Well, this was one of those times.
The full moon in Aries raging at the moment might have me a little more excited than I otherwise would be. But trust me, these are worth the effort of washing (licking) chocolate truffle mix off of everything.
After seeing a few similar recipes pop up on my Instagram feed, I decided I had to try them. It took a few exposures to convince me because these babies contain one of the ingredients I have been scared - terrified, actually - to use in my food adventures. Powdered medicinal mushrooms.
Now before I took the plunge and made these dangerously addictive balls of interstellar goodness, three types of powdered medicinal mushrooms had been sitting unused in their containers, at the back of the cupboard. Poor little powdered mushrooms. Given that they are one of the most incredibly powerful immune modulating botanicals around, they really didn't deserve such ill treatment.
I must be on a medicinal mushroom rampage this autumn, given my previous post starring all-time darling shiitake mushrooms in this easy stirfry. Autumn is prime time to amp up your immune function, after all.
So which medicinal mushrooms made an unexpected debut in these luscious treats?
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is perhaps the most highly prized and longest-used medicinal mushroom, with a history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine spanning over 4000 years. In China, this bad boy is known as ling zhi or "mushroom of immortality," and rightly so: they prolong life. Reishi mushrooms are hard core. They've been shown in randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trials (the ones that scientists sit up straight for) to play a worthy adjunct role in advanced lung cancer patients (1).
In an uncontrolled trial, Ganoderma extract enhanced the immune responses of patients with advanced stage cancer, undergoing chemotherapy (mainly lung, breast, liver, colon, prostate, bladder, brain) (2). For healthy people, these mushrooms can be used to boost immune function and stamina.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) has been used in folk medicine in Siberia, North America, and North Europe to treat cancers. In trials on mice has reduced tumour size by up to a third (3). It is claimed to have beneficial properties for human health, such as anti-bacterial, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, and indeed has shown significant antioxidant activities in protection against DNA damage (4).
We also had Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus) powdered mushrooms in the line up to be used, but he will have to wait until next time. So until tonight when Andreas brings home more coconut oil.
In short, I took the plunge. I only had 1/4 of a cup of coconut oil left - just enough for 8 truffles. Thank Goddess, because had I possessed a litre of coconut oil I would have gone back and used the lot just to make more of these divine truffles. I rolled them in organic turmeric powder at the end - don't even get me started on how insanely awesome turmeric is.
Enough blah blah. Here's what you scrolled down for:
INTERGALACTIC CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
- 1/4 cup raw coconut oil
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons powdered medicinal mushrooms of your choice
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons organic turmeric powder and/or beetroot powder to roll truffles in
Melt the coconut oil by placing the jar in a non-plastic bowl of boiling water - this won't take long. Once melted, pour the coconut oil into a small bowl and stir in the cacao, herbs, honey and water until well combined.
Pop the bowl in the freezer for a couple of minutes so that the oil becomes firm enough to roll into balls. Play the music video below while you wait.
Roll a teaspoon of the chocolate mixture into a ball on a smooth surface. You can use your hands but the mixture will melt faster. Roll in turmeric or beetroot powder (I used Amazonia Raw Immune powder, which contains a significant amount of beetroot powder) and set on a plate. Chill for 15 minutes before serving.
Truffles will keep for 5-6 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
(1) Gao YH, Dai XH, Chen GL, Ye JX, and Zhou SF (2003), A randomised, placebo-controlled, multicenter study of Ganoderma lucidum (W.Curt.: Fr.) Lloyd (Aphyllophoromycetideae) polysaccharides (Ganopoly®) in patients with advanced lung cancer. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2003;5:369-381.
(2) McKenna DJ, Jones K, Hughes K, et al. (2002) Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements, 2nd ed. New York:Haworth Herbal Press.
(3) Chung MJ, Chung CK, Jeong Y, Ham SS (2010), Anticancer activity of subfractions containing pure compounds of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract in human cancer cells and in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells. Nutr Res Pract. Jun;4(3):177-182.
(4) Park, YK, Lee, HB, Jeon, EJ, Jung, H. S. and Kang, MH (2004), Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes as assessed by comet assay. BioFactors, 21: 109–112.