Boost the flavour and the nutrition of your next meal with a simple cooking technique. The technique that brings out the power of mushrooms is blendability.
Blendability quite simply involves chopping or pulsing mushrooms in a food processor to make them the consistency of minced meat. The finely chopped, umami-rich mushrooms blended with your choice of minced meat – beef, pork or chicken – provide a serving of good health, while enhancing the flavour and texture of the dish.
Chopped mushrooms can be easily added to a range of recipes that use mince including burger patties, rissoles, meatloaf, meatballs, taco fillings, san choy bow, moussaka and pasta dishes like lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese. The list is endless.
Research has shown that blending mushrooms into meat based meals provides a number of benefits including:
- Reduced intake of kilojoules
- Additional nutrients such as vitamin D, B vitamins and antioxidants
- Enhanced flavour
- Reduced salt content
Blendability – which mushrooms work
If you love all your mushrooms, the good news is that they all blend well, bring flavour and nutrients to your favourite dishes. White button and cup mushrooms blend well with poultry and pork, while Swiss Browns, Portabellas and Flats lend a rich flavour to beef and lamb mince.
There is no wrong way to blend mushrooms with meat; however a good tip is to try and have your mushrooms chopped in a way that matches the texture of the meat component of the dish.
When you are using minced meat for burger patties or meatballs chop your mushrooms, so they are roughly the same texture. You can create small mushroom pieces by chopping with a knife or by pulsing in a food processor. If you are using your food processor don’t overdo the process, or you will end up with a liquid blend rather than a lovely chopped result!
When you are blending with mushrooms, there are many different ways to add the power of mushrooms to your meals.
If you are making taco fillings or a richly delicious pasta sauce, simply brown the meat in a pan until cooked and then remove and set aside. Chop your mushrooms and add them into the pan to sauté for a few minutes. Return the meat to the pan, stir through thoroughly and complete your recipe using the mixture as your “meat” component.
For burger patties, meatballs or meatloaf, simply roast or sauté the mushrooms and then finely chop mushrooms, cool the mixture, then add them into your “meat” mixture. Cooking the mushrooms ahead of time helps to intensify the flavour, reduces to water content and gives a delicious mushroomy taste to any dish.
Blendability – the right mix of mushrooms
Mushrooms blend so well it is a matter of personal choice how many you include in the dishes you make. For richer meat sauces like Bolognese or Chilli Con Carne dishes why not start out with a 50% mushrooms and 50 percent meat mix. Or if you are after something lighter, with a great mushroom flavour, simply add a portion of mushrooms, around 25-30% works well for burger patties and meatballs. The mix of mushrooms and meat is up to you; however a rule of thumb is to make sure that the amount of mushrooms and meat used equals the amount of meat included in the original recipe.
Blending mushrooms is not only healthy and tasty but it may also reduce food costs.
For more mushroom inspiration have a look at our recipe collection and get blending today.