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Medicinal Mushrooms- How to use them to nourish your mind, body and soul!

Red Belted Polypore growing on an old spruce stump

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Medicinal mushrooms are a great way to give your body that super food boost that it needs to help heal itself, but do you know how to make a mushroom drink that actually tastes good ?

Lets face it, most mushrooms and polypores taste very bitter , earthy ( I love earthy) and leave a bit of an aftertaste that just isn't for everyone. I have been experimenting with a few different ways to make something that tastes good, but is still good for the soul. I have put together a few ways to consume these majestic creations of nature, and I am going to share them with you today!

cubed red belt, dried and ready for tinctures!

Lets first talk about this one particular mushroom, although there are many types of mushrooms that you can use for mushroom hot chocolate. Some that are most common are using reishi, turkey tail, and lions mane. While all equally amazing mushrooms, these are not as common in my parts as the red belted polypore, ( Fomitopsis pinicola) the tinder conk( Fomes fomentarius) and the artist conk (Ganoderma applanatum).

As these are all hardwood shelf fungus, these three mushrooms feed of dead and decaying wood. A wood-decay or xylophagous fungus is any species of fungus that digests moist wood. It is believed this contributes to the many beneficial compounds found in polypores such as Artist Conk and Red Belt. As the tree is broken down and digested, beneficial compounds like polyphenols, polysaccharides and triterpenes are accumulated by the mushroom, creating conks packed with a ton of magical medicinal properties!

sliced Atrist conk ! each layer indicates age!

Id love to keep talking about how amazing these mushrooms are, but i think I am more excited to teach you how to use them, so to read more in depth of the many benefits of Alberta wild medicinal mushrooms, click the links to read some of my previous blog posts- They are a wealth of information!

I have been using medicinal mushrooms in my diet now for a few years. Before I started my journey, I really had no idea what they were ! I remember my very first time going into the woods, looking for chaga, I found an orange and black chunk growing out of what I first thought was a birch tree! I took a small piece home, and soon realized that not only had i not found chaga, i actually brought home a beautiful little piece of .... aspen burl. Yup. a burl. I was very disappointed, but this brought me deeper into my research about medicinal mushrooms, and I soon became very in tuned with identifying trees, mushrooms, and polypores. I have not had the chance yet to come across a chaga mushroom yet, but my adventures I am sure will lead me to one, one day. This year I was lucky enough to find a few birch polypores, ( only 3 small specimens) which I had gifted out to someone. To this day, I keep my eyes on the mushrooms that I have become close with, which are the three that I have mentioned here. I try not to talk much about the species that I have not yet become familiar with , however if I do find them in the wild, my expertise will then expand to those mushrooms as well. So for now, I am going to share with you some recipes and ways in which I use these three species in my own home.

Firstly, is a new recipe, and I am very much in love with it. MEDICINAL MUSHROOM HOT CHOCOLATE.

medicinal mushroom hot chocolate

This is the hot chocolate that I make on a cold winter night. It is soothing to the mind, and dosnt taste to bad. I love the earthy flavors of plants and botanicals, but even I have a hard time swallowing a straight up cup of mushroom tea. So this was a great way for me to get my mushrooms IN MA BELLY.

For this blend , I am using two mushrooms. The Red Belt, and the Artist Conk. I have a band saw that I use only for chopping mushrooms, and so it produced a significant amount of mushroom dust ( same as saw dust from wood) . I will collect it, and jar it. One thing I can say is after having a cup of this hot chocolate, I feel calm, but energized. Warm inside, and my mind feels clear. the next day, my body is able to clear itself out in a healthy way. Wild medicinal mushrooms are a great way to buil a healthy gut flora, they contain so many compounds that help to clear out and detoxify your GI tract. Our health starts inside out GI tract, if you have unhealthy gut flora, then this can lead to a number of health problems in the future. Ill admit, I do not always eat the best. with 5 kids, and a tight budget, the healthy food is sometimes out of reach for us. So I try and supplement with herbals the best that I can. When I consume these medicinal beauties, I can tell you, my gut really thanks me for it ! I feel lighter, I feel no bloat, I feel cleaned out!

So this is going to be very simple. ( I like simple ) . and you can certainly switch out these mushrooms with other mushrooms, maybe you have lions made, or chaga, or turkey tail.

