Traditionally used in a side dish or in sauces, mushrooms are due for a promotion to main course.
High in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, mushrooms are in many ways a superfood, says Guy Furman, owner and founder of Windy City Mushroom. “Mushrooms are a great supplement, multivitamin-wise, [and come] from an actual food source.”
An ideal meat substitute, a quarter pound of mushrooms provides about 3 grams of protein and carbohydrates.
Windy City Mushroom grows gourmet mushrooms sustainably in Humboldt Park, using soy hull and sawdust pellets. It sells directly to consumers and through The Urban Canopy and Closed Loop Farms.
From button to gourmet, almost all varieties of mushrooms can increase metabolism and improve brain, memory, and heart health, Furman says. In Eastern medicine, practitioners use lion’s mane mushrooms to treat mild cognitive impairment and immunity-boosting reishi mushrooms for cancer.
Originally published in the Fall 2020/Winter 2021 print issue.
Erin O’Donnell is a freelance health and science writer, parent, and graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Walks by Lake Michigan make her happy.