Edible mushrooms can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack. They can be eaten raw, cooked, alone, or blended into a burger to add juiciness, flavor, and nutritional benefits.
You can even drink your mushrooms. In fact, we've partnered with Four Sigmatic this week because they offer a host of diverse mushrooms blends that can be used by Spartans as coffees, teas and healthy elixirs. In our recipes, we are going to show you some potent mushroom cocktails that come in the form of energizing lattes and refreshing teas.
Grown year-round, mushrooms are an inexpensive whole food that is accepted among all diets from Mediterranean to paleo to keto.
Not considered a fruit or a vegetable, mushrooms are fungi. Also known as the “toadstool”, mushrooms are a spore-bearing fungus. It is these spores that spread across the ground or other surface and expand rapidly in the right conditions.
One specific kind of mushroom that we are going to focus on this week is cordyceps. This is a genus of mushroom that can be found worldwide and has over 400 species.
We asked clinical nutritionist Fred Bisci, Ph.D., head of the Spartan Nutrition Board, about why you should eat your cordyceps and he gave us the following 2 reasons:
- The benefits of cordyceps for enhancement of immune function has been proven in epidemiological research and many double-blind population studies over the years.
- He noticed in his own personal fitness that cordyceps increase oxygen utilization, mental clarity and promote quicker recovery after training.
Simple Mushroom Recipes
Used in many cuisines (most notably Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and European) there are many mushroom varieties that vary in flavor and best culinary use. Here are some simple mushroom recipes that can be considered patently Spartan cuisine.
Oh, and obviously, many mushrooms can kill you. Never just go into the woods and eat a mushroom. We just wanted to be clear on that.
Energizing Mushroom Chai Latte
- 1 Numi Organic Golden Chai Tea Bag (steep in 10 oz hot water for 4-5 minutes)
- 1 packet Four Sigmatic Cordyceps Mushroom Elixir
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 2 oz. macadamia nut milk
- 1 Tbsp coconut butter
- 2 pitted dates
Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy.
Mushroom Cafe Mocha
- 4 oz. water
- 4 oz. coconut milk
- 1 packet Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix with Lion’s Mane
- 1 packet Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao with Reishi
- 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 small pitted medjool date (or a tiny amount of stevia to taste)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Combine water and coconut milk in a small saucepan and heat on stovetop until hot but not boiling. While water/coconut milk heats, place remaining ingredients in a high speed blender. Once heated, pour the water/coconut milk into the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour into a mug. Enjoy.
- 1 lb. mushrooms (about 5 cups), sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a saute pan over medium high heat, then add olive oil. While pan is heating, wash and slice the mushrooms. (Hint: The smaller the slices, the faster they will cook).
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir them around in the pan to allow the oil to coat lightly (not all of the mushroom will get olive oil on them, that ok. Once they start to cook the natural moisture will come out). Add in desired pepper and salt.
- Allow to cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally. They are done when they reach your desired amount of caramelization (browning).
- Tip: Add additional chopped onions and peppers for a great mix Serving suggestion: Goes great on top of a veggie or meat burger
Oven Roasted Mushrooms and Garlic
- 1 lb mushrooms (about 5 cups)
- 3 cloves of garlic (1 ½ tsp pre-minced garlic)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up). Wash and dry mushrooms. Cut into quarters or halves (completely up to you).
- Place mushrooms in a large bowl. Pour olive oil in bowl and toss to coat. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Peel and crush the garlic (or add in pre-minced garlic. Toss until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Pour onto aluminum lined pan and spread out to form an even layer. Place in the oven and cook 10 minutes, remove and stir, then cook an additional 10 minutes or until mushrooms have reached your desired darkening.
- Tip: Great eaten right away as a side dish or chilled and added to salads.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- ¼ chopped onion
- 4 cloves of garlic (or 2 tsp)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a saute pan to medium high heat. Wash mushrooms and remove stems. Set mushroom caps aside on a large plate, gills facing up. Chop mushroom stems, onion, and garlic.
- Pour a small amount of the olive oil (about 1 Tbsp) into the saute pan. Saute the chopped onion, mushroom stems, and garlic until lightly browned (sauteeing the onion, mushroom stems, and garlic before grilling will add even more flavor!).
- In the meantime, a small bowl, mix the remaining olive oil and all of the balsamic vinegar. Pour evenly over the mushroom caps. Once saute items are done, evenly distribute them among the mushroom caps. Place caps in the refrigerator for an hour to marinate. (Perfect time to get in a quick workout)
- Set the grill to a medium high heat. Scrape the grill of any excess char and then place the mushrooms directly on the grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Tip: A grilling basket works well for this recipe Serving suggestion: Grilled portobello mushrooms can be a robust stand-in for a burger patty. Top with some sliced avocado for healthy fats, fiber, and potassium
Grilled Mushroom & Veggie Kabobs
- 1 lb button mushrooms (about 5 cups)
- 2 zucchini
- 2 summer squash
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red onion (about the size of a softball)
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ cup of your favorite italian dressing
- 8 wooden skewers
- Clean all mushrooms by wiping them with a paper towel. Wash all other produce. Cut zucchini, squash, peppers, and onions into chunks roughly the size of the small button mushrooms.
- Place tomatoes, cut veggies, and mushrooms into a gallon size ziploc bag (it may take 2) and add italian dressing (split dressing among the 2 bags if using 2). Seal bags tightly. Massage veggies with dressing and let marinade about 30 minutes. Soak skewers in water during this time (this will keep them from burning). Now is a great time to prep the rest of your meal, bust out some burpees, or take a quick run.
- Heat grill to medium heat. Lightly oil grill to avoid sticking. While grill heats, pour veggies into a large bowl and reserve any leftover marinade (use this as an extra marinade if you want, or discard it). Alternate veggies on the skewers. Cook veggie skewers on grill, turning every couple of minutes, until cooked through (about 10-15 minutes).
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