This article was created in partnership with Meadow Mushrooms
According to the NZ Nutrition Foundation, some New Zealanders need to reduce the amount of red meat they eat and increase their vegetable intake for better health.
Finding ways to action both of those things in your diet sounds challenging but is actually easier than you might think. One way to make that happen is to learn the Big Blend technique from Meadow Mushrooms, of blending mushrooms with mince.
Surprisingly, mushrooms contain protein along with many other nutritional goodies. They are a good source of selenium, a nutrient deficient in NZ soils, and important to help build the healthy immune system and for healthy hair and nails. Simply chop your mushrooms to match the consistency of the mince and blend the mushrooms with the mince to create a meal that's better for you.
When you blend with mushrooms you add fibre, reduce kilojoules (as most are low in energy) and help protect the body against disease. The lower kilojoule count is great for those watching their weight – mushrooms contain little fat or sodium, so that’s also good news for people concerned about heart disease or blood pressure.
Blending mushrooms and mince may be the healthier option, but it doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavour. Make a simple burger pattie with a blend of minced meat and chopped mushrooms (as seen in last week’s dish newsletter!) and as well as reducing calories, you will add lots of extra juiciness and flavour in the process. Even non-mushroom fans will be hard pressed to find the mushrooms.
Blending also provides good value. The NZ Nutrition Foundation has calculated the average saving is 14% when you cook with a 50:50 blend of mushrooms with meat rather than using meat alone. Alternatively, using the same quantity of mince you usually do and then adding chopped mushrooms, will make the food go further. That means possibly creating another meal, or simply enjoying leftovers, the next day.
Mushrooms are one of the most sustainably produced foods, they're fast growing and use less water, and land to grow compared to meat production, plus the used compost goes back to the land to grow organic matter for future compost. Meadow Mushrooms are grown right here in New Zealand.
Blending really does make it better. Try using the Big Blend anywhere you would use mince and enjoy meals that are made more nutritious, delicious and sustainable with the addition of mushrooms.
Click here to see the recipe for Blended Bolognese, pictured above.