Initially, Turkey Tail (trametes versicolor) may seem irrelevant from a culinary standpoint. Although you could technically eat it raw, the fungus is tough to chew through and is described as having a somewhat bitter and earthy flavor.
Unfortunately, no amount of cooking or dicing is going to relieve this mushroom’s insanely chewy texture. As a result, turkey tail as an ingredient is best when used in powdered form or steeped in hot water like you would a bay leaf.
Nonetheless, these commonly found wild mushrooms can provide many health benefits integrated into recipes when prepared properly. Turkey Tail has been historically used in traditional Chinese medicine and Native American herbalism to fight infections and for immune support. Modern science backs up these claims and has further studied other benefits of turkey tail mushrooms:
We’ve compiled some tasty Turkey Tail food and drink recipes that you can make with your wellness in mind. For these recipes, you may use fresh or dried turkey tail. You can forage these fungi sustainably or check a health food store or online shop. If you have turkey tail powder, you can always blend it into soups and smoothies as an added superfood boost to improve your immune function and overall health.
This medicinal broth can be consumed on its own or added to your favorite recipes in place of stock. The slow simmering of turkey tail, celery, carrots, and garlic infuses the broth with aromatic flavors and immune-boosting benefits.
Mixing Turkey Tail powder, salt, rosemary, and garlic powder allow you to create an herbal seasoning blend that makes it easy to incorporate this functional mushroom into your daily routine. You can use it to season vegetables, toss your potatoes in, or sprinkle it into your recipes.
Turkey Tail isn’t the only mushroom in this creamy vegan soup. You can add any mushrooms you’d like to accompany the Turkey Tail powder in this hearty dish. Season with herbs like thyme and rosemary and serve with fresh bread.
This warming apple cider is infused with Turkey Tail and other beneficial ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon, and astragalus root. The added spices complement the apple flavors, and you can always add honey for additional sweetness.
Here’s one of the simplest ways to prepare Turkey Tail – in tea form! All you need to do is boil the fungus, add some spices, and sweeten it with honey. Feel free to flavor with your favorite extracts or add a splash of oat milk if you prefer a creamier tea.
Here’s a satisfying drink that is creamy, spiced, and jam-packed with health benefits. In addition to powdered Turkey Tail, this latte also contains turmeric, an excellent anti-inflammatory. Don’t skip out on the black pepper in this recipe because it helps activate the compounds in the tumeric. Try it out with a splash of vanilla to enhance those sweet, creamy latte flavors.
Medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi mushrooms, and Chaga have promising beneficial health effects. Yet, Turkey Tail is one of the most commonly found medicinal mushrooms, which makes it a great option to explore as a supplement. Little to no side effects can occur with the consumption of Turkey Tail, yet it is best to be mindful of your consumption and consult a doctor when needed. Next time you run into some Turkey Tail and want to consume it beyond tincture form, try some of these recipes or create your own to enjoy tasty food and beverages while supporting your overall health and well-being.