mushrooms

Mushroom Stew with Oyster, Shiitake & Chestnut Mushrooms

As we move towards Winter Solstice here, we’re continuing to crave meals that are warming, hearty & full of grounding veggies. For us, there’s something really satisfying about cooking up a big pot of soup or stew and eating it over a few days. This mushroom stew is one of our favourite recent creations. If you’ve read the blog before you’ll know we’re pretty mad for mushrooms, whether they be the culinary or medicinal types. As well as being really delicious and full of earthy, aromatic flavours, this stew also has a lot of healing potential from mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake and maitake. These different types of mushrooms bring so much flavour to the stew and have a somewhat meat-like texture too.

You can find these varieties of mushrooms in many supermarkets these days, or they can be found at farmer’s markets or asian grocers. If for some reason these speciality mushrooms aren’t available to you, you could just use all chestnut or button mushrooms in the stew- the flavour won’t be as intense but it will still be tasty!

Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut

INGREDIENTS
3 medium onions, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
4 large bay leaves
600g of mushrooms, chopped into bitesized pieces (we used a mixture of chestnut, shiitake, oyster & maitake)
1 tablespoon of brown miso paste
1 tablespoon of tamari
2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
500ml of vegetable stock
25g of dried mushrooms (we use porcini)
250ml of oat cream (we use oatly)
200ml of oat milk (or another non-dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon of good quality salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

METHOD
1. Heat the vegetable stock and add the dried mushrooms, turn off the heat, cover and leave to soak.
2. In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fry the onions and bay leaves together on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the onions are golden and beginning to caramelise.
3. Next add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add a tablespoon of water to the pan and add the paprika, cook for 30 seconds.
4. Now add all of the mushrooms to the pan and stir well, cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Strain the vegetable stock and keep the soaked dried mushrooms aside. Add the strained stock, oat cream, oat milk, miso, tamari, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes with a lid on until the mushrooms are cooked but retain some bite and texture. Turn off the heat.
6. To a blender or small food processor, add the soaked dried mushrooms you set aside, along with a ladle-full of the cooked stew and blend until smooth. Add this back into the pan and stir well. This is to thicken the sauce, if you find its still a little thinner than you’d like then feel free to blend another ladle-full. You could also do this step using a stick/immersion blender in the pan, but be careful not to blend too many mushrooms as you want to leave as many whole as possible.

Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut

What’s your favourite variety of mushroom?
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The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

The past year or two, we've become fascinated by medicinal mushrooms. They have been pretty life changing for us and are a huge passion of ours. So much so, we're hoping to volunteer  on a mushroom farm later this year and learn all about cultivating fungi... which we're so excited for! 

We wanted to share some of our knowledge and experience of medicinal mushrooms - where to start, how to eat them, some of their benefits and our favourite companies. If your only experience of mushroom so far are the ones you buy from the supermarket, then welcome to the enormous fungi kingdom and all its magic .... 

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Images via Tumblr. 

WHAT ARE MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS?

The historical importance of mushrooms is often undervalued by mainstream society and western medicine. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years as food, medicine and as part of spiritual practices in a range of different communities and religions. The more we learn about the fungi kingdom, the more we recognise their value in the ecosystem - they are quite literally all around us and hold so much potential! Humans are closely related to the Fungi Kingdom, therefore their benefits are lovingly received and recognised by the human body.  So what makes a medicinal mushroom any different from those you'd find in the veggie section? 

Medicinal Mushrooms are mushrooms with powerful healing properties and health benefits. When we consume these mushrooms that are rich in medicinal qualities, we absorb a variety of medicinal constituents and nutrients, increasing health and vitality.  These types of mushrooms have been such a valuable medicine for thousands of years, most notably in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). 

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HOW TO TAKE THEM

Our favourite way to use mushrooms is to make warm tonics or elixirs with nut/ oat / coconut milk. We have a recipe for our favourite cacao tonic here. You can also take the mushrooms in tincture form.  

When taking mushrooms, a small amount goes a long way. We use roughly 1/2 teaspoon each time, so although buying the mushrooms can initially feel expensive, they last for a very long time as they are so potent.


Some of our favourite mushrooms are as follows:

REISHI
Known as The Queen of the fungi kingdom and The mushroom of Immortality - reishi was the first medicinal mushroom I tried and I fell in love with immediately. The effects of this mushrooms are so calming for the nervous system - I can quite literally feel the relaxing, grounding effects when I take it. 

