This is part two of a previous recipe for Wild blackberry squash where I used a few cups of foraged blackberries to make cordial which is simply divine with sparkling mineral water, vodka or even drizzled on oats. Having said that this recipe is entirely autonomous in it's own right. It's just a smoothie using leftovers and my homegrown mushroom!
I made this recipe to use up the sieved waste from straining squash into bottles and ended up with this most delicious reduction! It could have been used as compote for a nice dessert but my main meal of the day is a morning smoothie so it made sense to use it this way. The reduction can be replaced with fresh or frozen berries with added honey to taste to balance out the mild mushroomy flavour of the Lion's Mane.
Lion's Mane is a fun shaggy mushroom said to resemble a lion's mane. It has a mild sweet flavour therefore works well in a myriad of dishes. The texture has been likened to scallops, crab or lobster. Which means they're often used to accompany seafood dishes. It can be cooked or eaten raw as it has been in the East for thousands of years.
Most commonly it is mixed into foods fresh or dried, brewed it into teas, taken in tinctures, and swallowed as a capsule for its incredible health benefits. Of which there are many most notably for the brain, nervous and immune systems.
It's easy to grow medicinal mushrooms in the kitchen. I just started with a small DIY kit. The pictured lion's mane above was from my very first flush! And lasted ages. I popped it in the fridge in a paper bag like other mushrooms and ate it bit by bit. Blended into a smoothie it's more powerful yet subtler than coffee and makes for a brain busting start to the day!
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In the kitchen, I've found the mushrooms and berries work well together. They're both traditional fruits of the forest after all. Here's how I've been drinking myself to health:
Lion's Mane Mushroom
Cinnamon or Nutmeg
Milk [whichever type you prefer] or filtered water [my usual MO]
Chuck them all into your blender, blend and drink deep. Add extra berries if you like. I often add greens as well. Depending on what's in the garden. A little cress goes a long way in this mix.
Rinse and repeat. YUM!