I love mushrooms, and for good reason. Not only are they delicious and come in many varieties, they’re incredibly good for our health. Today on the blog, I’m sharing my recipe for stuffed cremini mushrooms. They’re the perfect party appetizer or side dish.
Before I go on to tell you about these soft, juicy, creamy stuffed cremini mushrooms, let me share with you some health info about this incredible, edible (keep in mind not all mushrooms are edible) fungus.
The superstars of the mushroom (Fungi) kingdom are maitake, shiitake, and reishi. These three medicinal mushrooms have powerful healing properties and effects on the immune system. In Japan, these mushrooms are used as a part of cancer treatment. Maitake mushrooms contain a certain polysaccharide component known as beta-1,6 glucan. Beta-glucans stimulate the immune system by binding to immune system cells and increasing their activity. Shiitake mushrooms also contain beta-glucans known as lentinan. Interestingly, lentinan is approved in Japan as an injectable drug, commonly used to prolong survival of patients in cancer therapy. Finally, Reishi musrooms not only stimulates the immune system, but this superstar also acts as a natural stress-buster (Bowden, 50).
Now, while maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms have superstar medicinal values, the more commonly eaten cremini mushrooms also hold plenty of goodness. In fact, a 5-ounce serving (about 1 cup) of uncooked cremini mushrooms provides more than 50% of the Daily Value for selenium (a cancer-fighting trace mineral), 40% for riboflavin, 35% for copper, 30% for niacin, 20 – 25% for pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and zinc, and finally 10 – 15% for manganese and thiamin. Cremini mushrooms also contain trace amounts of magnesium, calcium, folate, B12, and iron. Point of the story, cremini mushrooms are super good for you in their own right.
A fun and delicious way to enjoy cremini mushrooms is by stuffing the caps with the mushroom stalks, garlic, herbs…and a little secret ingredient (that won’t be so secret if you keep reading further) that makes the filling incredibly creamy, sans cream.
That little secret ingredient is some soaked raw cashews creamed in a high speed blender (Vitaminx, Blendtec). Owning a Vitamix (or other high speed blender) is definitely an investment, but it’s truly worth it. The powerful motor of the Vitamix blender is able to turn these lovely raw cashews…
…into a silky, scrumptious cream. This cream is perfect to add to salad dressings, soups, pasta dishes, casseroles, desserts…the list goes on and on!
Nevertheless, don’t let not owning a powerful blender stop you from making these stuffed mushrooms. If you have a lower powered blender or a food processor, you’ll still be able to make the cashew cream. You’ll just need to blend the cashew cream for longer and in smaller batches, with a couple tablespoons of extra water if need be.
When making your stuffed mushrooms, make sure to take the time to carefully hollow out the caps with a pairing knife (small knife). Do this by carefully scraping along the inside of the mushroom cap. Not only do you get more mushroom to make up the filling, but by having the filling sit deeper in the mushroom cap, the mushroom juices soak into the filling while the stuffed mushrooms are cooking. Mmmm…
Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms
- 16 + 4 cremini mushrooms white, washed and patted dry
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley Italian, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- cup scant 1/2 of raw soaked for 1 hour or more, whole cashews
- juice of half a lemon
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Pour a tablespoon of avocado oil or coconut oil onto a pan set at low. Leave the minced garlic to gently fry as you prepare the other ingredients.
Pull the stalks off of 16 of the mushrooms caps. Mince the stalks and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Hollow out the 16 mushroom caps by gently scraping a pairing knife (small knife) along the inside of the mushrooms caps. Mince up any bigger pieces you scrape off and add whatever mushroom 'meat' you get from scraping into the mixing bowl. Place the hollowed out caps onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Mince the extra 4 mushrooms and add them to the mixing bowl, along with the finely chopped flat leaf parsley, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
Drain the cashews and place in a high speed blender along with the juice of half a lemon. Blend until creamy (about a minute). If you're using a food processor or lower speed blender, blend the cashews in small batches and for a longer amount of time, adding a tablespoon or two more water if needed.
Add the cashew cream to the mushroom mixture along with the fried garlic. Gently mix to combine the ingredients.
Stuff the mushroom caps with the mushroom mixture.
Place baking sheet of stuffed mushroom caps into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are browned.
Let cool for 5 minutes on tray before serving.
Raw macadamia nuts will also work in place of cashews. If this recipe needs to be made nut free, cream cheese can be used instead of cashew cream.
A little P.S.
Even though I haven’t quite gotten in a swing of regular postings, I still really love writing this blog. Sharing healthy recipes gets me reading up and learning new things or strengthening facts I already know about the foods I’m cooking with. In turn, I get to share this nutritional knowledge with you, and that puts a giant smile on my face.
Bowden, Jonny. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds, 2007. Print.