I love mushrooms. They are magical. In every way, mushroom magicamaze me. They are known for their medicinal properties throughout the world for centuries. I am experimenting with cultivating my own medicinal mushrooms in logs here in the county of Baltimore. In the mean time, I am reliant on the farmer’s market and the local markets for fresh mushrooms. We find mostly portabello, button, oyster (large and small), shiitake and baby portabellos. What I seek are the reishi and chaga mushrooms for elixirs. But these are rare to find here.

Mushrooms are surprisingly high in protein and are incredibly satisfying. They are a great transition food for meat eaters to vegetarians as well as cooked food to raw food enthusiasts. Versatile and absorbent. Mushrooms have to be understood to be prepared well.

A few of the medicinal benefits of certain mushrooms include:

  • Anti-Oxidant properties (chaga)
  • Healthy, glowing skin (tremella, chaga)
  • Immune Support (all)
  • Increased Energy (cordyceps)
  • Liver Health (reishi, shiitake)
  • Memory and Concentration (lion’s mane)
  • Stress Relief (cordyceps)

I recently created a lovely raw delicacy of marinated portabellos topped with fresh rosemary and raw parmesan.

2 portabello mushrooms, sliced 1/8th inch think

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1T freshly pressed lemon juice

1/8t thyme (fresh or dried)

1/8t sage (fresh or dried)

1/8t rosemary (fresh or dried)

1/8t oregano (fresh or dried)

Red pepper flakes to taste

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Mix marinade ingredients and toss mushrooms with marinade. Allow to sit for 30 minutes up to overnight. Dehydrate at 108 degrees for 4-6 hours, until just tender. Top with a fresh rosemary sprig and raw parmesan. (recipe to follow in vegan cheese, cream sauces and dressings cook book).