all the dirt from your vegetables before eating. Here are a few recipes where you can use mushrooms, stem and all.

  • Meat alternatives: If you are in the mood for some meaty mushrooms, you can check out our guide on chicken of the woods. They are ideal for recipes asking for vegan meat or chicken alternatives and have a similar texture. You can use them as plant-based meat filling for recipes like vegan arepas and vegan “chicken” pot pie.
  • Soups: You can use both mushrooms and stems from white and cremini varieties to make a vegan mushroom soup.
  • Vegan risottos: If you are in the mood for something creamy, you can make a vegan mushroom risotto.
  • Pizza toppings: Use mushroom stems as a vegan pizza topping alongside some other vegetables for a delicious pizza.
  • Vegan BBQs: Barbeques are a lot of fun, but it is sometimes challenging for vegans to find meat alternatives. If you don’t want to use processed vegan meat, mushrooms are a great meat substitute for vegan BBQ gatherings! Oyster, portobello, and brown work great for barbeques.
  • Ramen: Add some chopped shiitakes as a topping in your next vegan ramen broth.
  • Vegan pozole: Use a bunch of cremini mushrooms to make vegan pozole at home. It is a comforting, stew-like dish traditionally from Mexico that can be prepared with veggies instead of meat to make it vegan.
  • Poke bowls: Add your favorites to your vegan poke bowl for some extra flavor.
  • Vegan gravies: Use fresh vegetables next time you need to make a vegan gravy recipe – no need for meat products!
  • Vegan fish sauces: Use shiitakes to make a vegan fish sauce to use in salads, stir-fries, pad thai, and more.

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