Make room for mushrooms!

Make room for mushrooms!

Did you know eating mushrooms is extremely good for your health? Did you know that eating mushrooms is likely to help your body fight candida and definitely won’t make it worse?  Did you know that Lovastatin, the drug used to lower high cholesterol levels, is extracted from mushrooms?

Mushrooms have an extremely long history of medicinal use.  In Europe Dioscorides writes about their medicinal uses in 55AD and Gerrard lists them in his infamous ‘Herbal’ in 1663.  Their properties have been most extensively explored and utilized by the Chinese, and many of the mushrooms used medicinally in China in 200AD are still in common use today, including Reishi and Snow fungus.

Modern research has identified many active compounds in mushrooms with have a positive influence on our immune systems helping us to fight off all kinds of infections (viral, fungal and bacterial), lower our cholesterol levels and also help to inhibit the growth of cancer.

Even everyday mushrooms like Chestnut, Portobello and Button mushrooms have some of these immune boosting and cancer protecting chemicals within them.  Their health benefits are not compromised by cooking so eating mushrooms a few times a week, cooked or raw, sounds like a very good idea to me.

Delicious vegan mushroom soup recipe (serves four)
This recipe is very quick and easy to make and also cheap – I bought my ingredients from Lidl and the soup cost £2.70 to make!  I chose chestnut mushrooms but you could add any variety.  Next time I am going to try Reishi mushrooms (available at tesco) with Portobello as these varieties have even stronger immune boosting and anti-cancer properties.

Ingredients:
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 sticks of celery, sliced
2 x 250g chestnut mushrooms, cut chunky
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1l vegetable stock
1tbsp olive oil or cold pressed coconut fat
Black pepper

Method:

  1. Put the olive oil into a stainless steel saucepan, add the celery and onion and gently soften over a low heat. After three or four minutes add the garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes
  2. Add the mushrooms and vegetable stock, turn up the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes.
  3. Blitz until smooth with a hand held blender or in a food processor; season with black pepper
  4. Serve (or allow to cool completely and store in the fridge for up to three days.)