Medicinal mushrooms have been making regular appearances in health enthusiast diets and for good reason! I love adding a chocolate mushroom powder blend to my oatmeal, which when combined with orange marmalade, makes this delicious orange chocolate oatmeal for breakfast.
What Is Reishi Used For?
The Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum and G. applanatum, G. tsugae) is highly prized as a superfood in Traditional Chinese Medicine where it has been used for over two thousand years and is seen as a symbol of health and longevity.
Unfortunately, there is lacking clinical data on the health benefits of reishi mushroom, but historically reishi has been used for numerous conditions. Herbalists may recommend it for ageing, enhancing the immune system, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular benefit, respiratory problems, urinary tract symptoms and stress.
Active Compounds in Reshi Mushrooms
Reishi contains hundreds of bioactive beta-glucans and triterpenes, including ganoderic acid. It is thought to be antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, an ACE inhibitor and protective to the liver, as well as protective for the body against radiation. It is also an antioxidant.
Antioxidant Effect of Reishi Mushroom
There are several constituents that are thought to be responsible for the antioxidant properties of reishi mushrooms including the polysaccharides, polysaccharide-peptide complexes, and polyphenols (1). Triterpenoids from reishi mushrooms are also thought to have potential antioxidant action (2).
Immune Enhancing Effect of Reshi
The polysaccharides in reishi mushroom may play a role in their anti-cancer effects (2). Triterpenoids from reishi mushrooms are also thought to have potential antitumor and immunomodulatory effects (2).
Local Reshi Mushroom Alternatives
I had the pleasure of doing a medicinal mushroom course with renowned mycologist and herbalist Robert Rogers. During a field trip, he showed us our ‘West Coast Reishi,’ Ganoderma oregonenses. It is an annual conk and comes to fruit in September.
Making The Perfect Oatmeal
To make the best oatmeal for breakfast, add your oats to a saucepan with the water over high heat and as soon as bubbles start to form turn down the heat. Use a wooden spoon to continuously stir the oats so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir for at least 10 minutes, up to 15 minutes. The last 5 minutes needs the most attention on the stovetop.
Making A Creamy Oatmeal
If you like your oats the traditional way, creamy and gooey, then an extra few extra minutes at the stovetop is required. Do not cook your oats with milk for this method, as the milk will curdle if heated too high. Use a 1:3 ratio, 1 part oats and 3 parts water (and a pinch of salt).
No-Stir Oatmeal Method
This is my go-to method for those busy mornings. The result is not as creamy, but I do not mind a little bit of bite to my oats. Simply add the 1 part oats to 3 parts water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and leave the saucepan on the hot element with the lid on. Let the oats ‘steam’ for about 8-10 minutes. Now they are ready to have extras and toppings added.
How To Make Orange Chocolate Overnight Oats
For even more time-saving in the morning, prepare your oats the night before. Simply add the oats to your water or hemp milk in a glass sealable container, using a 1:2 ratio of oats to liquid. Add the remaining ingredients, and let sit covered in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add more hemp milk if it is too thick, or add some chia if it is too runny. Top with orange marmalade to complete the orange chocolate oatmeal for breakfast.
How To Make Oatmeal With Milk
Traditionally milk is added after the oats are already cooked, this is because milk is prone to curdling if it reaches boiling temperature. I love adding Hemp Milk to my oatmeal which is not only high in protein but also adds a delicious creaminess. Interested in making your own homemade hemp milk? See my simple Hemp Milk Recipe here.
Increasing Protein In This Orange Chocolate Oatmeal
The addition of homemade hemp milk can add some protein, but I suggest adding an addition 1 to 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts to get your protein intake up in the morning. Some research has suggested an aim of ~15 to 20 grams of protein first thing in the morning can help speed up our metabolism. A 2 tablespoon serving of hemp hearts contains 6 grams of protein.
Chocolate Oatmeal and Peanut Butter
As much as I love the orange and chocolate oatmeal combination, chocolate peanut butter oatmeal is my absolute favourite. To make chocolate peanut butter oatmeal simply omit the orange marmalade and instead top the finished oatmeal with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter per serving. For a steel-cut oat version see my High Protein Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter Recipe.
Making It Gluten Free
For those who are severely gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats. Oats themselves are gluten-free but can become contaminated with gluten during processing.
Where To Find A Reshi Chocolate Mix
The reishi hot chocolate that I used for this recipe is made by our very own Vancouver Based Company Botanica Health. It is Certified Organic and contains 1500mg of Reishi mushroom per serving, with only whole-food ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, flavours or funny stuff. Harmonic Arts a Vancouver Island-based company that also carries mushroom chocolate blends.
If you can’t get your hands on this yummy stuff, simply add 1 heaped tablespoon of good quality cacao powder to your oatmeal and 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Option to also add 1/4 teaspoon of duel-extract reishi powder for the medicinal mushroom benefit.
More Oatmeal Recipes
Try adding outs to your snacks: Peanut Butter Energy Balls or these Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Orange Chocolate Oatmeal for Breakfast
- 1 cup rolled oats traditional
- 3 cups water
- pinch salt
- 1 heaped tbsp Reshi Hot Chocolate Botanica
- 2 heaped tsp orange marmalade or jam
- 1/2-1 cup hemp milk optional
- Start by heating the oats and water in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, adding a pinch of salt to add some flavour. Once the mixture is brought to a boil, turn down to medium heat and to let the oats cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
- It is important to stir your oats regularly, use a wooden spoon for best results. For the first 10 minutes, make sure you give the oats a good stir every few minutes. The last 10-15 minutes is where any real sticking will occur, so be diligent with stirring your oat during the last few minutes.
- The oats are finished cooking when the have completely broken down and the starch has formed a nice paste-like consistency.
- Remove from heat and add the hot chocolate mix and stir well.
- Divide into two bowls and top with the orange marmalade or jam. Serve with a splash of hemp milk (or any milk or milk alternative) if you enjoy a runnier consistency to your oatmeal.
References for Orange Chocolate Oatmeal for Breakfast
1) Sun J, He H, Xie BJ. Novel antioxidant peptides from fermented mushroom Ganoderma lucidum. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:6646-52. Novel antioxidant peptides from fermented mushroom Ganoderma lucidum.
2) Yuen JW, Gohel MD. Anticancer effects of Ganoderma lucidum: a review of scientific evidence. Nutr Cancer 2005;53:11-7. Anticancer effects of Ganoderma lucidum: a review of scientific evidence.
I adore this recipe for orange chocolate oatmeal! The combination of flavors is amazing. Although I’ve never even thought of adding reishi mushrooms to my oatmeal, it seems like a great idea. Can’t wait to give this a try.
Rachel, thank you a lot for sharing this fab idea and all of your precious tips and notes. They’ll surely help me and your readers avoid mistakes. Look forward to your new awesome recipes. I’m your fan!