Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mushrooms and Health

Western Cultures are just catching on to what Eastern traditions have known for thousands of years: that mushrooms are beneficial to health.

Mushrooms have been proven to increase immunity, boost heart health, and are now being used to fight cancer. Mushrooms such as Reishi, Maitaki and Shiitake are well known, but did you know that both Reishi and Maitaki grow wild right here in Western Pennsylvania? Maitaki is known as Hen of the Woods, grows in the fall at the base of oak trees and is a very popular edible mushroom.

Right now we are on the tail end of morel mushroom season. (The yellow morel is pictured above.) Like other mushrooms, morels are endowed with healing properties as well as being a choice mushroom to eat. We were fortunate this year after joining the Western PA Mushroom Club and attending Morel Madness, that we have been able to recognize and find mushrooms all around Western PA this spring.

Most wild mushrooms must be cooked or else they are toxic, and morels are no exception. We have been documenting our morel adventures and finds, as well as posting recipes on our sister site Food Under Foot, and also on our Food Under Foot facebook page.

Here are a sampling of morel posts on the Food Under Foot blog:

Morel Madness - a recount of the great weekend put on by the Western PA mushroom club in Mingo Creek County Park, showing us all how to recognize, find and use morel mushrooms.

Morel Frittata - a recipe (with pictures) of a delicious frittata I made using morel mushrooms (pictured below)

Morel Potato Kugel
- another recipe with pictures using the delicious morel mushroom.


Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

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