Today is a difficult day. Today is September 11th. And like my grandparents who lived in Pearl Harbor at Hickam during WW2, I have an indelible memory of where I was and what I was doing this day in 2001.
I was on my way to school, to my job of teaching sixth graders. On the radio I heard news which impacted our lives and families. September 11 also happens to be the day before my birthday. And the day I had to put my cat to sleep.
So the MoFo challenge is to talk about nutrients. I pick vitamin D.
Vitamin D because most of us can manufacture the stuff from sunlight. Unless we work in a windowless room or a city where the sun hides for most of the year behind, something Californians don’t know much about, weather.
I know what lacking vitamin D can feel like: it can feel something like September 11, standing before kids worried their uncle/dad/cousin has just been killed, the day your cat dies and the day before your birthday when you don’t know if your mom will make it home.
In addition to sunlight, sources of vitamin D include salmon, liver and eggs. Not vegan. So, where can vegans source their vitamin D?
And here the sun shines brightly and in the dark spaces of the forest, for shitake mushrooms contain high amounts of this feel good nutrient. A great resource for nutritional information is The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray N.D. While, the Vegan Health Website has comprehensive information about Vitamin D, specifically.
For now, just some awesome things to do with shitake mushrooms…
- Saute mushrooms with non-dairy butter, fresh parsley, soy sauce and lemon juice.
- Grill them with bell peppers and onions after marinating them in Blueberry Barbecue Sauce.
- Add them to a steaming bowl of miso broth, spinach, and buckwheat ramen noodles.
- Fold them into penne pasta with steamed asparagus, fresh basil and red sauce.
- Use them with your other favorite veggie toppings on pizza.
- Make a holiday gravy with mixed mushrooms, dried and fresh, season with Bells All Natural Seasoning
Nutrients are only part of what nourishes us- take time to appreciate your loved ones, your animals, your world.
May the sun shine for you today.