You’ve probably heard talk of “magic mushrooms” (or you’ve consumed them, that’s cool too). Of course, you’d probably be thinking of the hallucinogenic variety, but as it turns out, regular old mushrooms are pretty magical too.
In fact, the little fungi have been steadily gaining popularity over the years (starting centuries ago with Eastern medicine) for their reputed health benefits. “Mushrooms are very diverse,” explains Sandra Carter, founder of Om, Organic Mushroom Nutrition. “They have antioxidants, beta glucans, and amino acids, plus they’re very high in vitamin D—and are a natural, vegan source of it, no less—and other vitamins and minerals.”
And Carter would know. She’s got a Ph.D in preventative medicine, a master’s in public health, and has worked with mycologist Steve Farrar for years studying the properties of different mushrooms.
Now, she’s just relaunched her company Om (previously known as Mushroom Matrix) with 10 unique organic mushroom powders, from an immunity-boosting reishi to a proprietary “beauty blend” designed to support hair, skin, and nail health with a mix of eight different types of mushrooms.
To formulate her powders, Carter grows 12 different mushroom species at Om’s San Marcos, CA, headquarters. A few of her favorites: cordyceps (popular with athletes for its reputed energy-boosting power), the adaptogenic reishi, and maitake, which reportedly regulates blood sugar.
But if you’re thinking you’ll just add some mushrooms to your next salad, think again. “A lot of the varieties of mushrooms that we grow, like cordyceps or reishi, wouldn’t be found in a regular produce aisle,” says Carter. “Which is why it makes much more sense to consume them in powder form.” Yes, we’re going way beyond the button here.
From smoothies to sautés
Carter recommends sprinkling mushroom powder in your morning smoothie, adding it to your salad dressing at lunch, or tossing it in the pan when you sauté your veggies for dinner. “There’s no strong flavor to the powders, so it won’t interfere with what you’re cooking,” says Carter. “And it’s really a product you want to take every day to get the best benefits from it, so it’s important to make it a part of your daily ritual.”
If you want to take the mushroom magic to the next level, though, you can pair super nourishing foods with specific powders to boost everything from your complexion to your energy levels.
Need inspiration? We enlisted nutritionists, Emily Potter of NourishMint Wellness and Lauren Felts, founder of The Holy Kale, to dream up some delicious mushroom-focused recipes for all your wellness needs.
Read on for five delicious and nutritious recipes that give you your mushroom fix, and more.
Beauty + Vibrance Juice
“I’m all about creating beauty from the inside out, and if your GI tract is happy and healthy, chances are that the rest of your body will be as well,” Potter says. “I added lemon and ginger because it tastes amazing but also creates more hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which supports digestion and breaking down of nutrients.”
1 green apple
4 stalks celery
1 lemon, peeled
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 tsp OM Beauty powder
Juice carrots, apple, celery, cucumbers, ginger, and lemon. Once juiced, stir in 1 tsp of OM Beauty. Serve chilled.
Turmeric Grounding Tea
“Turmeric is one of the most anti-inflammatory foods on the planet,” Potter says. “Coconut milk makes this creamy and raw honey sweetens it up a bit while adding an immune-boosting element.”
1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tsp raw organic honey
1 tsp OM Reishi powder
Heat coconut milk and slowly stir in remaining ingredients. (Note: You can also put all ingredients into a milk frother—heat and enjoy!)
Green Beauty Smoothie
“The high levels of silicon in the kale help to make your hair thick and nails strong, plus aloe vera lowers inflammation,” Felts says. “Lastly, the raw honey provides key vitamins and minerals. Each ingredient really makes you glow!”
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup blueberries
1 1/2 Tbsp avocado
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 tsp sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup kale (de-stemmed)
1 Tbsp cashews
1/2 ounce aloe vera juice
1 Tbsp raw honey (Manuka even better)
1 tsp Om Beauty powder
Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until creamy. If you desire a sweeter taste, add more honey or 1 date. If you want to skip the sugar, use stevia as a substitute for honey.
Energizing Blend Bites
“This recipe is packed with healthy fats like coconut and almond butter for brain power, plant-based proteins to keep your energy stable and natural energy enhancers like goji, cacao, and maca,” Felts says.
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup almonds
9 dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)
1/2 cup goji berries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp plant-based protein
2 tsp Om Fit powder
1 tsp maca
1/4 cup coconut
1 Tbsp cacao nibs
1/2 Tbsp raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp almond butter
In a food processor, combine seeds and almonds and process until ground to a flour, with pieces the size of small gravel. Add the dates, goji berries, vanilla extract, cinnamon, protein powder, mushroom powder, and maca. Process until the mixture forms clumps like dough.
Then add in the cacao nibs, raisins, salt, coconut oil, and almond butter. Process briefly to incorporate ingredients. Leave some small chunks for consistency. Then test the mixture. If it is too dry, add some water. If it is too wet, add a bit more almonds.
If you want to make food bars: Place the dough on a cutting board that is lined with plastic wrap. Press the dough out until it is even and compact. Cover with plastic wrap and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Unwrap the dough and cut into squares. Refrigerate.
If you want to make a granola topping: Pull the dough out of the food processor. Start crumbling up the dough until you get little chunks. Store in a Tupperware. Add to yogurt, chia pudding, smoothie bowls, or eat as a snack.
Calming Tonic with Reishi
“I have absolutely fallen in love with the concept of a warm drink before bedtime. Try drinking a small glass about an hour before bedtime to melt away the stress of the day,” Felts says. “Made with lavender, which is known for calming the mind and body, and then paired with magnesium-rich cacao and almond for relaxing the nerves and muscles, the ingredients in this tonic help to boost the benefits of reishi.”
1 1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp rice bran powder
1 tsp Om Reishi powder
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp cacao butter
2 drops lavender essential oil
Pinch of unheated sea salt
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the plant milk to a simmer. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the other ingredients. Whisk the warm milk mixture constantly until the chocolate is totally melted. Serve right away or blend the mixture in a blender until frothy.