Close up of a toadstool growing on an Autumn morning in rural south west Scotland
The Reason You Should Save Your Mushroom Stems
By Lauren Wood
With thousands of edible mushrooms to choose from in different shapes, sizes, and textures, it can be difficult to tell which parts you should eat versus what should go in the trash. Recipes often request that mushroom stalks be removed from their caps before cooking, but there are benefits to saving certain kinds of mushroom stems.
Mushroom stems are at least as nutritious as the rest of the mushroom, and are usually higher in fiber than the caps. Some common store-bought fungi, like white button and cremini mushrooms, have dense, mild-tasting stems with a hint of umami, while other stems like shiitake are tougher and a bit harder to eat.
The good news is that you can puree mushroom stems into a dip or flavor-enhancing paste if you don't like the texture. Stems can also be sautéed with butter, roasted on the grill, or added to broths and soups; plus, if you don't need to use the stems right away, you can bundle them in paper towels and store for up to 10 days.