Can You Eat Baby Bella Mushrooms Raw?

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By: Tom Valenti


Baby bella mushrooms are low in calories yet full of nutrients, thus making them an excellent addition for a healthy diet. While it’s advisable to cook baby bella mushrooms, some people also eat them raw.

Personally, I can’t eat raw mushrooms, and here is why; they contain chitin- a compound that is indigestible by 90% of all population. The compound also makes up the shells of mollusks and lobster. Also, they contain carcinogenic toxins that are harmful to the body and can only be destroyed by cooking.

Can raw baby bella mushrooms make you sick?

While some people enjoy raw baby bella mushrooms, consuming them in large quantities may expose one to gastric problems. Also, baby bella mushrooms can make you sick if eaten raw, wrongly cooked, or spoilt. Discard your mushrooms if you notice the following signs of getting spoilt;

  1. If they seem oozy or slimy
  2. When you notice some dark spots all over
  3. If they start to shrink
  4. If you have them around for 2 weeks and beyond

 If you notice any of these on your mushroom, it becomes poisonous and can make you sick. Also, ensure to purchase from certified stores and dealers.

Best ways to cook baby bella mushrooms

So, since consuming raw baby bella mushrooms can be dangerous, how should you cook them? Here are some of my favorite ways of cooking baby bella mushrooms

  1. Grilling: I toss them with olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice, then I grill them until they are tender and soft
  2. Baby bella mushroom and fresh herbs pizza: You can use any cheese of your choice. Simply sauté the mushrooms with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh herbs and prepare as a regular pizza.
  3. Baby bella and onion:  All you need to do is to sauté a mixture of the mushrooms with a little butter, onion, and some sauce
  4. Roasted Baby bella mushrooms:  roast them for a beefy, soft and tasty mushrooms topped with herbs.
  5. Creamy soup: Serve your soup craving with baby bella mushrooms creamy soup that gives a lasting impression. Ideally, you can serve it with toasted gingerbread and enjoy its tasty umami flavor.

 You can cook baby bella mushrooms in many ways, but these are my favorites. You can also sauté them with olive oil, use them fir stuffing, especially for vegans, or cook them with peas for a protein and fiber-rich meal.

Benefits of Baby Bella Mushrooms

Baby bella mushrooms have loads of nutrients that are beneficial to the body in the following ways;

  1. Improved immunity function: the mushrooms help stimulate immune cells and fight against infections and inflammations
  2. Reduces cancer risk: Baby bella mushrooms contain powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, and polysaccharides. This aid in preventing and slowing the growth of cancer cells.
  3. Enhances bone health: Baby bella mushrooms are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which is necessary for proper bone health.
  4. Promotes low cholesterol levels: the mushrooms contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucans that aids in lowering the levels of cholesterol and promote better heart health
  5. Helps in weight management:  since baby bella mushrooms are high in fiber and protein and low in calories and fat, they help lower your appetite and stay full longer, making it easy to manage weight.

Baby bella mushroom Nutrient value

  • Per 50 grams
  • Water: 46.81g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.94g
  • Protein: 1.05g
  • Calcium: 1.5mg
  • Energy: 11g
  • Lipids: 0.18mg
  • Phosphorus: 54mg
  • Sodium: 4.5mg
  • Iron: 0.16mg
  • Potassium: 182mg
  • Fiber: 0.65g
  • Sugar: 1.25g


Generally, mushrooms are delicious when eaten raw but are more nutritious when cooked. Its however not advisable to eat them raw because you may expose your body to dangerous carcinogens. Moreover, mushrooms’ nutrients and antioxidants like ferulic acid and carotenoids are easier to get only after cooking.

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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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