You may have mixed finely diced onion into your burger patties while prepping, instead of placing raw onion on top post-grill. Maybe you even added a few diced mushrooms in there too, but have you ever incorporated an entire bowl of minced mushrooms into your ground meat?
People everywhere are starting to use a heavy hand when mixing fresh fungi with meat, creating more flavorful, healthier options on their plates.
Let’s learn more about the idea of blending ground meat with diced mushrooms and get you onboard too!
What is “The Blend” Exactly?
The idea of a mushroom and meat union was the beautiful food child of The Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative (HMC), an educational initiative of high-volume culinary leaders developed by The Culinary Institute of America, and its founding member, The Mushroom Council.
The Mushroom Council defines their trademarked Blend™ concept as, “a cooking technique that combines chopped mushrooms with ground meat to make meals more delicious, nutritious and sustainable.”
While ground beef is one of the most popular choices for blending, used very frequently in blended burger recipes, you can also blend chopped mushrooms into your tacos, meatloaf, lasagna, pasta sauce, meatballs and more!
Why The Blend is all the Rage!
As an educational initiative of the Culinary Institute of America, The HMC partnered with the council to study the mighty mushroom— researching the flavor-enhancing properties and appeal of this special meat/mushroom blend.
Not only did a large portion of consumers express interest in the mix, but almost everyone who tried ground beef with chopped mushrooms wanted more!
The study found that of those who ate ground meat recipes prepared with 50% mushrooms and 50% meat...
- 43% of consumers surveyed are more likely to try plant-based alternatives.
- 98% of the U.S. population who have tried the blend will likely have it again.
- 35% of the U.S. population would try the blend if it were available to them.
- 70% of Millennials consume a meat alternative multiple times a week.
The Perks of Blending Chopped Mushrooms into Ground Meat
Not only can blending mushrooms and meat be a tasty combo, but there are many other reasons sneaking mushrooms into your meat is a smart choice for your diet:
- Blending mushrooms with meat helps to reduce your caloric and fat intake since mushrooms are fat-free and very low-cal.
- Mushrooms can be used in lieu of salt for flavor, thanks to their rich umami flavor profile.
- Mushrooms can contain a variety of vitamins and antioxidants, including Vitamin D, B-vitamins, selenium, ergothioneine, glutathione and more.
- Blending mushrooms can help the environment by reducing pollution and water usage.
Read our blogs 4 Reasons You Should Add Blended Mushrooms to Your Meals and 4 Reasons to Start Blending Mushrooms with Meat to dive a little deeper into each of these health claims!
Hitting Menus & Store Shelves Everywhere
Over the past few years, The Blend concept has established a foothold on restaurant menus. As it has been adopted by more and more chefs, mixing ground meat and mushrooms has become a powerful marketing tool, educating people about the many health benefits of mushrooms. For those who never really ate mushrooms before, it’s been a clever way to show people how easily they can incorporate them into their diet.
In addition, The Blend concept is giving mushrooms new visibility beyond grocery store produce departments, with some stores cross-merchandising mushrooms in the meat department.
Grocery stores are also showcasing mushrooms and The Blend as seasonal promotions. For example, in the summer, stores are featuring mushrooms like Portabellas as the darling of the grill, sampling blended burgers and showing sliced mushrooms sautéed on top of salads. In the winter months, produce managers show shoppers how to pair mushrooms with ingredients in heartier dishes such as soups, stew and stir-fries.
In the coming year, we predict there will be an increase in blended burgers and meatballs in the frozen food section, fresh meat section and prepared foods section, as people look for more ways to eat healthier without giving up flavor.
Give the “Blenditarian” Lifestyle a Try!
Now that you understand the benefits of eating ground meat and chopped mushrooms mixes and see their popularity in both restaurants and grocery stores alike, why not give a blended meal a try? Whether it’s ordering this special combo on the local menu or purchasing fresh mushrooms and dicing them yourself, become a Blendarian with your fellow fungi friends.
Luckily, we have an amazing resource to get you started! Our Everything You Need to Know About Blending Mushrooms ebook lists exact ratios for many popular meat-to-mushroom dishes— think a 70/30 blend in a chili or pot pie (where mushrooms command the flavor) or a 40/60 blend in meat-heavy tacos or sloppy Joes— to get you blending like a professional chef! It also includes more delicious meat-mushroom blend recipes to keep you busy in the kitchen.
Download this free digital book, today.