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Mushrooms are not in the plant kingdom but categorized as fungi—with the fossilized proof they’ve been on the planet for a billion years. They can survive a variety of ecosystems and climate changes, have outlived the dinosaurs, and are able to exist underwater and outer space. When we consume foods with this caliber of evolutionary prowess, we are ingesting something deeply adaptable. This is why ancient and Blue Zone communities keep mushrooms as a staple in their longevity-focused diet. Mushrooms are also super immune balancers, thanks to their source of alpha and beta-glucan polysaccharides. These complex sugars restore cellular function and keep bacteria and pathogens from disturbing the cell's integrity—an important job! Below, Sakara Wellness Coach and self-described "food alchemist", Sasha Pagni, shares three recipes featuring mushrooms. Each celebrates medicinal, edible varieties that alchemize this resilience. The result is a boosted immune system, cognitive function support, and cellular vitality, thanks to the unique blend of enzymes and nutrients you can't find anywhere else on your plate.
Pagni uses a wide breadth of medicinal and culinary mushrooms, crafting dishes that celebrate their innate earthiness to keep flavor-bursting dishes grounded and satiating. The recipes are flexible to what is available and what looks most enticing at your local farmstand or produce aisle.
PAN ROASTED MUSHROOMS WITH SMOKY RED PEPPER TAHINI
Designed as a satiating side dish, these mushrooms have notes of garlic and lemon, balanced with umami. The texture is hearty but not crispy, and they feel elevated without much effort—making them an impressive yet low-stakes dish when guests are over. The real star comes from the deep reddish-orange, smoky, creamy tahini that uses red jalapeños. (Note: if you're shy around spice, removing the seeds will greatly reduce the heat.)
The ultimate crowd-pleaser. "All my friends request that I bring or make this every time we get together. The key is using large, meaty mushrooms that have high-fat content to recreate the satisfying smokiness of bacon, without missing a thing," Pagni says. She nestles it in breakfast sandwiches and has been known to make a "brunch table" stocked with homemade bagels, fixings, and these legendary shiitake strips.
MAGIC SHROOM BROTH
"Whenever I'm feeling frazzled, I use this broth as a replacement for tea or coffee. Just add ghee or coconut oil and it is so satisfying," Pagni says. There's a reason why each evening of Sakara's expert-level cleanse, Level II: Detox, a cup of medicinal mushroom broth awaits; it's potent healing with every sip. Pagni's rendition of this system-wide healer uses nettle, a mineral-rich leaf as well as shiitake, a mushroom with anti-cancer compounds including lentinan. She suggests using this as a base for soups, or to heighten flavor while cooking grains like quinoa or brown rice.
DISCOVER MORE HEALING WEEKEND RECIPES
Electric Squash Pizza Sauce
Woodsy White Bean Stew
Citrus-Basil Vanilla Dreamsicle
By S LIFE MAG • October 19, 2020
Photographer: Erin Cauley