With over 10,000 known species of mushroom in the world (and it’s believed many more unknown), there are real benefits to be had from consuming varieties outside the common ones found in supermarkets today.
Functional mushrooms, a term which simply means any type that provides effects over and above basic nutrition, are particularly exciting for benefits ranging from immune system support to improving energy and focus. Whilst modern science is only just realising these benefits, mushrooms such as lion’s mane, reishi, cordceps and chaga have been used for thousands of years in various medicinal systems including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The best part is that you can reap these benefits whilst enjoying functional mushrooms in a range of delicious ways. To help you get started, No Evil Nutrition has shared five great ideas on how to enjoy more mushrooms in your diet.
Revamp Classic Mushroom Dishes
Try boosting classic mushroom dishes, such as risotto or stuffed mushrooms, by switching out your normal varieties for edible functional mushrooms such as lion’s mane and shiitake. You can find these fresh in good supermarkets, or online in wholefood/gourmet food shops.
Make Mushroom Stock
Most functional mushrooms come in dried or powdered format, making them perfect for a delicious stock. Boiled with a little water and some cupboard stables like salt, pepper and garlic, dried mushrooms make an amazing stock that can be used instead of vegetable stock for a real depth of flavour.
Try Mushroom Tea
The simplest way to the health benefits of mushrooms is mushroom tea. In traditional medicinal systems, cordyceps, lion’s mane and chaga would be steeped in hot water to make an energy boosting tea with antioxidant properties. Today, its far easier to do this with a mushroom powder, brewed with hot water.
Add Mushrooms to Coffee or Latte
Taking tea up a level, the subtle, earthy taste of mushroom powder complements coffee very well. Try adding a spoonful to your cafetiere in the morning for improved focus throughout the day. Avoiding caffeine? Mix a mushroom blend in warm milk or plant-based alternative for a creamy latte that supports the immune system.
Treat Yourself With Some Mushroom Chocolate
Supplementing with mushrooms doesn’t have to be savoury! Some functional mushrooms, such as reishi, have relaxing properties and can be paired with cacao or hot chocolate for an evening treat with calming effects. If you want to be a little more creative, mushroom chocolate is a must. Chocolate with health benefits can be yours by adding a few servings of a mushroom supplement to melted cocoa butter, cacao powder and maple syrup.
For more mushroom inspiration and plant-based superfood blends, visit No Evil Nutrition.