Shitake mushrooms support the immune system says Dara Thompson A naturopathic Doctor in Hilo, Hawaii

Shitake Mushroom Gravy

Savory shitake mushrooms are rich in immune stimulating polysaccharides.  Maitake mushrooms may also be used.  Components in these mushrooms have been shown to stimulate white blood cell activity.  Be sure to use the soaking liquid. It contains most of the medicine and the flavor.

–       ¼ c. dried shitake mushrooms soaked for at least two hours in ½ c. hot water

–       ½ c. each minced onions and celery

–       4 fresh sage leaves or 1 t. dried sage

–       1 sprig of thyme leaves or ½ t. dried thyme

–       1 T. coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee

–       1-2 t. Bragg Liquid Aminos (if you are very sensitive to soy, use ¼ – ½ t. salt instead)

–       2 c. “milk”; you may use any unsweetened milk or milk substitute.  I think that homemade cashew milk and store bought unsweetened oat milk have the best texture

–       1 T. arrowroot starch dissolved in 2 T. water

Remove the shitakes from their soaking liquid and reserve it.  Remove the coarse stems from the shitakes and slice the mushroom caps.  If you are using fresh sage and thyme remove the coarse stems and mince the herbs. Add the oil to a heavy bottomed pan and add the mushrooms, herbs and vegetables.  Sauté the mixture over medium heat for ~ 10 minutes, until everything is lightly browned.  Add the soaking liquid, 1 T. Aminos and simmer it covered for 5 min. Add the milk and warm but do not boil the mixture. Taste it and add more Braggs if you prefer a stronger, saltier flavor. Bring the gravy to a boil and quickly add the arrowroot rue, stirring constantly. As soon as the mixture thickens, remove it from the heat and serve it with grain, mashed potatoes, meat or poultry.  This recipe makes 3 cups.

Power packed immune smoothie by Dara Thompson a naturopathic doctor in Hilo, Hawaii

Immune Smoothie

This smoothie is designed to enhance and protect the immune system. The berries supply concentrated flavonoids. The pineapple, kiwi and papaya are rich in proteolytic enzymes to reduce inflammation. The nuts and seeds supply essential omega 6 fatty acids and protein. The flax or fish oil supply omega 3 fatty acids. The ginger and mint stimulate digestive function. It is meant to be gently cleansing, nourishing and easy to digest.  All of the ingredients should be organic if at all possible.  This recipe makes two servings. If you are only serving one or your blender is two small, just reduce the quantities by half.

–       2 cups of dark berries such as blueberries, raspberries, dark cherries, etc. (these may be purchased frozen)

–       1 cup of cubed pineapple, kiwi, papaya or other low sugar fruit in season

–       2 cups of rice milk, soy milk, kefir or coconut milk*

–       1/4 cup of raw nuts or seeds such as hemp seeds or almonds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter

–       1 T. cold pressed flax oil, or 1 teaspoons of cod liver oil

–       2 slices of fresh ginger or a few sprigs of fresh mint

–       2 T. of high quality protein powder such as organic rice protein or hormone free whey protein

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree, starting at low speed and increasing to high. This recipe is fairly thick. If you prefer a thinner smoothie, just add more liquid.  Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator, but should be consumed the same day.

  • Rice milk is a low fat, hypoallergenic milk substitute.
  • Soy milk is a thick high protein milk substitute, but many people are sensitive to soy
  • Kefir is a cultured dairy product with very little lactose and lots of beneficial bacteria. It is suitable for lactose intolerant individuals, but not those with an allergy to milk protein.
  • Coconut milk is especially good for weight gain and increasing nutrition through its high quality, easily digested fats, medium chain triglycerides.
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