Healthy Living Blog

September is National Mushroom Month

Tina Miller, MS RDN Meijer Healthy Living Advisor,
Content submitted by: Amanda Imperiale, MPH, University of Michigan School of Public Health Dietetic Intern 2017-18


Mushrooms are vegetables that grow from a spore. In order to pick mushrooms at the store or farmers market, look for ones that keep their shape and are firm and without spots or slime. They can also be bought canned or dried. Fresh mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for a week, but should never be frozen.


Mushrooms are good sources of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenate (B Vitamins), potassium, and copper while being fat free, low sodium, and low calorie.


Mushrooms have an arsenal of antioxidants that help reduce risk for chronic disease. Research indicates that eating mushrooms may help:

  • Decrease cancer risk, including breast cancer
  • Reduce diabetes risk and improve insulin sensitivity
  • Promote a healthy heart and healthy blood pressure
  • Boost immune health
  • Help maintain a healthy body weight and aide in weight loss
  • Support digestive health



Mushrooms may also be important for Vitamin D intake!!


  • Limited foods with Vitamin D; cannot synthesize year-round in all locations
    • Not many naturally occurring sources, cannot synthesize from the sun year-round in all latitudes, vegans cannot get many natural sources from food
    • Foods with Vitamin Dà fatty fish such as tuna or salmon, small amounts in egg yolks, cheese, liver, MUSHROOMS
    • Fortified foods à milk, yogurt, breakfast cereals, orange juice
  • Mushrooms have naturally occurring ergosterol, a precursor of D2 (the form humans can use)
  • Why Vitamin D?
    • Promotes calcium absorption; important in bone growth and bone remodeling, protection from osteoporosis; immune function, anti-inflammatory
      • Deficiency; rickets, osteomalacia
    • RDA for adults is 600 IU or 15 mcg
      • 4oz swordfish or salmon
      • You would need 4.5 cups of fortified orange juice, or 14.5 eggs to reach this (which we do not recommend)!

Research on irradiation techniques that convert ergosterol into Vitamin D2

  • Ergosterol higher in cultivated than wild mushrooms
  • Spontaneous thermal rearrangement is the method of rearranging atoms that converts ergosterol into Vitamin D2
  • Optimal conditions
    • Optimal moisture content is 70-80%
    • Orientation of mushroom toward UV light source- rotating all sides of the mushroom to face UV rays
    • Temperature- 35 degrees C
    • Dose/intensity of radiation: inconclusive; studies aren’t consistent
    • Length of radiation- 1 hour on each side; prolonged exposure just converts to inactive vitamin d
    • UV-B cannot penetrate à stops when superficial ergosterol gone
    • UV Wavelength: UV-B significantly higher vitamin d content than UV-A or UV-C à highest yields
      • 48-38.5 micrograms Vitamin D/g mushroom
    • Oyster mushrooms highest; button mushrooms less
    • Relatively stable when refrigerated; retention of vitamin D2 following cooking and storage equal to or greater than 86%
    • Over 150% RDA in single serving after 4 days of storage
    • No significant changes in other nutrients in mushrooms
    • Bioavailability of Vitamin D, or the ability to absorb the nutrient, in humans not researched enough


Mighty Mushroom Blended Burger

Serves 4



  • ½ pound True Goodness® by Meijer™ Organic Mini bella Mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole grain hamburger buns


  1. Finely dice mushrooms or gently pulse in food processor. In skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat and add mushrooms, cooking 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer cooled mushrooms to medium bowl. Add ground beef and salt, mixing until combined. Make four patties.
  3. Grill burger patties on medium-high heat until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Plate and add desired toppings to bun.

Serve with toppings: grilled red bell peppers, True Goodness® by Meijer™ Crumbled Blue Cheese and watercress

Serve with bagged salad and grilled peaches.

Source: Adapted from Mushroom Council

Nutrition Information (per serving): 382 calories, 15g fat, 5g saturated fat, 74mg cholesterol, 678mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 31g protein


Garden Mushroom Meatloaf

Serves 6

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced*
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced*
  • 8 ounces True Goodness® by Meijer™ Organic Mushrooms, minced*
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 90/10
  • ½ cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 True Goodness® by Meijer™ Organic Extra Large Brown Egg
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup, divided
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 9×5-in loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Sauté the onion until translucent about 3-5 minutes. Add in the bell pepper, mushroom, garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, oats, eggs, 1 tablespoon ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Fold in the veggies.
  3. Empty the mixture into the baking pan, and shape mixture into a loaf form with your hands. Spread remaining ketchup on top of meatloaf.
  4. Bake until browned and meat inside is thoroughly cooked for about 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  5. Remove from oven and cut into 6 slices.

Time-saving tip: Use a food chopper/processor to mince mushrooms.


Nutrition Information (per serving): 222 calories, 7g fat, 2g saturated fat, 78mg cholesterol, 431mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 22g protein



Mushroom Quesadillas

Serves 4

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 8 oz. shredded low-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salsa or non-fat sour cream



  1. Heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 8-10 minutes or until brown.
  2. Season with chili powder and cilantro; stir and take off heat.
  3. Lay out 2 quesadillas on hot griddle or grill. Evenly distribute mushrooms on each. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Lay remaining tortilla over cheese. Warm on griddle or grill until cheese begins to melt and tortilla begins to brown. Flip to cook other side.
  5. Transfer to cutting board; cut into wedges using a pizza cutter.
  6. Serve with salsa or sour cream.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 310 calories, 15 grams fat, 850 milligrams sodium, 26 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 20 grams protein

Source: Jenna Smith, U of I Nutrition and Wellness Educator