While it may seem like an odd marriage to combine reishi mushroom extract and alternative milk lattes, these ingredients complement each other to make one surprisingly delicious beverage that’s guaranteed to boost your immunity and ease your stress. The buttery cacao powder adds a balanced sweetness paired with the earthy reishi mushroom extract, creamy coconut milk, and aromatic spices. For this particular recipe, I recommend boiling coconut or almond milk for a silky texture that’s both vegan and nutritious.
While this drink can be considered a latte, it’s up to you whether you’d like to add any coffee or espresso or give it the boot as it can hold its own with or without it, too. Best of all: for only taking approximately 5 to 10 minutes to make at home, the end result tastes like a healthy hot chocolate with rich, nutty notes. Just remember to stir well if you’re not using a blender!
The Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms as an Adaptogen
Adaptogens refer to a classification of natural substances that are known to stabilize physiological responses in your body. Adaptogens help to combat stress, promote homeostasis, and bring your body back into a state of balance. For those of you like myself who struggle from time to time with the negative feedback cycle of “stressing out” and releasing higher levels of cortisol, you already know how this can have a detrimental effect on your mind and body. In fact, a 2018 study published in The American Academy of Neurology confirmed that middle-aged people who suffer from chronic stress and higher cortisol levels also had brain shrinkage and memory loss associated with their symptoms—which is why it’s important to find preventative ways to destress every day.
The uplifting news, however, is that adaptogens like reishi mushrooms increase our resistance to stress, thereby increasing our vitality. Essentially, this type of fungus has been dubbed the “mushroom of immortality” because Chinese texts as ancient as 2,000 years ago have praised its medicinal effects on our sense of wellbeing. Today, there is plenty of scientific research available about the beneficial naturally occurring bioactive compounds in this mushroom. Studies like this one show that reishi is rich in complex sugars called polysaccharides and beta-glucans that help us to regulate our metabolism as well as our blood sugar levels, which in turn helps us to regulate our immune system. Other noteworthy compounds include triterpenes that inhibit tumor formations and metastases by limiting the growth of cancerous cells. Reishi mushrooms also contain amino acids as well as a variety of vital minerals such as zinc, copper, iodine, selenium, and iron to keep our bodies running strong.
Silky Sweet Reishi Latte
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon reishi mushroom powder
- dash of cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- optional: 1 shot espresso or 1/3 cup of your favorite brewed coffee
- Begin by heating up the coconut milk in a small pot on your stove.
- Add your remaining ingredients to your mug or a blender if you have one.
- Next, carefully pour your steamed coconut milk over the ingredients in either your blender or mug and then blend or thoroughly stir the drink.
- Top with a dash of extra cinnamon or cacao and enjoy the benefits!
- Echouffo-Tcheugui, Justin et al. (2018). Circulating Cortisol and cognitive and structural brain measures. American Academy of Neurology. 91(21)
- Patlolla, J.R and Rao, C.V. (2012). Triterpenoids for Cancer Prevention and Treatment: Current Status and Future Prospects. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 13(01), 147-155.
- Xu, Z, Chen, X, Zhong, Z, Chen, L & Wang, Y. (2011). Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides: Immunomodulation and Potential Anti-Tumor Activities. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 39(01), 15-27.