Bone broth is traditionally used to support the immune system during times of illness and recovery. But it's not the only food that people turn to for a little added support. Rather, medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, shiitake, and Chaga, can also act as powerful allies.
They help support your body during times of stress or when your immune system needs a little extra assistance. Plus, you'll find both in this savory, deeply flavorful Medicinal Mushroom Broth with the added boost of garlic, onions, and fresh sage.
What is Mushroom Broth?
Mushrooms broths are sipping broths made with or seasoned with mushrooms. Like other bone broth recipes, this broth is intended for sipping. But you can also use it as the foundation for soup and stew recipes, sauces, or other dishes.
Mushroom broths have a deep, savory flavor with rich umami notes. In this recipe, slow-roasted garlic and onion sweeten the broth. And tossing a few sage leaves into the pot at the very end gives the mushroom broth a bright, herbaceous note. Together, you'll make a nutritious broth that still tastes good. Plus, it helps support your body during times of stress or when you need a little extra immune boost.
While many mushroom broth recipes are vegan or vegetarian, this recipe includes chicken bones - and it acts as a seasoned chicken bone broth. Therefore, it's not only rich in the anti-inflammatory and adaptogenic properties of mushrooms, but it's also a good source of various amino acids and protein.
Choosing Mushrooms and Herbs for Broth
All mushrooms contain a modest array of nutrients, including minerals and B vitamins, as well as other anti-inflammatory compounds. Yet, some micronutrients and medicinal compounds are particularly concentrated in select wild mushrooms like reishi, Chaga, matsutake, shiitakes, and others. It's these medicinal mushrooms that bring not only flavor but powerful nutritive compounds to the food we eat.
Reishi mushroom supports your body's ability to handle stress and provides immune system support, too. They may also help calm the nerves while supporting healthy sleep cycles.
Chaga mushroom helps support the immune system, and it also helps support blood sugar regulation and is a good source of various antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Astragalus root isn't a mushroom at all, but has a slightly sweet, gingery flavor and is traditionally used to support the immune system, to help the body adapt to stress, to support blood sugar regulation, and as a lung tonic.
Garlic and onion are alliums, and while we don't often think of them as medicinal herbs, they are great additions to immune-supporting tonics like Fire Cider and this mushroom broth.
Dulse is a sea vegetable that gives the broth a briny flavor and a nice boost of minerals.
Sage is an herb that herbalists often use to ease the sniffles or inflamed throats, but it's also powerfully rich in antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds.
Tips for Making Mushroom Broth
Making mushroom broth is fairly straightforward. If you can bring a pot of water to a boil, you can make broth. But there are a few key techniques that'll ensure your broth comes out well every time.
- Roast most of the ingredients before you simmer them. Roasting bones, vegetables, and mushrooms improves flavor and introduces savory notes into the broth.
- The frame of a roasted chicken, chicken backs, and wingtips work well.
- You can also use beef bones if you prefer them over chicken bones.
- Mind your temperature for the best flavor and gel. Grab these tips on getting your broth to gel.
- Add the fresh herbs at the end to keep their vibrant flavor.
- Salt your broth when you serve it; otherwise, the salt will concentrate as the broth cooks. As a result, your broth will be too salty and won't taste good.
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How to Use It
Most medicinal mushrooms have adaptogenic and immunomodulant properties. As adaptogens, they help your body adapt to a wide variety of stressors. And as immune tonics, they support a balanced immune system response in a gentle way.
Accordingly, this medicinal mushroom broth is excellent when you're feeling particularly run down by stress. Alternatively, you can tuck it in the freezer and bring it out when everyone around you is getting sick to give your immune system that extra support.
- Season it with fine sea salt and sip it when you need a little extra nourishment.
- Use it as the base for a nourishing soup or stew, like mushroom stew or turkey and wild-rice soup.
- Cook grains in the broth or add it to your mushroom risotto.
- Braise vegetables or meats with the broth. It works nicely for braised root vegetables.
- Use it in place of wine in mushroom pâté.