Photo courtesy of the Mushroom Council
By David Grotto, RD, LDN, author of The Best Things You Can Eat
Seems like these two food staples are an unlikely pair, at least from a culinary standpoint. But I think you’ll find the Mushroom Ris-oat-o recipe at the end of this post proof positive that they make a tasty duo. And when it comes to health, this food pairing is no slouch when it comes to delivering more than just great taste – mushrooms and oats may be the ideal food crime fighter-combo for a healthy heart.
Bad cholesterol is a weighty issue. It is estimated that 20% of all strokes and up to 50% of heart attacks may be linked to high cholesterol. Family history, smoking, inactivity and even hormonal changes can all lead to elevated cholesterol. A growing and more common reason though is being over weight – especially when that weight collects around the midsection. Oats and mushrooms added to the diet may help combat hunger and give a feeling of fullness, which can help one manage their weight better.
Getting Mushy. Animal research has demonstrated that a diet containing mushrooms helps reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, and harmful LDL-cholesterol. Several studies also have shown that mushrooms can reduce homocysteine, blood pressure, and can reduce oxidative and inflammatory damage to arteries, making them less susceptible to artery-clogging plaque. The antioxidant component of mushrooms that keep arteries healthy are largely attributed to their polyphenols– especially a substance called ergothionene, which may possess anticancer properties, as well. Mushrooms are naturally low in fat and calories and don’t contain cholesterol making them an ideal swap out for fatty meats or as a healthy extender for burgers, meatloaf, taco meat and casseroles.
Oatmeal Deal. Oats have hunger-busting qualities that can help aid in weight management. And like mushrooms, oats contain beta glucans that do a terrific job on sucking up cholesterol. There are over forty clinical studies spanning over forty years that confirm oats ability to not only lower total cholesterol but also harmful LDL cholesterol. Why? Oats contain additional heart healthy antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin E and avenanthramides along with soluble and insoluble fiber that makes it quite difficult for cholesterol to hang around. Eating three grams of soluble fiber from oats, each day, along with a low fat and cholesterol diet, has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and harmful low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). Research shows that eating a fiber-rich diet and a nutritious breakfast can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Including foods such and mushrooms and oats as part of a low saturated fat, high fiber diet, is a heart-smart thing to do. Try combining them both into this tasty Mushroom Ris-oat-o side dish!
Wild Mushroom Ris-Oat-To (as featured in 101 Optimal Life Foods)
1 ½ cups of water
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup of yellow onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Oats, Old Fashioned
1 cup of dry white wine
1 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
To prepare Ris-Oat-To, in a sauce pan bring 1 ½ cups of water and broth to a simmer. Keep warm over medium heat.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add onion and garlic, sauté about two minutes until golden brown.
Add oats and toast until golden brown, stirring constantly.
Add wine, cook for a minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
Stir in 1 cup of broth mixture, cook for four minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
Add remaining broth mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next
Remove Ris-Oat-To from the heat and add in ½ cup of cheese
Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
4 cups of sliced mushrooms of your choice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped thyme
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium high heat, add mushrooms and crushed garlic clove and sauté for about 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy. At the last second season with salt and pepper and fresh thyme.
Spoon Ris-Oat-To into 6 medium size bowls and top with crispy mushrooms, and a pinch of cheese.
290 Calories, 12g Total Fat, 4g Sat Fat, 15mg Cholesterol, 320mg Sodium, 26g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 13g Protein
Disclosure. I am a spokesperson for the Mushroom Council.