Are you looking for a vegan or whole food source of vitamin D? Yes, soaking mushrooms in the sun can supply you with enough vitamin D so you don’t have to reach for synthetic vitamins every day. In fact, mushrooms are the only significant source of vitamin D that you will find in the produce isle.
Just set your mushrooms outside between late spring and early fall for at least 30 minutes to an hour. You can let the mushrooms soak in the sun’s ultraviolet light a little longer if you want to boost the amount of this “sunshine vitamin”. You can dry or freeze your mushrooms and enjoy them when you don’t get enough sunlight in the winter time. The vitamin D content will be good for a year!
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the source that we get from oily fish or when our skin is exposed to the sun. Mushrooms have the vitamin D precursor ergosterol. UV light transforms ergosterol to ergocalciferol, also called vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is known to stay in our bodies’ blood stream longer than vitamin D2. The better choice is Vitamin D2 when compared to synthetic vitamin D that is manufactured in a laboratory.
The lab substances are almost identical but still not exactly the same substances found in nature. They are foreign substances to our bodies and can be less bioavailable, hard on our kidneys, and toxic to our bodies if taken in high doses over long periods of time. It is best to get your vitamin D from sources that are found in moderate doses in nature.
There are so many health benefits to vitamin D that researchers are discovering every day. Besides it being great for your immunity and bone health, it can also be good for lowering blood pressure, and decrease your chance of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
People are starting to catch on to the vitamin D benefits in mushrooms. You can buy sun kissed mushrooms at your local grocery store! Monterey Mushrooms, a family owned business has been partnering with the USDA to offer 100% of the daily recommended vitamin D intake in a 3oz serving of mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light. These UV mushrooms do not cost any more than other mushrooms sold in stores.
So if you have access to UV bulbs, then start your own indoor mushroom tanning bed!
Just another reason to eat super food mushrooms; they are packed with B vitamins, fiber, minerals especially selenium, and fight inflammation.
Look at these beautiful oyster mushrooms that my friend is growing in her basement! She was so excited to hear that she can sun-kiss these and dry them. More information about mushroom cultivation will be shared in future posts.
This vitamin D mushroom and spiced tomato dish has the added benefit of immune boosting spices to keep your winter bliss! Cinnamon, ginger, coriander, and cumin plus tomatoes and garlic are all pact with health benefits! Note that this is just a few of the health benefits of these spices as there are so many in each one!
Cinnamon – is good for brain function, regulating blood sugar levels, and can help with diabetes. I eat cinnamon almost every day for breakfast on my quinoa-oatmeal, and sprouted flour pancakes.
Ginger – is a great for inflammation, nausea, and aids digestion. I love having my green tea in the morning with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and a touch of coconut milk.
Cumin – Is a good source of iron with anti-carcinogenic, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties and is also good for digestion and sleep.
Coriander – is good for skin disorders, eyes, help with blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol.
Garlic – Just plain and simple, if you want to combat cold and flu season, EAT GARLIC!
Tomatoes – contain vitamin C and lycopene.
I tend to eat a lot of hardy soups for the winter because they are easy to make and very versatile. I also eat a lot of tomato based soups for the same reason. If you haven’t conquered canning and preserving your food, make sure you buy BPA free cans. If you are not sure which ones are BPA free, just ask your grocery store to give you the information. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods now sell only BPA free cans, except for pet food. You can get a better value if you buy the larger 28oz. tomato cans and just freeze what you don’t use.
This is a real food…real fast…recipe, as most of the recipes are on this website. There is no long simmering or high prep involved. Yes, you can use different spices. I choose to put brown rice in this dish. You can leave out the grains all together if you like.
I also have carrots and brussels sprouts in this dish. Why did I choose them? Because I froze them fresh from my local farmers market this past fall. Seasonal is best! I threw in some kale, peas, and cilantro as well. Yes, for non-vegetarians, a little chicken or ground turkey would work. This is a universal real food dish where all different food choices are welcome!
Ingredients – serves two
14.5oz. can of tomatoes (organic is best)
Mushrooms – 1.5 oz. or as many as you desire
Garlic- one clove, diced
Cinnamon – ¼ teaspoon
Ginger – little less than ¼ teaspoon
Cumin – ¼ heaping teaspoon
Coriander – little less than ¼ teaspoon
Sauté mushrooms in butter or coconut oil on low heat with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Lower cooking temperatures mean less processed. If I am using frozen vegetables I let them thaw out in a bowl while I am preparing the meal.
Add your tomatoes to a pan, toss in your cooked rice, spices, garlic, and thawed vegetables. Throw in your mushrooms, a bit of coconut oil, a pinch of sea salt, and simmer on low heat with the lid on until nice and hot. Yes, try to put a little bit of healthy fat in this dish like coconut oil as vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.