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Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)

Overview

  • Common Name: Cordyceps

  • Scientific Name: Cordyceps militaris

  • Physical Appearance and Identification:

    • Bright orange, club-shaped mushroom

    • Growing on insect larvae or pupae

    • Can also be cultivated on grain substrates

  • Where is it Commonly Found:

    • Found in temperate regions of Asia, Europe, and North America

  • Historical Usage:

    • Traditional Chinese medicine has used Cordyceps militaris for centuries for its health benefits

    • Used to enhance athletic performance, promote longevity, and treat fatigue, respiratory infections, and kidney and liver disease


Medicinal Properties


Cooking

  • Flavor profile: earthy, slightly sweet

  • Texture: chewy, firm

  • Best cooking methods: steeped in tea, brewed in coffee, added to smoothies, incorporated in soups or stews

  • Best way to store: dried, in an airtight container

  • How long can it be stored: up to 2 years if stored properly

  • Nutritional value: contains amino acids, vitamins B and D, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium

  • Health benefits: potential to improve athletic performance, respiratory function, and immune system function; may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties

  • Best pairing options: pairs well with citrus flavors, ginger, honey, and other mushrooms such as shiitake or maitake

  • How to properly clean and prepare: rinse gently with water before use; if using dried cordyceps, soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes before use


Growing

  • Time from inoculation of substrate to mushroom growth: around 5-6 months

  • Optimal temperature range for growth: 20-25°C (68-77°F)

  • Optimal humidity range for growth: 70-90%

  • Best substrate for cultivation: insects, particularly caterpillars, but can also be grown on grain substrates

  • Expected yield of mushrooms per pound of substrate: can vary widely depending on the cultivation method, but typically yields are lower than other edible mushrooms

  • When to harvest: Cordyceps mushrooms are typically harvested when the mycelium has colonized the entire substrate and the fruiting bodies have formed

  • How to harvest: Cordyceps mushrooms can be harvested by cutting the fruiting bodies off the substrate

  • Storage and preservation technique for harvested mushrooms: Dried cordyceps mushrooms can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year. Fresh cordyceps mushrooms should be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

Mushroom Gallery

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