Reishi is best known in Chinese Medicine for its immune boosting properties and is prescribed for vitality and general wellbeing. Full of amino acids, polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals ... it's a super fungi full of healing  magic. If you're looking to start somewhere, we recommend Reishi.

CHAGA
If Reishi is the Queen of mushrooms, then Chaga is known as the healing King. Growing wild on birch trees in various parts of the world, the chaga fungus absorbs some of the powerful nutrients from the tree. It is known to be incredibly alkalising and a rich of source of antioxidants (which protect the body from free radical damage) and has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for illnesses. Various studies have been released on the healing effects of Chaga against certain forms of cancer. (google Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book The Cancer Ward). Chaga chunks can be decocted into a powerful tea to promote immunity and wellness, or else it is available in powder form from various companies. 

CORDYCEPS
The cordyceps fungus is truly fascinating as it grows in the high altitudes of the Himalayas... on caterpillars (!). This mushroom has an incredible reputation for increasing stamina, vitality and strength. It's often referred to as being the mushroom for improving athletic performance and enhancing energy. Prescribed in TCM to support the function of the lungs and kidneys, it's also suggested to strengthen the immune system. 

LIONS MANE
Often used as a nerve tonic - Lions Mane can be taken to support nerve and brain function, as well as aiding digestion. Modern studies have shown it to be a potential medicine for helping diseases such as Alzheimers and dementia. It's rich in amino acids, minerals and can enhance the function of the immune system! 

 

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

 Rich Roll Podcast - Tero Isokauppila On Healing Mushrooms

The Life Stylist Podcast - The Magic of Mushrooms

TED TALK - 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World

The Chief Life Podcast - Mason Taylor on Medicinal Mushrooms

BBC Documentary - The Magic of Mushrooms

RECCOMMENDED BRANDS & PRODUCTS

UK
Hybrid Herbs
Indigo Herbs
Sun Potion (via Raw Living)

Four Sigmatic

Rest of the World
Sun Potion
Dragon Herbs
SuperFeast


 SHOP BELOW:

 

We hope you enjoyed this post...we'd love to hear about anyones experiences with medicinal mushrooms or recommendations you have!

Buckwheat Crepes with Mushrooms & Chard

This post may be few days late, but we think pancakes should be celebrated all year round, not just on pancake day! If you're still craving some crepe inspiration after the big day, then these delicious savoury crepes are the perfect treat any time of year.

Stuffed with mushrooms, rainbow chard and a tahini dressing, these make such a good breakfast or lunch time delight. Although we both appreciate a good, sweet pancake (see our favourite recipe here), I've always been a savoury girl at heart, so these tick all the boxes for me!  Not only is Buckwheat full of nutrition and naturally gluten free, it has such a great flavour and is easy to work with. If you do have a sweeter tooth, this batter mixture works great for sweeter fillings too. Just follow the basic crepe recipe and fill with all your favourite things! 

Buckwheat crepes with mushroom and chard

Ingredients (makes 8-10 pancakes):

For the pancakes:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2.5 cups liquid (we use half oat milk, half water but any nut milks are good!)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 tsp baking powder

For the Filling:
Roughly 300g of chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
Roughly 300g of rainbow chard (can replace with spinach), chopped finely
3 tablespoons of tahini

To make the crepes: 
We use a blender to make our pancake batter, but feel free to use any method, bowl and whisk, kitchen aid etc..

1. To the blender add the liquid and chia seeds, allow to sit for 10 minutes or so until the chia have absorbed some of the liquid and become gloopy.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Let the batter sit for at least 20 minutes before cooking, this allows the mixture to bind together a bit more.

3. Cook pancakes in a hot, preferably non-stick pan. Add a little coconut oil into the pan for each pancake and pour in the batter, cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

To make the filling and dressing:
1. In a small frying pan, heat up some coconut oil and fry your mushrooms for 3-4 minutes. Once cooked, add in your chard, stir thoroughly and heat for another 2 minutes. 
2. Add your tahini to a small bowl or cup. Add enough boiling water so that it reaches the consistency of a light dressing and stir thoroughly.  
3. Serve your filling on top of your crepes and drizzle the tahini on top.....Enjoy!   

What pancakes/crepes did you enjoy on pancake day?

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