Wild Mushrooms 101

A sharp eye, a good pair of boots, a forest, and a good sense of what you’re looking for, that’s about all you need to find and forage some delicious and nutritious wild treats this time of year. May brings the perfect balance between warmth, cool breezes, and humidity, supporting the growth of some of the most unique variations. What are we talking about? Wild mushroom foraging. And, whether you want oyster mushrooms for your vegan pizza or exotic morels for a tasty stir-fry, the options are seemingly endless.

As a wild mushroom aficionado, this is as good as the year gets. And if you are not already on this bandwagon, it is time to step away from those quarantine snacks and prepare your palate for several perks that can come from these exotic, seasonal treats. 

So what’s in season?

When it comes to wild mushrooms, predicting their seasonal appearance can be a bit tricky. It all depends on the environment. However, the transitional conditions in May are ideal for several varieties of the fungus, making it one of the few seasons in the year where you are more likely to be successful. And, there are specific wild mushrooms that you should definitely keep an eye out for this time of year…

  1. Morels. These are easily the most iconic May wild mushrooms. They appear towards the end of April and stick around until June. The unique variety is known for its deep and smokey flavors which are ideal for simple mushroom recipes whether it is a sauté or a fry-up.
  2. Porcini. Porcini mushrooms are known for their strong mushroom flavor and their unique meaty texture. These are a fantastic substitute for meat if you really want that rich umami profile in your food. So if you have decided to go vegan, but you want to cheat the system, these would be ideal for your summer diet.
  3. Oyster mushrooms. For the most part, oyster mushrooms are perennial. However, there is a noticeable increase in the number found in May which makes them a variety you might want to look out for. They are tender and a little milder in flavor which is ideal if you don’t want anything too overpowering.
  4. Jelly ear mushrooms. This summer wild mushroom makes its earliest appearances in May. It is popular for its unique cartilaginous texture and is fantastic for use in soups and stir-fry recipes. However, you need to be careful with where you collect them and how you prepare them as they are known for harboring bacteria.
  5. St. George’s mushrooms. This is one of the common May wild mushrooms. You can literally find these beauties anywhere from your grassy yard to the side of the road. When it comes to flavor and recipes, it is also one of the most versatile varieties with its mellow mushroom flavors, creaminess, and firm texture.
  6. Shaggy manes. These soft and fluffy little wild mushrooms are pretty fun to handle and look at. Despite their novel appearance, they exist pretty much anywhere including ditches and drains. Due to their soft and absorbent nature, they tend to soak up components from their surroundings. So it is best to play it safe and forage for these bad boys in natural areas like forests.

What’s in it for you?

Ok, so there are mushrooms all over the place right now. But how are they any different from the farm-grown options in your supermarket? Why should you go out of your way to leave you comfy home and tasty snacks to go foraging in the wild? Here are six perks that will have you lacing up your boots in no time…

  1. They are delicious. When it comes to flavor and textures, store-bought mushrooms have nothing on the wild variety. First of all, there are so many options ranging from rich, meaty tastes, to creamy, mild mushroom flavors. And there is just something about how fresh they are and the chemical-free growth that makes them out of this world. Trust us; once you go wild you will never go back.
  2. A great alternative for meat. Going vegan can be brutal for meat lovers whether you are quitting meat as a mandatory health requirement or you just want a change in lifestyle. Wild mushrooms definitely could help make the transition and adaptation easier. You could go for meaty flavor mushrooms like the morels and pheasant back with tastes and textures that may have your mind thinking they are meat. The best part is that with the foraging you are guaranteed ethical sourcing in case that was your motivation to go vegan.
  3. Rich in nutrients. Wild mushrooms are rich in important nutrients. The most commonly found are vitamins and minerals including potassium, iron, vitamin A, and the very important vitamin B complex. 
  4. Low in calories, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. If you are trying to watch your weight then wild mushrooms have a lot to offer your diet. The best part is that your taste buds do not have to suffer for the sake of your overall health. Wild mushrooms are low calorie, fat-free and cholesterol-free. They are therefore very healthy alternatives to things like meat, eggs, and high-calorie carbs.
  5. You get a good excuse to be outside. Last but definitely not least, wild mushrooms will give you a fantastic reason to be outside getting some exercise and fresh air. After being cooped up indoors during these hard times, there is probably nothing more fun than an exciting treasure hunt with tasty rewards.

They’re good for your immunity too.

Did you know that forests have an immune system? And, that it’s remarkably like yours. Within weeks of a devastating forest fire, the first sign of a recovering habitat is the growth of a variety of fungi. As they mature and release spores, insects and animals are attracted to a new food source. Leaving behind seeds and taking new spores with them to their next location sparks the beginning of the regeneration process. It’s a miracle of life that research is just starting to catch up to, and this regeneration is mirrored in your own body.

Scientists call fungi “the forest’s immune system,” because, in addition to recycling and regenerating, they nourish the trees and protect them from invaders and disease. Nutrient-dense and enzyme-rich, mushrooms pass on sophisticated information about how to cope with and adapt to pathogens and other environmental stressors. Much like how your immune system develops antibodies to protect from future infections and stressors.

New Earth brings the world’s most revered and sought-after mushrooms to you because what they do for the planet, they can also do for you. They embody the wisdom of nature at its most versatile and adaptable—and they deliver that resilience and cellular intelligence to you!

New Earth’s, Defend is a proprietary organic blend of reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, turkey tail, and Agaricus blazei, six of the most extensively researched and revered mushrooms working synergistically with powerful botanicals to modulate and enhance your immune system.

The bottom line, mushrooms nourish your body and your ever-important immune system. 

Live the #NewEarthLife

Enjoying the great outdoors, knowing your food and your food sources, and nourishing your body, it’s all part of what we call living the #NewEarthLife. And, we invite you to join us! Go ahead enjoy the season, take a walk in the forest, and partake in some wild mushroom foraging and most importantly have fun embracing the season. Just read up on the specific species around and how to identify them so you only go home with edible varieties.

At New Earth, we are passionate about holistic living and getting the most out of nature’s most powerful botanicals including wild mushrooms and superfood algae. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements that feature a rare, yet highly, nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae® , AFA is a unique type of blue-green algae that is available in many forms including algae tablets, algae pills, and algae powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. Visit our website to learn more.