Question: Monique, Is it bad to eat the gills of the (portabella) mushroom? Bruce D.
Answer: No, eating the gills of a portabella mushroom or any of the edible mushrooms is neither bad nor unhealthy. Some chefs prefer to remove the gills because they tend to give a dark and muddy look to sauces made with them. However, other chefs feel that much of the mushroom's flavor resides in its gills. I personally keep them on in my cooking. I try never to waste any edible part of any fruit, vegetable or mushroom.
So, unless you are concerned about the appearance of a light-colored sauce, you do not need to remove the gills of the portabella mushroom. However, if you do decide to remove the gills of the mushroom, I suggest that you set them aside and use them to make an excellent brown mushroom gravy.
Portabella mushrooms have a high water content, consisting of about 92% water and approximately 26 calories per 100 grams. These mushrooms are relatively high in protein (2.5 g), and contain a wide range of essential amino acids. They are low in fat (0.2 grams) and high in fiber (1.5 grams). Portabella mushrooms also provide several vitamins and minerals. In particular: niacin (4.5 mg), pantothenic acid (1.5 mg), folate (22 mcg), potassium (484 mg), phosphorus (130 mg), selenium (11 mcg) and magnesium (11 mg).
To learn more about the health-promoting effects of mushrooms, visit the Fungi Perfecti website at www.fungi.com - it's an good source for information about medicinal and gourmet edible mushrooms.
For more information about Portabella mushrooms, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button_mushroom#Portobello_mushroom
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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.