Are you curious about functional mushrooms? Here's what to expect when you eat lion's mane mushrooms.
Many people are familiar with the benefits of functional mushrooms like lion's mane but are still skeptical about whether they will enjoy the taste. If you don't like the solid earthy taste of typical mushrooms, you might be surprised by the unique flavor of the lion's mane mushroom, and also that there are many forms of lion’s mane (tincture, powder, gummies).
Ready to learn more about that distinctive lion's mane mushroom taste?
Keep reading as we explore what lion's mane mushroom can do for your body and what fresh lion's mane mushroom tastes like! At Mushroom Revival, we educate people about the benefits of lion's mane and other functional mushrooms.
What Is Lion's Mane?
Lion's mane is a functional mushroom found in Asia, North America, and other regions. If you visit Asian markets, you'll find a plentiful supply of lion's mane mushrooms. However, many people in the west are only becoming aware of the health benefits of a lion's mane.
Functional mushrooms differ from ordinary mushrooms, offering health benefits beyond their nutritional composition. This feature is why many functional mushroom experts, like us at Mushroom Revival, have begun creating functional mushroom supplements to provide people with their daily dose of nature's finest mushrooms. Alternatively, many people are consuming lion's mane mushrooms in recipes and creative dishes to gain their many benefits.
The lion's mane mushroom gets its name from the fluff-like tendrils that cascade down from its cap. To many, the lion's mane mushroom looks like a white lion's mane - hence the name.
Lion's Mane Compounds
Before we discuss the lion's mane mushroom's taste, let’s talk about the many positive components of lion’s mane mushrooms:
- Zinc - the zinc in lion's mane mushrooms plays a vital role in supporting the body's growth and repair. Zinc is known to enhance protein metabolism in the body.
- Iron - without enough iron, the body becomes anemic, and there is not enough iron in the blood to support cardiovascular health, leading to health complications. Lion's mane may be a good plant-based source of iron.
- Polypeptides - Polypeptides are important building blocks in the body
- Polysaccharides - the polysaccharides found in the lion's mane mushroom are known to have health benefits for the body's digestive system, immune function, and detoxification systems.
- 1,3 1,6 beta glucans - the 1,3 1,6 beta glucan content in lion's mane may be helpful for those who want to support the body's natural blood sugar and cholesterol regulation processes for supported cardiovascular health. The fruiting body of lion’s mane has around 29 times more 1,3 1,6 beta glucans than the mycelium.
- Digestive enzymes - the digestive enzymes in lion's mane may have many benefits for gut health. Enzymes balance the good bacteria in your gut, leading to supported immunity and digestion.
- Compounds for cognitive support - Lion’s mane mushrooms have 8 classes of compounds well studied for supporting NGF and cognitive function that are not in the mycelium including hericinones, dilinoleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (DLPE), amyloban, amycenone, 3-Hydroxyhericenone F, hericene, hericerin, and erinacerin.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Benefits
Now that you know about the components you can find in the lion's mane mushroom, let's discuss some of the main benefits of lion's mane for your overall health and well-being.
It May Support Mood, Memory, Cognitive Function, And Mental Health
In the modern age, mental health is a hot topic, and people are taking steps to support their mood, memory, cognitive function, and mental health. By taking the lion's mane mushroom, you are ingesting 1,3 1,6 beta glucans which may be beneficial in aiding the body's natural inflammatory response, post-workout, or other like activities . This effect is known to help balance the body's processes and may have a positive impact on your body.
The hericenones and other compounds in lion's mane may support brain health, support the body's natural processes, and support the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). This component positively influences mood, memory, and cognitive function.
You can even use the mushroom to enhance your meditation and yoga practices, finding more focus and concentration. Yoga and meditation are proven to support your ability to deal with occasional stress, and support your self-discipline, and mental health.
It May Protect Your Cells
The antioxidant support that fresh lion's mane and dried lion's mane provides, may support the body.
It May Support Your Immune System And Gut Health
When you take lion's mane mushroom supplements or consume fresh lion's mane in a new recipe, you are ingesting polysaccharides (most notably 1,3 1,6 beta glucans) and polypeptides, which are known to support digestive health. By encouraging a healthy microbiome, you help fortify your body against any “bad guys”.
How Can You Grow Lion's Mane?
If you want to start consuming lion's mane mushrooms regularly, you can buy lion's mane mushrooms and lion's mane supplements online. Or, if you're an avid gardener, you can start growing your own lion's mane mushrooms.
Growing lion's mane mushrooms is relatively straightforward. To get an abundant supply of fresh mushrooms, take the following steps:
- Order a grow kit online - find a supplier that is close to you with lots of great reviews
- Put on your kitchen counter and spritz with water at least once a day
- Once the mushroom starts growing and you see the tendrils start to point down you know it’s time to harvest. Twist at the base and pull off to harvest your lion's mane and store in your fridge in a paper bag in the vegetable drawer.
