Pancakes on their own are delicious, but a stack that can help lower stress and increase your energy? Now, that's epic. Four Sigmatic founder Tero Isokappila has been experimenting in the kitchen with adaptogenic fungi for years and sneaking them into his pancakes is just way he likes to consume the 'shrooms. It's one of a whole slew of recipes in his new book, Healing Mushrooms.
The book offers a primer on the ten so-called "powerhouse players" of the mushroom world, breaking down the info into easy to digest—ha!—sections explaining their various adaptogenic benefits. (Never heard of adaptogens? They're herbs and plants that protect the body from stress.)
“Because these cognitive benefits are so unique to this specific mushroom, you can think of these pancakes as a one-of-a kind super-comfort-food.”
He credits the bad "state of our collective health" alongside the fact that mushrooms are "low in sugar, gluten-free, high in nutrients, and are an excellent vegan meat substitute" as reasons for the superfoods' growing popularity. Basically they're a lot of bang for your bite.
The pancake recipe Isokappila shares here is made with lion's mane. "It offers protection from diseases like Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's, and can even reverse cognitive deterioration," he says. “Because these cognitive benefits are so unique to this specific mushroom, you can think of these pancakes as a one-of-a kind super-comfort-food.”
If all of this sounds too good to be true, consider that the proof may be in the (potentially mushroom-infused) pudding—or pancake, as the case may be. That, and science.
Lift your mental fog with the lion's mane pancake recipe below.
Lion's Mane Pancakes
Yield: Makes 20 small or 5 large pancakes
3 large eggs
2 cups almond milk
1 cup packed fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 cup spelt flour (substitute cassava flour for gluten-free pancakes)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking and serving
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces fresh lion’s mane mushrooms (or 3 cups dehydrated lion’s mane, soaked for 2 hours)
Jam or pure maple syrup, for serving (optional)
1. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the eggs and almond milk.
2. Add the spinach, flour, butter, salt, pepper, and mushrooms and stir until smooth. Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
3. Set a cast-iron pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add a liberal amount of butter and allow to melt. Add a half cup of the pancake batter to the pan. When little bubbles appear on the surface of the batter, use a spatula to check if the underside of the pancake is golden brown. If so, flip and fry on the other side for one to two minutes more. Repeat until all batter has been used.
4. Serve hot with butter, jam, or syrup. Pancakes are also delicious eaten cold the next day. Store in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.
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