Although mushrooms are often found in between the fruits and vegetables at the supermarket they are actually neither. Rather these fleshy, beings are members of an altogether stranger family- the fungi. With over 100,000 known members to the family with 10,000 of those mushrooms, there are actually thought to be many other as yet unknown varieties. The fleshy fruiting body is the part that you eat and love them or hate them (they tend to be relatively polarising) you can’t deny that mushrooms are great for you.
In fact ancient Egyptians believed that they were the food of immortality and only suitable for ingestion by royalty. In various other civilizations, including Russia, China, Greece, Mexico and Latin America, mushrooms were part of elaborate rituals that were practised to help produce super-human strength, help find lost objects and lead the soul to the realm of the gods.
In the last few decades modern science has shown us that mushrooms are not only tasty but also packed full of nutrition. They are a great source of B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which support healthy energy production and nervous system function. They also pack a mineral punch with pretty decent levels of potassium, calcium and the antioxidant superstar selenium. Not to mention being the only source of vegan vitamin D- ergocalciferol.
If those benefits aren’t enough there is recent evidence to show that certain mushrooms may be just as much like medicine as they are food. Mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake, enoki, oyster and chanterelle are often referred to as “medicinal mushrooms” and contain numerous bioactive constituents. Amongst many benefits, these constituents are shown to support healthy balanced immune function and are shown to be have multiple benefits for liver and heart health.
A great way to get more mushroom goodness in your life is to try a mushroom powder. These are a great way to get all the goodness of mushrooms without any of the prep – they can be added to sauces, gravies, salad dressings, stuffing or in fact be added to any savoury dish.
Or check out these easy mushroom recipes!
- 1 c parsley leaves and stems, packed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 spring onions
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
- 1 tsp each of oregano and cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp Mushroom Powder
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line two trays with baking paper.
Process together the parsley, garlic and spring onions until chopped. Add chickpeas and all herbs and spices and pulse until chickpeas are broken down to a rough paste. Scrape mixture into a large bowl.
Add in the shiitake mushrooms and Radiance Mushroom Powder and pulse a few times until mushrooms are finely chopped. Tip mushrooms into the bowl with chickpea mixture, add oil, sesame seeds and flour. Mix everything together using a large spoon or your hands. Roll into balls and then flatten slightly. Put onto baking tray. Coat with extra olive oil and bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden and firm.
Serve warm or at room temperature in pita bread with salad and hummus
Vegan Mushroom Pate
This meat free pate is a great spread for parties or is a yummy spread for sandwiches interesting spread to keep on hand for sandwiches and it contains all the goodness of Radiance Wild Mushroom Powder
- ¾ cup of walnuts
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
- 1.5 cups of mushrooms sliced
- 1 tsp. Mushroom Powder
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
Heat a pan on medium high heat and toast the walnuts for about three minutes then set them aside. Keep the pan on the heat and add in the oils, shallots, garlic and ginger. Cook these for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms and the mushroom powder and cook for another few minutes. Stir in the soy, salt and pepper.
Once cooked, turn off the heat. Place the walnuts and the mushroom mix in your food processor and process well. Season to taste and put in a jar in the fridge. Serve with crackers or vege sticks!
Savoury Mushroom Salt
Nothing like a kick of flavoured salt on your dinner!
- ¼ cup seasalt
- 2 tsp. Mushroom Powder
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
Mix all the ingredients together and store in a glass jar. It won’t last that long!
Delicious mushroom gravy
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 100 grams of your favourite mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons of mushroom powder
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 ½ tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 ¼ cups of vegetable stock
Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add your mushrooms, the mushroom powder and the garlic. Cook stirring for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Slowly add stock, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Cook for about 3 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with meat, more mushrooms or with other vegetables
By Rachel Dawson Dip Nutrition Dip Herb Med (Hons)
Senior Naturopathic Consultant Health & Herbs International Ltd
Radiance Wild Mushroom Powder contains a blend of three medicinal mushrooms – Shiitake, Chanterelle & Enoki. It can be added to savoury dishes, gravies, salad-dressings and more. Buy it now from our secure online shop.
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