Mushrooms-What’s All the Excitement About?

by John Murphy, Founder, Make 100 Healthy

My life journey and passion is to find the best ways to live a healthy life. Lately, mushrooms are all the rage. I needed to know why.

Ancient wisdom and modern science agree that mushrooms are highly nutritious and effectively treat serious medical conditions. Wow!

Good food, nutrition and medical care is exciting.  

Small mushroom farms across the country produce about 20 varieties of specialty mushrooms that come in different forms, colors and flavor profiles. Pearl, blue and King oyster, Lion’s mane, maitake, shiitake and wine cap mushrooms are often grown by Arizona growers.

The flavor of culinary mushrooms can be deep and robust. Some are subtle. Kathryn Crew, owner of Fungi-licious! Gourmet Mushroom Farm in Chino Valley (and Yavapai College Community Education Program instructor of All About Mushrooms and Mushroom Farming Basics) knows so much about the benefits of mushrooms.

Kathryn shared: “Chefs love mushrooms because they are a high-protein option for their patrons who have chosen to forgo eating meat and animal products. Substituting one mushroom for another, or using a combination of mushrooms, creates flavor that you’ll be wild about!”  

Kathryn’s mushroom cooking technique:

  • Washing mushrooms makes them soggy, so instead, if necessary, wipe them with a clean dry towel or soft brush.
  • Drop them whole or in pieces into broths or soup, or sauté them in small batches over medium-high heat until some moisture evaporates and they are lightly brown before adding fats or seasonings. 
  • Store prepared mushrooms in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Functional mushrooms treat a long list of ailments.

For example, maitake effectively treats polycystic ovary syndrome. Lion’s mane can slow mental decline in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and treat neuropathy. Some mushrooms cure ailments.

Most functional mushrooms such as reishi and turkey tail are dried and steeped as tea. Capsules of a combination of mushrooms to treat a specific bodily system are readily available. Some culinary mushrooms like Lion’s mane and shiitake are culinary and medicinal. Now, that’s exciting!