Like most people, you probably grew up eating mushrooms as a pizza topping or thrown into a salad every now and again. And, chances are, it was most likely white button mushrooms and maybe brown creminis. How do we know this?
Because white button mushrooms account for 90% of mushrooms consumed in the U.S., and it’s been like this for quite some time. But that’s slowly changing. In recent years, mushrooms, particularly more exotic varieties such as shiitake, maitake, lion’s mane, turkey tail, chaga, reishi, and cordyceps, have taken center stage as celebrated superfoods. We’ll dive into to how to use mushroom powders that contain these incredible functional fungi.
No longer relegated as a food afterthought, mushrooms are increasingly valued as edible wonders thanks to their numerous health benefits including immune supporting, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and so much more. No wonder they’re not just called edible mushrooms, they’re also called functional mushrooms, or medicinal mushrooms. Along with the growing popularity of medicinal mushrooms, the manner in which you can consume these healthful fungi has also expanded. In this case, we’re talking about mushroom powder.
4 Ways to Use Mushroom Powder
There are many ways to use Mushroom Powder. Do not be afraid to experiment and try something new. Below are some of the more cost-effective methods for getting started with a mushroom powder energy rush.
1. Add It Into Coffee and Tea
Mushroom Coffee is a bit of a hot commodity these days. While some people cannot get enough of its bold flavors in their morning mug, you may consider adding some oat milk or coconut creamer to dull down any mushroom flavors.
2. Mix Into Smoothies
You may be thinking adding mushroom powder into your smoothie is a recipe for disaster, but nothing could be further from the truth. Try using just one tiny spoonful (about one gram) in your next smoothie.
Learn more: How to tell if backyard mushrooms are poisonous
3. Cook with Mushroom Powder
Beyond hot or cold beverages, adding powdered mushrooms into everyday meals is an easy and effective way to reap health benefits without much effort. Add a little in stir-fries, soups, salads, and pasta dishes to give them some added flavor. Mix some in with seasonings and sauces for chicken, meatloaf, tofu, tempeh, or burger patties for a flavorful boost. It works great in sweet dishes, too.
4. Use Capsules with Mushroom Powder
If you are still unsure about adding a powdered mushroom into your meals and drinks, then consider taking it as a capsule. Some people prefer mushroom powder in capsules, as this provides a precise dosage, as opposed to just spreading it over food or drinks. You can find encapsulated mushroom powders readily available on the internet and at stores. Just make sure you take the same safety precautions as when buying extracts and powders.
What Is Medicinal Mushroom Powder?
Simply put, fungus powder is made of dried mushrooms, which are then ground down to a fine powder. Some are first processed using hot water or alcohol extraction in order to extract the beneficial compounds, this is essential for getting all of the benefits. Some “mushroom powders” may even be made with the grains of the mushroom.
Learn more: Is eating mushrooms good for you?
While you can make your own mushroom powder, or you can purchase one on-line or in a local natural foods market or Asian grocer, it is important to know that not all mushroom powders are created equal. Medicinal mushroom powders can be made with one species, or with several different varieties of mushrooms.
They usually incorporate various extracts from several mushrooms in order to maximize the specific health benefits from each species. While there are more than 2000 species of edible mushrooms on the planet (that we are aware of), the majority of powdered extracts are made with medicinal mushrooms mentioned above.
How Much Should You Take?
Although there are no official rules on how much mushroom powder you should take, the general consensus is 1-3 grams per serving. That said, if you have any health concerns or are in doubt, reach out to your doctor or healthcare practitioner beforehand. After all, every person is different and it’s always better to get medical advice before adding any new supplement to your diet.
How to Choose the Best Mushroom Powder
As with any food or supplement that you purchase, it is important that you do your research on brands and read labels. Many common mushroom powders might appear like healthy choices on their surface. But after looking a bit closer, you might discover a list of fillers, flavors, stabilizers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
Why You Should Use a Mushroom Powder
Mushrooms are very low in calories, sodium, and fat, as well as being free of cholesterol, sugar, dairy, and gluten. They are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and other immune-boosting, potent compounds known as beta-glucans. They are also an amazing meat-free option. Studies show that mushrooms offer not only a similar texture and satisfaction to meat, they promote weight loss. As great as they are, we understand you may not always feel like a mushrooms chewy texture or earthy flavors.
That is where mushroom powder comes in. Mushroom powder allows you to reap the rewards of eating mushrooms without actually feeling like you are eating them.
It is also perfect if you are not into the flavor of mushrooms overall. If you don’t think you are a mushroom fan, a fungus powder might just change your mind.
What Does It Taste Like?
One of the biggest questions that people have about fungus powder is what does it taste like. Eating mushrooms sauteed, toasted, or baked is one thing. But swallowing mashed mushrooms in a smoothie or a cup of coffee is another.
Well, it may seem completely unpalatable. While it is true some mushrooms are stronger than others, Reishi, for instance, may taste bitter, while chaga may have more, many mushrooms do provide a subtly earthy taste, particularly when ground into a powder. If earthy flavors are not your thing, the good news is that mushroom powders are great in many foods and drinks, easily taking the flavors of anything you put them in. As a result, you get to enjoy all of the benefits, with none of the unwelcome aftertaste.
More than merely a slurpy, savory meal, mushrooms are having an important moment thanks to their medicinal, health-boosting properties. Traditional Chinese medicine and other cultures have known the medicinal powers of mushrooms for centuries, and now, the rest of the world is finally getting on board.
While eating cooked, fresh mushrooms is an ideal way to enjoy them, it is not always practical. Maybe you don’t like the flavor, or just want something with a different texture. Whatever the case, mushroom powder is an amazing substitute, and it is one of the best ways to get more mushrooms in your life. Now that you know how to use mushroom powder and what to look for, it is time to enjoy its many health benefits and make it a part of your overall healthier lifestyle.