2 Mushroom “Must-Knows” for Health

Today, my heart skipped a beat because I discovered there’s a toxin in mushrooms called Agaratine.
If you love mushrooms as much as I do, there are 2 things you’ve got to know about them.

Is there anything dangerous or unhealthy about mushrooms?

Well, it depends.

Do you eat them raw or cooked? How do you cook them?

If you love mushrooms as much as I do, there are 2 things you’ve got to know.

The first thing is about whether mushrooms are safe.

Today, my heart skipped a beat because I discovered there’s a toxin in mushrooms called Agaratine.


Cooking mushrooms removes most of the toxin, Agaratine.
Photo by congerdesign from Pixabay

Luckily, it turns out that most of the toxin is removed when you cook mushrooms. What a relief!

So, where did I learn about this toxin?

There are a few sources I highly trust for nutritional information, and one of the best sources, based solely on research from medical journals, is NutritionFacts.org, created and run as a non-profit service to the public by Dr. Michael Greger.

If you’re curious about Agaratine in mushrooms, then check out the NutritionFacts.org video.

I absolutely LOVE mushrooms, and to me, they’re part of a healthy diet, which leads to the second thing you’ve got to know about mushrooms if you’re interested in long-term health.

Most people cook mushrooms in butter or oil, and that’s the problem. Butter and oil are 100% fat, and when you cook your mushrooms in it, you’re getting a lot of artery-clogging “goodness” with your mushrooms.

Cook mushrooms without oil to reduce fat intake.
Photo by Geraud Pfeiffer from Pexels

Don’t get me wrong, I’m right with you on mushrooms sautéed in butter being amazing!

But, I want to enjoy my food without feeling guilty or being worried about my health.

To continue to love your mushrooms, without the extra fat bomb on your meal, you CAN cook mushrooms without oil. Yes. It is true, and that’s the groundbreaking , second thing you’ve got to know about mushrooms.

I won’t get into the different ways you can cook without oil (dry browning or sautéing in a little water or broth, for example) because tons of other online sources can show you.

I just want you to know that cooking mushrooms without oil IS possible, and that they are delicious. At home, I often make a quick stir-fry with veggies and brown rice ramen noodles, and I always include some tasty mushrooms in it.

There’s a unique, satisfying flavor in mushrooms that you can’t get from other vegetables (mushrooms are actually a fungi, but whatever; we lump them into the veggies category), so mushrooms are a must for me.

Most of us think we HAVE TO use oil to sauté everything, but the reality is we don’t.

Give it a try some time, but be forewarned; if you put oil/fats on a lot of your food, your taste buds will expect the fat when you eat your oil-free mushrooms. You may need to try this healthier way of cooking a few times before you love it like I do.

I’m glad to know that my love of cooked mushrooms means I’m not downing a toxin on a regular basis, and I’m glad to know there’s a healthier way to cook them.

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

Post-featured photograph by Emma Jones from Pexels.

Instant Pot Virgin…No More! Tasty AND Oil-free, Barbecue Lentils

Have you ever bought something you really wanted, and then once you got it, you kind of ignored it?

Well, that’s the way it was with my Instant Pot.

After seeing so many recipes that required an Instant Pot, I thought it would be a good idea to have one. Not sure what took me so long, but I finally bought one last year, and it sat in its box either in my basement or in my dining room ever since.

I think I was just a bit intimidated by it. Too much pressure! 🙂

This past weekend, my husband and I took the plunge and opened the box. After our intense test-run of 3 cups of water, we were officially trained and ready to go.

Our first recipe was from a new cookbook I bought specifically for the Instant Pot. But even better, the recipes use NO added OIL.

In case you’re an oil fanatic, or you just can’t imagine not using oil in your kitchen, we do not need added oil in our food. Oil is a man-made, highly fractured and highly concentrated, food-like substance that does not serve our body (nature didn’t give us olive trees with taps that dispensed oil).

I’ll have to do a more detailed post about oil soon, but in the mean time, if you have doubts about the negative health effects of adding oil to your food (any kind of oil), and are even moderately interested in your long-term health, read this book!

If you’re already aware of the dangers of adding oil to your food, then you know what a treat it is to find an oil-free recipe.

Plant-based, oil-free AND for the Instant Pot? Jackpot for me!

This recipe is NOT mine, like I said; it’s from Jill McKeever’s cookbook I ordered on Amazon last month (thankfully the book didn’t sit for a year or two; I probably wouldn’t have been able to find it!).

The recipe has only 5 ingredients, which makes it simple and easy to make. I want to eat healthy food, but I don’t want it to be complicated.

So how did it turn out?

The Instant Pot was easy to use and did a great job with this recipe. The sautéing part, which came after the pressure-cooking phase, took about 15-20 min. I was surprised it took that long for the sauce to thicken, but I didn’t know what to expect because the recipe didn’t say how long it would take.

We used a baked potato instead of wedge fries, and layered some kale, the lentils, broccoli and yellow pepper on top.

Why add the veggies?

  • To increase the nutrients (= high nutrient density)
  • To decrease the overall calorie density (= low calorie density)
  • Veggies are the secret to optimal health (any health-related wisdom tells you to eat more vegetables!)

We loved the taste of these lentils, and they were even better a few hours later and the next day.

I would definitely make this recipe again, but I’d double it, so we could have more leftovers. You could put these lentils on a salad or on top of any whole grain as well. They’d work great to take to a pot luck too.

So, if you’ve been hesitant to break your Instant Pot cherry, have no fear. Once you make one recipe, it won’t seem like a multi-button, might-explode monster looming on your counter.

Thanks for reading, and I wish you success on your efforts to eat more healthfully.

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),