We all know that Vitamin D is essential to health and that most of us in the northern hemisphere tend to be deficient during the winter months due to less sunlight. But did you know one of the few ways to get Vitamin D from a non-meat or dairy source is from mushrooms? If you are vegetarian or vegan you likely already knew this. However, did you know that laying your mushrooms with the underside facing up, exposed to sunlight can drastically increase the Vitamin D levels?
One study done by the USDA tested many types of mushrooms from different sources for Vitamin D levels. Some mushroom producers expose their mushrooms to intense UV lights to increase the Vitamin D levels. One producer of portabella mushrooms tested by the USDA had mushrooms with a Vitamin D level of 10 IU per 100 grams, and after a 20-second exposure to UV light, Vitamin D levels rose to 446 IU per 100 grams. That is over 40 times the original level in 20 seconds, but these were industrial UV light sources. If you want to do this yourself I would likely leave mushrooms gills up in a cool spot exposed to sunlight for an hour or two. This would keep them from wilting and dehydrating while exposed, but that may not matter depending on your recipe or how you plan to use them. By the way, yes the Vitamin D levels remained increased after cooking as well! #vitamind #mushrooms #fortwayne #dtfw #cooking