Mushrooms have recently become well-known superfoods, especially more exotic varieties like Maitake, Lion's mane, Turkey tail, Chaga, Reishi, and Cordyceps. However, even the ways you can consume these beneficial fungi have changed.
And no, these mushrooms are not always used as pizza toppings or thrown into a salad. We are referring to mushroom powder in this instance.
The ideal way to consume medicinal mushrooms is dried because they are much more potent.
Any savory dish will gain from the addition of mushroom powders if you want to increase its nutrient density and flavor as well as its overall health benefits. They can be added to both cooked and uncooked foods.
So, let's talk about how to use mushroom powder, considering they have numerous health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, immune-supporting, and cancer-fighting abilities. Below we will explore different uses for mushroom powder, including cooking with it. But first, let's understand mushroom powders in-depth, including how they taste.
What Is Mushroom Powder?
Dehydrated mushrooms are ground into a fine powder to create a mushroom powder. To extract the beneficial compounds, some are first processed using hot water or alcohol extraction—this is crucial to reap the full benefits. Myceliated grain can also be used to create some "mushroom powders."
How To Choose Mushroom Powder?
Although you can purchase mushroom powder online, at your neighborhood health food store, or Asian grocery store, it's essential to understand that not all mushroom powders are created equal. A single species of mushroom or various mushrooms can be used to make medicinal mushroom powders. However, to maximize the distinct health advantages of each kind, they frequently contain different mushroom extracts.
It's essential to research the brands and read the labels before purchasing any food or supplements. At first glance, many commercially available mushroom powders might appear to be a healthy option. However, looking a little closer, you might discover a list of artificial ingredients, stabilizers, flavorings, preservatives, and fillers.
Look for the following qualities in a mushroom powder to make sure it's actually healthy for you: 100% pure mushroom extract that is USDA organic, non-GMO, third-party verified, gluten-free, and vegan (if those things are important to you).
What Is The Taste Of Mushroom Powder?
How mushroom powder tastes are among people's top queries about it. Eating mushrooms roasted in the oven, breaded, or fried is one thing. However, consuming powdered mushrooms in a coffee or smoothie? That might sound odd!
While it's true that some mushrooms are more potent than others—like Reishi, which can be bitter, many mushrooms, especially when they're powdered, impart a subtle earthy flavor. For instance, Chaga is slightly bitter and earthy and tastes like coffee.
The good news is that mushroom powders go well with various foods and beverages. They readily absorb the flavor of whatever you're adding them to, even if you don't like earthy flavors.
Cordyceps mushrooms have a sweet flavor, while Lion's mane is delicate, sea-food-like. This can be perfect in baked goods or any dish. Maitake, however, is rich as savory; the longer you cook it, the stronger its flavor. The taste of Turkey tail is very mild, making it an excellent addition to tea (however, it pairs well with anything).
You can, thus, take advantage of all the health benefits without the aftertaste. But what are these benefits? We're onto it next!
Benefits Of Mushroom Powder
Mushrooms are no longer just a food afterthought but are now valued as edible wonders. And no wonder they are not just called edible mushrooms but medicinal mushrooms!
Mushrooms are entirely free of cholesterol, dairy, sugar, and gluten and have extremely low calorie, fat and sodium content. Additionally, they contain large amounts of vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and other potent immune boosters known as beta-glucans(1).
They're an excellent substitution for meals that emphasize meat. According to studies, mushrooms not only have a texture and satiety level comparable to meat but also aid in weight loss.
Let's look at the benefits of popular medicinal mushroom powders:
1. Lion's mane mushroom helps stimulate brain function, clears brain fog, and promotes the synthesis of neurons.
2. Turkey tail mushroom's polysaccharopeptides help fight cancer cells.
3. Reishi is an adaptogen that helps you destress and unwind.
4. Chaga mushroom is an antioxidant powerhouse, keeping skin youthful and hydrated.
5. Maitake lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and pressure levels.
6. Cordyceps mushroom promotes cellular energy and is a favorite amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Mushroom Powder Uses: How To Take Mushroom Powder?
Mushroom powders can be used in cooking or as part of nearly any savory dish. They can double up as a superfood supplement and a culinary ingredient. Here are some suggestions to get you going:
Add It To Hot Beverages
Mushroom powders seem to work exceptionally well in cocoa drinks and coffee due to their slight bitterness, comparable to coffee or chocolate's bitter edge.
Some people love the strong flavor of mushrooms in their morning coffee, but you might want to add oat milk or coconut creamer to mask any taste.
Mushroom Powders In Capsule Form
Mushroom powder capsules are the answer if you're determined to get the superfood benefits of functional mushrooms but are afraid of or sensitive to the taste. There are capsules made from single-species powders and multi-mushroom blends.
As opposed to sprinkling it on food or beverages, some people prefer mushroom powder capsules because they offer a precise dosage. You can get a whole serving of functional mushroom powder by eating three to four per day without worrying about the flavor.
Mushroom Powders In Smoothies
Nothing could be further from the truth than what you might think—adding mushroom powders to a smoothie is a recipe for disaster. However, smoothies are a great way to get your day started quickly while incorporating essential and wholesome ingredients—mushrooms like Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion's mane, and Turkey tail provide vitamins, mineral, anti-oxidants, immune-supporting and energy-boosting compounds that can make a great addition to your healthy lifestyle.
Cook With Mushroom Powders
Now, how to use mushroom powder in cooking? You may ask. But what if you were told that adding umami to your home-cooked meals, from a fluffy egg scramble for breakfast to a late-night chocolate treat, is incredibly simple? The use of mushroom powder for cooking is a fuss-free way to incorporate the umami bomb.
Dehydrated mushrooms bring out the deep umami flavor and preserve the aroma. In addition, they are concentrated, even more so than the fresh mushrooms, which helps layer in another flavor profile without adding another textural component.
You can use mushroom powders in your cooking at any time, but try adding them at the beginning to maximize their flavor. Most importantly, the quantity of mushroom powders you add should match the quantity you're cooking.
What Are Mushroom Powders Good For?
Mushroom powders can be added to savory dishes, soups, baked goods, and coffee. In addition, these powders can be added to a capsule and taken on the go for a more convenient option!
How Much Mushroom Powder Per Day?
Starting with a dosage of 2000 mg of mushroom powder daily is best. This lets your body adjust to the beneficial effects of powder, which can be gradually increased after talking to your holistic expert.
Is Mushroom Powder A Probiotic?
Mushrooms are an excellent source of prebiotics because they are high in carbohydrates like chitin, hemicellulose, mannans, glucans, galactans, and xylans. To promote gut microbiota development and benefit the host's health, mushrooms work as prebiotics.
Whether it's stir-fry, sauces, stocks, soups, and stews or as part of spreads and salad dressing, mushroom powders are a versatile supplement. And from savory scones to mushroom coffee, there are many ways to use them.
Now that we've told you how to use mushroom powder experience the magic of mushrooms yourself.
- Effects of mushroom-derived beta-glucan-rich polysaccharide extracts on nitric oxide production by bone marrow-derived macrophages and nuclear factor-kappaB transactivation in Caco-2 reporter cells: can effects be explained by structure?, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19885842/