Winter Power: Shiitake Mushroom Muffins

“Mushrooms are like men–the bad most closely counterfeit the good.” Gavarni

Mushrooms have always been approached with great human curiosity. Associated with magic, spiritual power and mystical revelation, mushrooms have been used as foods, healing agents, poisons, ritual artifacts, and hallucinogens. They are hunted by enthusiasts the world over, and play a central role in numerous lavish festivals and museum displays. Mushrooms comprise a category of nutritional products that have been gaining scientific and medical attention these days. A rapidly expanding body of research worldwide is finding value in the use of mushrooms for the prevention and treatment of health problems – ranging from immune disorders, viral diseases, high cholesterol, coronary disease, liver disease, and cancer.

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Shiitake, porcini (or cep), oyster and enoki are just some of the heavyweight medicinal mushrooms that fight many common health problems. Mushrooms contain lentinan, and another Beta 1.3 glucan, both of which appear to possess powerful anti-viral and anti-tumor powers. Mushrooms also enhance immunity, help to fight flu, as clinical studies show. Nutritionally, mushrooms are very heart healthy and have been shown to lower cholesterol. The perfect food for long and tiring winters…

“Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.” Thomas Carlyle

Ingredients
4 tbsp olive oil
100 gm mushrooms liquidized with 150 ml rice milk
300 gr self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of dried yeast mixed in 100 ml of soured cream
Grated nutmeg
Pepper
Salt
Golden linseeds

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Method
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a muffin tray with 12 cases. Mix the yeast with soured cream and let it stand for a while. Liquidise the mushrooms with milk and oil until mushy. In a bowl sift together the self-raising flour, spices and baking powder. Mix through the mushrooms and soured cream mixture, stirring until well combined. It results a runny, sticky dough, therefore can not be kneaded. Divide between the 12 cases and let it rise for 20 minutes. Spread a little water on the top and sprinkle with golden linseeds. Bake for 15 to 20 mins or until well risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutess before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
It is incredibly tasty with soft goat cheese.

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“Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it’s the real thing until it’s too late.” Bill Balance

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