What you need:


- packet of hot chocolate, or pure cocoa powder

- sweetener ( I used Agave syrup) you can use pine syrup, organic raw sugar, maple syrup, or raw honey.

- a touch of milk or almond milk

- boiled water

- 1 to 2 teaspoons of powdered medicinal mushrooms

Note- ( you can also swap out the hot chocolate with a cup of hot brewed coffee if thats your thang)

How to make it :

Boil your water and pour it into a heat safe mug. Add in a package of Hot chocolate mix, or powdered cocoa. Add a splash of your choice of milk. Mix in your desired amount of powdered mushroom. and then add sweetner. THATS IT.

Let your brew steep for 15 minutes, and then enjoy. For those who do not like to have bits floating in their drink, you can certainly strain it through a mesh strainer. I like the bits and pieces myself.

Another great way to make a consumable mushroom drink is to brew it through a coffee pot. You can brew it along with coffee grinds, or brew it alone.

Now for my next favorite way to consume medicinal mushrooms is by mixing it directly into smoothies. I love smoothies in the morning. They are a quick easy way to get a ton of nutrition in while being in a rush. Its fast, easy and can feed a whole family with one jug.

To make this, you will need some sort of blender. I use the ninja blender that I have bought on amazon. its affordable, and very easy to use.

For the recipe:

- any type of frozen fruit. I used strawberries here, but I often use blueberries, mangos, and mixed berries.

- of choice of almond or cows milk

-2 raw eggs

- powdered protein powder ( optional)

- powdered medicinal mushroom

- you can take it a step further and add in flax seeds, or chia

Now hit your blender button and blend that up ! the measurmnents will vary depending on how many people you are feeding or if you are going to save in the fridge for later. On a busy morning, I use 2 cups fruit, 4 cups milk, 2 teaspoons of mushroom powder, and this will be enough to make for myself, husband and kids.

And that is literally it ! This makes a very tasty smoothie, and there is literally no mushroom taste at all. The texture is smooth, and I often am able to hide mushroom powder in the smoothies, my kids can never tell !

artist conk, red belt mushroom blend smoothies

so now I have shared with you a few ways in which you can consume medicinal mushrooms, in an easy to make way. One thing I would like to share is that even though consuming medicinal mushroom is great for you, when you consume this way, you are not getting the FULL SPECTRUM of the medicinal benefits, you are still getting many benefits from them, but the best way to get all the goodness is to make a double extract tincture, which is what I am going to share next.

my double extract tincture

I wrote a blog piece about this tincture in which I have shared the link above. That link contains the process, the ingredients, and the recipe. Click here to check it out.

You can use powdered mushroom, or chopped mushrooms to make a tincture. My next tincture that I want to make it going to be a double extract mushroom blend, consisting of red belt, artist conk and tinder conk. Once you have a tincture in hand, you can use it as a daily tonic that you can put drops directly into your teas, on your tongue or into any other health drink that you might be consuming. The doses will vary depending on if you are using for medicinal purposes, therapeutic or just for a daily boost. To find out more about dosages and what is right for you, i recommend that you do some research to see what is right for you. I personally only use it as a daily tonic. The research being done on medical mushrooms is quite extensive and the more people are consuming these, the more that the mainstream is starting to pick up that these mushrooms are highly beneficial to us. There is just so much more to learn about them ! I really hope that you have enjoyed reading this piece. I am excited to learn if you have tried any of these recipes, or if you have others you can share in the comments below. Remember, consuming something that is so good for you doesnt have to be complicated!

The information that i have provided is intended for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. I highly recommend that anybody who intends to hunt , harvest or forage for mushrooms and polypores seek a credible and reliable professional. None of the above information , or any information on our website is intended to treat, diagnose or cure in any way shape or form any disease or illness. We do not endorse the practice of self diagnosing or self treatment of any illness, therefore we highly recommend that you seek the professional advise of your trusted healthcare doctor before taking any herbs and supplements. All of our bodies are different, we all have different metabolisms and some people may react very differently then others when using any kind of natural remedy. Also be aware of any allergies that you may have before consuming plants and botanicals. As mentioned before, the information provided on this website is for education only. Please take control of your own lives and do your own thorough research!

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