In this series, we spotlight the boundless potential of a single ingredient.
Northern California-based herbalist, chef, and cookbook author (check out The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook), Sarah Kate Benjamin, crafted a delectable mousse with reishi mushroom as the star ingredient. Reishi mushroom is a favorite adaptogen of Sarah Kate’s since it supports immune, liver, endocrine, and heart health. Known as the “mushroom of immortality,” reishi has been revered for centuries in China and Japan for its ability to support the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, immune, and digestive systems. Plus—its earthy flavor mixes well with morning beverages.
Chef: Sarah Kate Benjamin
3 go-to ingredients that double as immunity: Ginger, turmeric, and home-made broth.
Must-have ingredient that delivers an energy boost: Matcha.
Ultimate comfort food: A savory porridge of any kind.
Favorite healing ingredient: Reishi.
Beauty mantra: Beauty to me is an extension of how I feel in my own skin and also how I feel in my surroundings. Making my home and space feel beautiful with flowers, having fresh linens on my bed, keeping it organized, and having food that makes me feel good are all ways I can bring beauty to my every day. When I’m out in nature or even in my garden, I feel the most alive and connected to myself. The most beautiful and luxurious I feel is when I’m swimming in a river or the ocean, soaking in the sun, and when my body is touching the earth. Nothing puts me in touch with my own beauty more than remembering my connection to the earth.
CARDAMOM REISHI MOUSSE
One of my favorite medicinal mushrooms is the prized Ganoderma lucidum, or reishi. It’s a wonderful ally against stress and the toxic load of modern times. Dark chocolate and reishi are a match made in heaven. This simple mousse is a rich dessert that’s not overly sweet. The chocolate and tahini are a great complement to the earthy medicinal mushrooms, and a dollop of fresh coconut cream helps balance the richness. To make it even more special, serve with a sprinkle of edible flowers and flake salt.
2 teaspoons medicinal mushroom powder, I use a blend of reishi, turkey tail and lions mane
3.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
1 ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate (can be chips, chunks, or chocolate bar)
⅔ cup tahini, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp ground cardamom, or more to taste
flake salt, to taste
Open the can of coconut milk and scoop a spoonful of the cream into another dish to set aside. In a small saucepan, pour the rest of the coconut milk and heat on medium, just getting it hot enough before it boils. Once hot, remove from heat and stir in the add mushroom powder, chocolate and nut butter with a wooden spoon to combine. It should become the consistency of a thick hot chocolate. Add in your sweetener and spices to taste, then carefully pour into the ramekins, filling about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Store in the fridge to set for about an hour or pop in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. It’s ready when it has a pudding-like consistency. To serve, spoon a bit of the reserved coconut cream on top, sprinkle with edible flowers and an extra pinch of flake salt. *Adapted from The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook