In my recent blog Countdown to Chemo, one of the items on my shopping list was organic full spectrum mushroom powder. Specifically, I ordered reiki, maitake, shitake and turkey tail mushrooms. Why? These mushrooms are categorised as medicinal mushrooms - full of polysaccharides which enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and contain indole-3-carbonal - an ingredient found in cruciferous vegetables. All four mushroom types have demonstrated benefits as being immune system builders, antioxidants as well as having anti-tumour activity.
The secret to these powerful ingredients is how to use them and how much to consume. Dr. Richard Beliveau devotes a full chapter in his book "Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer" to medicinal mushrooms - including detailed explanations per type.
Medicinal quantities of these concentrates are usually up to 1 tablespoon per day each. That may sound easy, but incorporating them in some beverage to make them "drinkable" is a challenge.
I've been successful in masking their flavour in fruit beverages in limited amounts. In other words, only putting 1/4 tablespoon each in a glass at a time.
My experiment this morning though, was hilarious. It started with me putting one tablespoon of each - reiki, maitake, shitake and turkey tail into the blender. Then I added one cup of plain organic Balkan-style yogurt and tasted it ... YUK! Then I added about 1/2 cup of almond milk and about 6 huge organic strawberries and tasted it ...No, no, no! Then I added about 2 tablespoons of Blue Agave sweetener and tasted it - hmmmmmm - it started to taste like dark chocolate - and then I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and it tasted again - finally - GOOD!
Necessity is the Mother of invention!
1 tablespoon each of reiki, maitake, shitake and turkey tail mushroom powder
1 cup plain organic Balkan-style yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons Blue Agave sweetener
1 teaspoon cinnamon
At Live Superfoods Superstore you'll find Medicinal Mushrooms under their Supplements category.
Here is another fascinating book written by the foremost expert in mushrooming in North America: