Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Make way for Reishi

Ages ago I got a fun sample of Reishi Mushrooms from MarxFoods. You remember them from the heirloom beans and the palm leaf plates, right? You're wondering what the hell Reishi Mushrooms are, yes? Interesting little buggers. Look a bit like wood chips! Chinese herbalists prize them for their nutritional and medicinal qualities, but there's a catch. They have to dry them, then brew them into a tea, and that tea, my friends, tastes like ass. Well, maybe not literally ass, but you get the drift. The folks at MarxFoods issued a challenge to food bloggers to create a recipe for Reishi Mushroom tea that made it delicious. Of course, I suck and have an issue with deadlines apparently, cause I missed the boat and am posting this just now. You can check out the other recipes posted on the MarxFoods blog by the bloggers who are timely and responsible.

Meanwhile, I made this for E, who has quite possibly the girliest drink order at Starbucks ever. Second maybe to Derek Zoolander's Orange Mocha Frappucino. He's lactose intolerant, so he orders a Grande Vanilla Soy Latte with a Shot. I think they call that extra shot "dirty," but that just makes the name worse. He actually really liked this tea and only noticed a slight "bite" from the Reishi. Good thing they sent me so much!

Vanilla Chai Reishi Latte
serves one

1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 rounded Tbls. Reishi mushrooms
1/2 tsp. chai spice
Cinnamon stick

Bring soy milk to a boil in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a low simmer, add mushrooms and chai spice and stir. Simmer twenty minutes, or until mushrooms sink to the bottom of the pot. Strain into a martini shaker, and shake until frothy. Pour into a mug garnished with a cinnamon stick.

A quick and important note: As with any herbal or unusual ingredient, you should always check into it before consuming, especially if you have health problems. While Reishi Mushrooms tea is used to boost the immune system, fight cancer, and reduce high blood pressure, it should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, people with blood clotting issues, or people with low blood pressure. Check it out on WebMD if you are curious and talk to your doctor before using any questionable herbal remedies.

If you wanna try your own, stay tuned...

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