I’ve never really been a huge fan of jerky, I mean I’ve never really liked meat even back when I dabbled with eating the odd bit, and more recently I tried out some salmon jerky but it felt like I was eating some smoked salmon that someone had left out of the fridge overnight and it had gone hard and crusty shudder. To be honest, I don’t think you can beat good old fashioned vegetables, so after eating that abomination I decided that making some vegetable based jerky would be a good idea. I’ve seen a few veggie jerky recipes online – aubergine, mushroom, and even people using kombucha mushrooms! But, I really love mushrooms, and I also really really love medicinal mushrooms too, so, I thought to combine the two to create the world’s most delicious yet functional jerky had to be a winner. And boy I was not wrong! This BBQ Mushroom Jerky with Chaga is so flavoursome and super chewy that you’ll want to eat it all at once.
This BBQ Mushroom Jerky harnesses the healing power of Chaga mushrooms, packed full of antioxidants it’s the perfect pre-workout snack. Its sweet, salty, smoky, and spicy flavour makes it great for adding to trail mix and topping salads.
DISCLAIMER: Please note, I was sent some wonderful goodies from Indigo Herbs, and paid real money, to create a delicious recipe for you all. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. For more info scroll to the bottom of this post.
If you’re new to medicinal mushrooms they might sound a little weird (and a little scary/gross too) but I assure you they’re the one adaptogen everyone should be throwing into their superfood smoothies, raw desserts, and hot drinks. Medicinal mushrooms have been used globally in traditional medicine for centuries and are believed to help your body to adapt to everyday stressors and restore your body’s natural balance (known as homeostasis) by keeping your physiological processes stable. By doing so this reduces inflammation, anxiety, stress, and insomnia but can also help to boost your immune system, mental clarity, focus, menstrual/hormonal health, energy levels, and even sports performance and recovery. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t throw in some Cordyceps, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, or Chaga into my protein shake.
Each medicinal mushroom is known to possess certain healing ‘powers’. For instance, Chaga is known to contain high levels of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals providing not only a nutritional boost but one to your overall well-being too. It’s a potent anti-viral, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and improves physical endurance making it perfect for athletes. Every medicinal mushroom looks different but Chaga mushrooms are kind of fascinating as they grow on Birch trees but also look and feel identical to the bark of the Birch itself – mother nature never ceases to amaze me!
When you first try Chaga powder you might be alarmed by how dark it is but don’t worry – this almost natural black pigment (melanin) is packed with antioxidants that help to fight off free radical damage. Out of all of the medicinal mushrooms, I find that this one is fairly bitter and pairs well with chocolate based desserts or dark and smoky sauces like BBQ which is why I decided to use it in this recipe. The great thing about this recipe is that the marinade can be used to make a quick BBQ sauce, making this a zero waste recipe. Simply simmer the liquid until it thickens then add about 1/4 cup tomato paste and reduce further if needed. You can also whip up a 1 pot wonder by frying a protein source of your personal choosing (enough for 4 people) then add the marinade and about 1 tbsp of tomato paste and reduce. Throw in a tin of chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through, then serve. I love using halloumi or crispy tofu for this but you can pretty much throw in anything you like.
I made this mushroom jerky in my trusty Excalibur dehydrator that I picked up from Sous Chef a while ago. You don’t need a dehydrator to make this jerky, however, I do feel that it yields the best results and if you’re into raw food then you should definitely consider investing in one. If you don’t own a dehydrator do not fear, by placing your oven on its lowest setting and leaving the door ajar you should end up with pretty similar results, just take note that the dehydrating process could take a little longer.
Now, as I mentioned before Chaga is perfect for boosting physical endurance so this jerky is the perfect pre-workout snack to keep on hand, meaning it’s great for adding to trail mix for long hikes or if you’re a long distance runner add a handful of this to your running pouch. If you’re not an athlete but just love delicious food and want a little extra health boost then toss the jerky into salads, enjoy on its own, or even rehydrate in any savoury dish for something a little more flavoursome. It has a really beautiful chewy texture and the flavour is sweet, salty, smoky, and a tad spicy thanks to the black pepper powder and cayenne.
Looking for some more medicinal mushroom recipe inspo? Why not try my Red Rice Pumpkin Risotto with Medicinal Mushrooms or Salted Caramel Lion’s Mane Magnums? Oh, and if you want to keep up to date with my deliciousness then sign up for my newsletter and I’ll love you forever – who am I kidding? I already do!
- 4 large Portobello mushrooms
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 3 tbsp maple syrup/agave
- 2 tbsp liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Indigo Herbs Chaga Extract