- Once you harvest your lion’s mane, new mushrooms will grow from the same kit around 5 times before you can compost your kit.
You can find lion’s mane at specialty grocery stores but a lot of times it can be rare, which is why many people grow fresh lion's mane mushrooms at home. If you don’t want to go through all the work yourself, we also recommend buying lion’s mane supplements from reputable online stores to enjoy all the benefits of this functional mushroom in a super concentrated form.
What Does Lion's Mane Taste Like?
The lion's mane mushroom taste is distinctive. The fresh mushrooms have a meaty texture and a mild savory taste, like shellfish and seafood. Lion's mane is a perfect meat substitute in seafood recipes. Try recreating your favorite seafood recipes using the lion's mane mushroom. However the dried concentrated powder extract of lion’s mane has an earthy almost slight chocolatey flavor.
Lion's Mane Recipes - Cook Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Now that you know the benefits of this functional mushroom, we can discuss how you can use lion's mane mushrooms at home. Read each lion's mane mushroom recipe below to decide which flavors appeal to you the most!
You don't have to use lion's mane for these recipes; you can replace it with whatever mushrooms you want.
Lion's Mane Cocoa Latte
A lion's mane cocoa latte doesn't sound great, but don't worry! You won't be putting whole mushrooms into your delicious hot cocoa. You'll use a flavored mushroom supplement powder to make your latte much more nutritionally beneficial. Dried lion's mane mushrooms are extracted and blended to create a flavored powder that you can add to your favorite recipes. Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe:
- 8.5 ounces whole milk (or any vegan milk alternatives).
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder.
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar (or any sweetener alternative).
- 1-ounce dark chocolate.
- 1 tbsp lion's mane supplement powder.
- Whipped cream and flake (optional).
To get started, you should melt your milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and chocolate in a pan on medium heat. Then, add your lion's mane supplement powder, and whisk the mixture to dissolve the lion's mane and cocoa powders.
Choose a lion's mane mushroom powder with a flavor profile suitable for this recipe, such as chocolate, vanilla, or plain flavoring.
Lion's Mane Vegan Crab Cakes
Lion's mane mushroom makes an excellent vegan alternative to crab cakes. For this recipe, you'll need the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup fresh lion's mane mushrooms - the mushrooms will be a substitute for your crab meat.
- 2 tsp olive oil - for oiling the grill
- Flax egg - instead of chicken eggs, you can use flax egg to bring the recipe together and bind your ingredients.
- Breadcrumbs - you'll need breadcrumbs to add texture and crispiness to the outside of your cakes.
- Mayo - use a vegan alternative to mayo to ensure your crab cakes are perfectly moist.
- Garlic powder - use garlic powder to add flavor to the mushrooms and bring a rustic, earthy flavor to this recipe.
- Parsley - every seafood dish wouldn’t be complete without fresh parsley to create a fresh and light flavor.
To make this recipe, mix all these ingredients in a bowl, and pack the cakes tightly into small circular shapes. Then, using plenty of olive oil, you can cook your lion's mane mushroom cakes in an air fryer, in a frying pan, or in the oven - it all depends on how you like them. Do note that these cakes can fall apart in the frying pan, so don't worry if you end up with more of a crumble than a cake!
Red Onion, Mushroom, And Black Bean Stir Fry
Fresh lion's mane mushrooms make an excellent addition to a stir fry. To try our lion's mane recipe, you'll need:
- 1 cup of red onions - cut into slender vertical strips; otherwise, their flavor may be too intense.
- 1 can black beans - rinse your black beans thoroughly before you add them.
- 2 cups of lion's mane mushroom.
- 1 cup chicken breast slices (or meat substitute).
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves.
- 1 lime, juiced.
- Soy sauce.
- Sesame oil.
- Oyster sauce.
To make this recipe, you'll need to start by heating the sesame oil in your pan. Then, add your ginger and garlic. Once browned, you can add your chicken chunks and cook until golden brown, adding your vegetables, including the lion's mane. Once your mushrooms are golden brown, you can add soy sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, and rice. Stir well and cook for one or two more minutes. Then, take your pan off the heat, and stir in your chopped cilantro.
Takeaway on Lion's Mane Mushrooms Taste
If you want to improve your health and well-being, you should discover more of the lion's mane mushrooms taste and benefits. Fresh mushroom is excellent in your favorite recipes, or you can even purchase lion's mane supplements to help you get your daily dose of functional mushrooms.Here at Mushroom Revival, we're obsessed with mushrooms! Explore our blogs, podcasts, and product pages to begin your health journey today!