Profiling: The Chanterelle

Chanterelle’s are a wild mushroom that grows all over the world and is known for its hearty, meaty texture, yet delicate taste.  It is found most commonly in Asia, Europe, the Himalayas and North America.  They tend to grow at the base of trees in a cluster.  Chanterelles have been consumed since the 18th century in France where it gained its recognition in the culinary world as a refined taste for the royal palate.

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Key Nutrients

They are renowned for their high concentrations of B vitamins, specifically vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5.  These vitamins are crucial for the human body because they help us to convert food into energy and allow us to maintain a healthy nervous system.  They are also a great source of copper, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin C and D and protein.  They also contain a good amount of dietary fiber, which allow us to keep and maintain good gut health and regular bowel movements.  Chanterelles are also associated with anti-bacterial, microbial, and fungal properties.

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Health Benefit Breakdown

Vitamin B1-Thiamine is an important vitamin since it helps the body to break down sugar and use it as fuel within the body.  It is also supportive of both heart and nerve health.

Vitamin B6- Helps the immune system to function optimally.  It aides in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids while maintaining healthy lymph node function. Vitamin B6 also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Vitamin B9- Folate helps to strengthen and maintain healthy liver function.  Folate is also essential for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Vitamin B12- Folic Acid helps to preserve our neurological function and DNA synthesis. It plays a key role in the health of red blood cells and helps our nervous system work optimally as well.

Dietary Fiber- Helps to stimulate digestion, relives indigestion, and constipation issues.

Potassium- An essential mineral for the body to help with fluid regulation, cardiovascular health and protein absorption. High levels of potassium have been associated with reduced risk for stroke, improved blood pressure, as well as improved bone health.

Zinc-Helps to promote proper immune function, controls blood sugar, energy metabolism, and aides in digestion.

Copper- Another essential mineral to help promote healthy connective tissue growth, proper heart rhythm, enzymatic reactions and proper growth overall.

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Where to find them

They are typically harvested from August through December, but this varies from region to region.  They are widely available in markets in the produce aisle.  Unless you are experienced or with an experienced forager, do not go looking for chanterelles on your own.  In the wild chanterelles look much like a species of mushroom that is poisonous to us.  As with most mushrooms make sure the flesh is firm to the touch and absent of rot, damage and pests.

They can be stored in the refrigeration for up to one week, in a sealed bag if possible. When prepping these mushrooms do not wash them, as they are quite porous and will become a soggy, waterlogged mess.  Rather wipe them gently with a damp paper towel or use a pastry brush to wipe away dirt.  Clean just prior to cooking, any sooner and the mushrooms will retain the water and become slimy.

Adding mushrooms to your diet is simple as they can be incorporated or become the star to any dish.

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