Baby Bellas are Cremini mushrooms that have been allowed to mature for up to seven days longer than commercial Creminis. Available in most supermarkets year-round, baby Bellas have an intense, meat-like flavor when cooked. They are at their peak in fall and winter. A dark-brown, slightly firmer variation of the everyday cultivated white mushroom. They have a smooth, rounded cap that ranges in size from 1/2″ to 2″ in diameter. The Portobello mushroom is the fully matured form of this mushroom.
Most agree fresh mushrooms should be stored with cool air circulating around them. I found recommendations of placing them on a tray, in a single layer, covered with a damp paper towel and refrigerated for up to three days.
However, I stored mine on the kitchen counter for two days, without refrigeration and they were fine. Any longer and I would’ve refrigerated them.
Health benefits of Bella Mushrooms
- NO FAT
- CHOLESTEROL FREE
- ONLY 22 CALORIES IN AN ENTIRE CUP OF BELLA MUSHROOMS
- 5% OF THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE OF FIBER
- ONLY 4 GRAMS OF CARBOHYDRATES
- HIGH CONCENTRATION OF VITAMIN B, containing riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
Some research has shown all mushrooms, including Crimini, Portobella, Oyster, Maitake and button varieties, suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells.
Simple prep for Bella Mushrooms
Never submerge mushrooms in water, nor wash directly under running water. Mushrooms naturally soak up water. The more water absorbed, the less likely they are to brown during cooking, which will directly diminish their meaty flavor.
I used a soft bristled brush, slightly dampened to brush my Bella Mushrooms, removing all loose dirt. I then followed by drying them with a paper towel.
An easy lunch with Bella Mushrooms
Bella mushrooms may have a meaty flavor, but they absorb flavors easily. Using a light oil or butter is ideal with mushrooms.
After cleaning the mushrooms, I chopped them into small pieces, ideal bite size, meanwhile, I heated one Tablespoon of black truffle oil in a small, non-stick skillet.
After warming the oil, I added my chopped mushrooms.
Just as the mushrooms starting browning, I added 1 Tablespoon of no-salt butter to the top of the mushrooms. Mixing the butter with the mushrooms as they sautée
Meanwhile, I was also cooking one of the few packaged products (processed) that I use for convenience, Knorr Pasta Sides.
My favorite is the Fettuccine in a Creamy Parmesan & Romano Cheese flavored sauce.
The mushrooms only need to sautée for about 10 minutes.
Once the pasta is cooked, turn heat to simmer and add your mushrooms. Mix well.
Turn heat off to the pasta, allow it to sit for 5 minutes and it will thicken. Enjoy.