Mushrooms – So Much More Than Magical!

 Afke ZonderlandA two hour walk along the trails between the beach and the Eagle River at the Fungi Festival in Sicamous has given me a completely new understanding of the do’s and don’ts of fungi foraging.

The sign, “Hunting Mushrooms is a Deadly Sport,” caught my attention at the displays in the Red Barn and made an immediate impact.

Mycologist Paul Kroeger kept us engaged, entertained and horrified with stories of near mushroom deaths and mystified by ‘die hard’ mushroom fans that can’t wait to get out of hospital to forage and enjoy yet another mushroom feast for supper.

I can’t remember any of the Latin names. They went in one ear and just as fast, out the other. What did stick are the warnings about negative mushroom experiences:

  • Overindulgence
  • Knowing a little and thinking themselves experts
  • Knowing a lot and getting caught in the similarities between edible and poisonous mushrooms

Some mushrooms can easily be identified by smell; some by a frilly appendix on the stem; others by where they grow ie meadows, forests, burned forest, on rotten tree logs or roots.) Many of them were simply beautiful.

mushroomsAngel wings a fragile looking, pure white fungi on a stump is edible, but “suspect”. It’s recommended for drying and often used as a Christmas ornament. Some varieties will get someone with poor kidney function into trouble, while another edible mushroom would poison you if consumed with alcohol!

Morels, chanterelles, shaggy manes, meadow and lobster mushrooms are familiar edible wild mushrooms that grow in the Okanagan and are sold seasonally at farm markets. I bought both chanterelles and lobster mushrooms at Askews and enjoyed both (see recipe below.) I especially liked how they kept their form and remained crisp.

Since attending the Fungi Festival, I have  found and picked lobster mushrooms in the forest behind our house. At least $20 dollars’ worth on one hike up the mountain! Lobster mushrooms pop to the surface through moss from decomposing logs and roots. They collect, dirt, needles and grit on the way up requiring a good brushing.

NOTE: Commercially grown button or cremini mushrooms should NEVER be eaten RAW. Most mushrooms are  hard to digest and should be eaten sparingly, according to Mr. Kroeger.

So what about the much touted health benefits of mushrooms?

  • Maitake, shiitake, oyster, porcini, reishi and chaga mushrooms are all studied and have shown to be of interest as inhibiting cancer growth, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal.
  • This research is valuable, more valuable in my humble opinion than knowing the exact protein, fiber and carbohydrate percentage of single servings.
  • ‘Eating by numbers’ takes all the enjoyment out of eating a lovely meal or a snack that you know darn well you should not be having but have anyway, in my humble opinion! The “rainbow” approach to eating applies to fungi as well as anything else.

Mix it up, eat mushrooms once in awhile and make sure that they are well cooked and grown in quality soil.

Curried Chanterelle Stir Fry

  • Chanterelle Stir Fry½ lb chanterelles, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 1 cooked chicken breast cut into pieces (opt.)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 large tomato, cut into chunks or a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp red or green curry paste
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • A handful of spinach
  • 2 tbsp butter or ghee
  • Himalayan rock salt

Heat curry paste in butter until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients except spinach and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add spinach just before serving on a bed of basmati or jasmine rice. Pass the chutney please!

Okanagan Rawsome 5

Introducing NEW Onion-Herb Beet Crisps

100% Non-GMO • Soaked & Sprouted Seeds • Dehydrated at Low Temperatures
• No Refined Sugars • Low-Glycemic •

Okanagan Rawsome’s mission is to awaken your taste buds!
Delicious raw, sprouted, gluten free, vegan crisps – now in five fabulous flavours! 

Beets x 3

Onion-Herb Beet Crisps

Onion-Herb BEET CRISPS are packed with local organic beets, carrots and onions combined with sprouted seeds and a yummy blend of spices.

  • LOCAL Organic Veggies
  • 99% ORGANIC Ingredients

Onion-Herb Beet Crisps are delicious with your favourite cheese, hummus, or pesto. Make an open-faced sandwich using a Beet Crisp as a base!

