Posted on Feb 12, 2020, 4 p.m.
Broth is great, especially for when you are not feeling well and have a sore throat. Traditionally bone broth is a main go to, and it has had recent popularity with dieters and biohackers looking to find ways to stay full, repair muscles and improve health. Now enter the mushroom, looking to help those who want to have more plant based alternatives.
While bone broth will likely maintain popularity a new fad is making its way to mainstream health and wellness: mushroom broth. Many will be happy that this plant based alternative has comparable nutritional benefits that can help to improve gut health, boost the immune system, and remineralize the body with its savoury, nutty yummy flavour that can be enjoyed hot or cold wherever stock would typically be used including in soups and cooking grains.
Asia has been using mushrooms for their medicinal properties for centuries while Western societies are recently focusing attention on the immunological and anticancer properties of certain mushrooms. Some nutritionists suggest that mushrooms can carry a variety of potential health benefits such as helping to reduce cholesterol, protecting the liver and offering antihypertensive antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antiviral properties.
Certain types of mushrooms such as reishi, chaga, and shiitake have highly concentrated medicinal properties which are unique to the variety. Mushrooms found in the local grocery shop may not be considered medicinal but they still carry some benefits. Reishi are thought to help boost the immune system; chaga are known for being powerful antioxidants; and shiitake are thought to have antiviral properties. Button, oyster, cremini, and portobello are rich in vitamins and minerals. Making a broth is an easy way to absorb many of the nutrients mushrooms carry, and you can combine types to maximize benefits.
Modernfarmer.com suggests to make a mushroom broth you will need 8 cups of water, 4 large reishi mushroom slices, 8-10 shiitake mushrooms, half cup of dried chaga mushrooms, a small chopped onion, one cup of chopped celery, one cup of chopped carrots, 2 inches of chopped fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of white or red miso paste, and one tablespoon of salt/pepper.
Place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker on low to cook for 3 hours, making sure to stir once every hour, then strain the mixture through a sieve and reserve the broth. Discard everything except the shiitake mushroom which can be saved for future dishes.
Feel free to experiment and create your own version of mushroom broth adding herbs and spices to enhance and add to the benefits. Really mushroom broth is flexible and it can be adjusted to suit many tastes to be used in a wide range of dishes as a plant based alternative to bone broth.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.