Wondering if there is a real connection between mushrooms, menopause, and gut health? Our digestive health is critical to our menopausal health, and mushrooms happen to be prebiotic superfoods. Most of us have heard of probiotics, but to feed the millions of health-supportive bacteria in our gut, we must get prebiotic fiber in our diet. We find prebiotics in all of our plant foods, but some of the best sources come from mushrooms. Learn more about prebiotics in the Gut Health chapter of our 12-week menopause program.
In the broadest sense, prebiotics change our gut ecosystems in ways that benefit our physiology. The predominant prebiotics in mushrooms are beta-glucans, and their interaction with our friendly gut bacteria reduces LDL cholesterol, reduces inflammation, regulates blood sugar and blood pressure, and promotes digestive, cardiovascular and immune health.
Garnish this recipe with a plant-based Greek yogurt, which, interestingly, contains probiotics, due to the fermented nature of the yogurt. We love unsweetened plain coconut yogurt, or cashew, or even oat. Check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain additional sugar. It adds a creamy-ness to this recipe that is unmatched. Make the dried mushroom broth from scratch using dried mushrooms (available at most specialty or health food markets) or substitute boxed mushroom broth. Don’t omit garnishing with the fresh herbs! They are delicious and really make it. Plus, don’t forget that herbs are medicinal in their own right. 🙂
This dish was adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Simple cookbook. She makes exquisite plant-based recipes that will make your mouth water.
- 1 recipe cooked brown rice
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. EVOO
- 1 lb. mushrooms chopped (or pre-sliced!)
- 1 1/2 large yellow onions diced
- 1 1/4 sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 3 cups water or mushroom broth boil dried mushrooms in water and strain
- 1 cup well-mixed full-fat coconut milk
- 1 juice lemon
- Plain greek unsweetened yogurt coconut or cashew
- dill or parsley for garnish
- Place the cherry tomatoes, doused with olive oil and sea salt, in the oven and roast at 400 for about 15 minutes.
- Pre-cook your brown rice and have ready.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms and onions and salt and sauté until mushrooms release their liquid and it evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the paprika and cook for another minute. Add the water/broth and coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and add more salt as needed.
- Scoop the rice into bowls and ladle soup over top. Add a dollop of yogurt and the cherry tomatoes and dill or parsley.
- *can also add a handful of shredded cabbage to the pot after cooking mushrooms.