Medicinal Mushrooms as Food Medicine
Article written by: Rachelle Robinett
Medicinal mushrooms are having a moment! Or, rather, they’re reminding us that they’ve been here all along – supporting not just our health but – some would say – the evolution of our species. Of the some 270 different types of medicinal mushrooms, the world is largely focused on just about a dozen, which still covers a whole host of health needs/benefits. From modulating our immune system, to supporting energy, mood and brain health, or deeply cleaning our systems as a whole, the fungi are most definitely friends with benefits.
Whether you use them for consciousness expansion or as salad toppings, including medicinal mushrooms as a regular part of a health routine is generally an excellent idea. As an herbalist and Holistic Health Coach, I spend a lot of time creating ways to work with plant-based medicine that are easy. The simplest being: spike your food.
Medicinal Mushrooms in Your Meals
While mushroom coffee is waking up a lot of folks, there are more ways to mushroom.
The most obvious and easiest, given the number of coffee-complimentary mushroom products on the market. If you’re new to mushrooms, this can be a great place to start. Powders are easiest and most common in this category of products. They mix especially well with coffee-complimentary healthy fats, which in turn work well with intermittent fasting. To start, try one teaspoon mushroom powder per cup of coffee, blended with 1 – 2 TBSP of MCT oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or ghee.
Broth & Savory Tea
Mushrooms are amazing in savory recipes! You already knew this! And, broth is a great alternative to coffee, if you’re not that type. Consider adding a tincture or powdered extract (plus fresh ‘shrooms if possible) to any combination of miso, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon, sea salt, olive oil, or even bone broth for a nourishing sip any time of day. For added complexity and benefits, start with a base of pre-steeped herbal tea.
Soups & Spreads
If you’re making soup, chances are it’d be better with more mushrooms. So: add some. Spreads – which are currently one of my favorite meal-prep items – can be vegetable based (think squash, beet, or bell-pepper dip), yogurt-y (tzatziki, nut-milk based cheese spreads, labneh …) or as simple as hummus. Stir in some powdered medicinal mushrooms and call it magic.
This is just a must. Or, homemade chocolate is very, very easy to make. Depending on the time of day that you intend on eating this treat, you may choose different mushrooms. For example, reishi before bed for it’s pacifying mind+mood effects, or chaga to make it a high-antioxidant post-workout snack, which is one of my favorite times to eat super dark chocolate.