INGREDIENTS: *ground flaxseeds, *carrots, *sprouted buckwheat, *sprouted sunflower seeds, *beets *zucchini, *sprouted lentils, *onions, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, *sea salt, cumin (*organic)

A source of pure plant energy, these living whole food snacks are low-glycemic, promote weight loss, reduce inflammation. Loaded with organic ingredients and local produce, Okanagan Rawsome is real food that nourishes your body – and soul! 

  • Find Okanagan Rawsome at retailers in Victoria and across Vancouver Island!
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How Okanagan Rawsome Crisps are Made

Gluten-Free Carrot Crisps

Spicy Chia-Hemp Carrot Crisps

Spicy Chia-Hemp Carrot Crisps

Spicy Chia-Hemp CARROT CRISPS are spicy snacks made with locally grown carrots & zucchini, chia, hemp, and sprouted lentils to enhance nutrient bioavailability. The carrots provide a high-source of Vitamin A.

  • LOCAL Organic Veggies
  • 96% ORGANIC Ingredients

Chia-Hemp Carrot Crisps are delicious with your favorite cheese, hummus, and/or a slice of avocado. Make an open faced sandwich using a Carrot Crisp as a base!

INGREDIENTS: *carrots, *ground flax seeds, *sprouted buckwheat, *zucchini, *sprouted lentils, hemp hearts, *chia seeds, *sea salt, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder (*organic)

How Carrot Crisps are Made

Okanagan Rawsome Flax Sesame

Flax Sesame Apple Crisps

Flax Sesame Apple Crisps

Flax Sesame APPLE CRISPS  light, flavour-packed zesty treat made with oranges and lemons. We grind whole flax seeds to preserve valuable Omega-3 fats. Dehydration happens at low temperatures, protecting valuable living enzymes!

  • LOCAL Organic Apples
  • 96% ORGANIC Ingredients

Delicious with a seed or nut butter. Visit the recipe section of our website for other suggested pairings and rawsome recipes!

INGREDIENTS: *apples, *coconut, *ground flax seeds, *sesame seeds, *dates, hemp hearts, *oranges, *lemon juice, cinnamon, ground ginger, *sea salt (*organic)

How Apple Crisps Are Made

Okanagan Rawsome Flax Sesame

Chocolate Ginger Apple Crisps

Chocolate Ginger Apple Crisps

Chocolate Ginger APPLE CRISPS offer dark chocolate-coconut decadence in a delicious mixture of organic Okanagan apples, ginger, sprouted seeds, sprouted buckwheat, and dates. 

  • LOCAL Organic Produce
  • 90% ORGANIC Ingredients

Choc-Ginger Apple Crisps are delicious on their own or with a serving of ice cream made with frozen bananas & vegan chocolate pudding.

INGREDIENTS: *apples, *sprouted buckwheat, *ground flax, *dates, *sprouted sunflower seeds, *sprouted pumpkin seeds, ginger slices, dark chocolate (cocao, sugar, non-GMO soya lecithin, vanilla flavour), *coconut, ground ginger, *lemon juice, cinnamon, *sea salt (*organic)

Available in convenient single-sized portions.

Cran Raisin Apple Crisps

Cranberry Raisin Apple Crisps

Cranberry Raisin Apple Crisps

Cran-Raisin APPLE CRISPS combine sprouted buckwheat with delicious organic cranberries, raisins, and organic Okanagan apples to create a naturally sweet and filling snack. 

  • LOCAL Organic Apples
  • 99% ORGANIC Ingredients

Crumble a few pieces of Cran-Raisin Apple Crisps onto plain yogurt or sprinkle some on top of your morning cereal to add live enzymes and easy to digest protein to kick start your day!

INGREDIENTS: *apples, *sprouted buckwheat, *ground flax, *dates, *sprouted sunflower seeds, *sprouted pumpkin seeds, *raisins, *cranberries, cinnamon, ground ginger, *orange zest, *sea salt (*organic)

Available in convenient single-sized portions.

Serving Suggestions!Okanaga Rawsome Collage 9Okanagan Rawsome Nutrition

Okanagan Rawsome CCA ReviewOkanagan Rawsome is a proud Sponsor of the Canadian Celiac Association’s Classes for the Newly Diagnosed. Details here!

Find Okanagan Rawsome at retailers in Victoria and across Vancouver Island!

Purchase Okanagan Rawsome online and save! Free shipping within Canada for orders over $80. Free Shipping in the US for orders over $160.