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Maitake mushrooms, also known as Grifola frondosa, Hen of the woods, or “dancing mushroom”, are edible, polypore mushrooms native to China, Europe, and North America. According to Healthline, “The mushroom is said to have gotten its name after people danced with happiness upon finding it in the wild, such are its incredible healing properties.” They grow wild in feathery clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks, and are light brown in color. They have a strong earthy, peppery flavor, a wholesome taste, and are best when they’re served cooked. While Maitake mushrooms have been well loved in Japan and China for centuries, they have gained popularity, and are now widely available all over the United States!

What are their health benefits?

Maitake mushrooms are a type of adaptogen. This means that they can help the body’s resilience in fighting physical and emotional stress. They’re also rich in antioxidants, beta-glucans, vitamins B and C, copper, potassium, fiber, minerals, and amino acids.

Making plant-based meat with Maitake mushrooms

Source: Tabitha Brown/Youtube

Tabitha Brown shows us how to make a plant-based meat substitute out of the Maitake mushroom! To a pan, she adds the mushrooms, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, spicy umami blend, garlic spread, and oat milk butter. She then sautés all of this together in the pan. While this is cooking, she prepares a salad with mixed greens, cucumber, avocado, and mango. When the mushrooms look golden brown, that means they’re ready. Go ahead and add them to your salad and add your favorite condiments! Tabitha explains that Maitake mushrooms have a shockingly similar texture to chicken. You can also batter and fry, bake, and season it in all kinds of ways!

Maitake mushrooms are extremely versatile! You can use them to emulate all kinds of meat without compromising on taste or texture. From barbecue pulled maitake ‘pork’ sandwiches, to shredded taco ‘meat’, these mushrooms will satisfy all your cravings, and before you know it, you’ll realize you don’t even miss the meat at all.

Check out some of these delicious maitake recipes:

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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