• Why mushrooms are good for you

They're a great source of dietary fibre, B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and folate) and essential minerals-particularly selenium, which isn't so commonly found in fruit and vegetables. Yet what makes mushrooms truly special are the other significant health benefits they conceal under their caps. Shiitakes, which have a rich, smoky and almost meaty flavour, enhance your immune system and lower cholesterol. Crimini (otherwise known as white, button or champignon) and portobello mushrooms belong to the same family and are differentiated by size. They surpass even shiitakes in terms of immune system benefits and are an important source of conjugated linolenic acid, which lowers the risk of breast cancer.

  • How to get the best out of fresh mushrooms

Select certified organic mushrooms that are firm and plump. They shouldn't be slimy. Store them in a paper bag placed in the refrigerator. Refrigerate them as soon as possible as their health benefits are best retained when they are kept at around 3 degrees Celsius. Try to store them in an even layer. If you stack them, separate the layers with a layer of paper towel to help them stay fresh for a longer time. To clean mushrooms, wipe them with a damp paper towel (washing them will make them soggy) or use a mushroom brush. Mushrooms can be sautéed, grilled, chopped and added into soups, sauces, pastas and stews, sliced and folded into omelettes or stuffed and baked. They are incredibly versatile and superbly flavourful.

Organic shiitake, cremini and portobello mushrooms are available at SuperNature Forum and online.