When I first learned about the possibility of using food as medicine, one of the very first foods I started eating was shiitake mushrooms.
These mushrooms are renowned in Japan (and in Macrobiotic cooking), for their healing properties.
What makes these mushrooms stand out from other famous fungi?
Well, first and foremost they are packed with B vitamins and vitamin D (if they are sun-dried). They contain copper, one of the few metal elements essential to human health.
They also have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Shiitakes are rich in lentinan that heals chromosome damage and fights cancer.
And, most importantly, they are DELICIOUS! When using food as medicine, it should taste really good, otherwise you’re not going to want to eat it.
So, get yourself some shiitake mushrooms and put them into soups, stir fries, and sautéed veggies.
Due to their popularity, you can find shiitake mushrooms at most grocery stores and health food stores. You can also find them dried.
For this recipe below I used sun-dried mushrooms that are rich in vitamin d. And, that’s especially good throughout the winter months.
Enjoy and happy healing!
- 1 tbsp. olive oil or other oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin crescents
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 6 dried organic shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups water until soft (20-25 mins)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Add oil into a soup pot.
- Bring heat up to medium high and saute onion with a few pinches of sea salt until lightly caramelized (about 15-20 minutes).
- Add chicken stock.
- Strain the shitake soaking water and add to the broth.
- Thinly slice the shiitakes and add to the broth.
- Add garlic, remaining salt, and chili pepper flakes.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and scallions.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.