The perfect meat alternative
There are a number of reasons why Kiwis are adopting a more plant-based diet. The Ministry of Health's latest Eating and Activity Guidelines for NZ Adults now recommend at least 5 serves of vegetables a day, previously this was 5+ of fruit and vege combined. They also recommend eating less starchy vegetables - such as potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, peas - while reducing red meat intake. Plant-based whole foods are also known to have a lighter environmental footprint, while some choose a plant-based diet for animal welfare reasons.
Whatever your reasons, whether you're vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian, reduce-atarian or aren't into labels and simply want to cut down on meat, without cutting it right out of your diet to make more room for plants on your plate - then mushrooms should be your go-to. Not only are they a great way to boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals, but their firm, meaty texture and savoury 'umami' taste makes them an ideal meat replacement.
Try finely dicing them and blending them into your favourite mince-based dish to make the meal more nutritious, tastier and kinder on the planet and your wallet. Or for those wanting 100% plant-based, while mushrooms don’t contain enough protein to meet your daily requirements, by combining them with other vegetarian protein sources, such as legumes, you can create a balanced meal as well as enhance the flavour of any lentil or bean dish.