A choice edible, and according to studies in the past few years, this mushroom is also known to be medicinal!
Sometimes called the "80 Mile Per Hour Fungus" due to its large bright fruiting bodies you could supposedly spot even in a car at 80 miles an hour! (though remember not to forage from road sides due to spray and debris)
Did you know, this mushroom has as high amount of protein just like actual chicken? AND it tastes like it too! Well, at least the texture is spot on...
Chicken of the Woods is a good source of potassium and Vitamin C. 100g of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms contain 33 calories, 6g of carbs, 3g of fiber, 14g of protein, 1g of fat, 150 mg of potassium, 10% of daily Vitamin C, and 5% of daily Vitamin A.
While 100g of true chicken meat has 27g of protein, 100g of "Chicken of the Woods" has 14g of protein, no cholesterol, less than 15% of the calories as chicken, and
Did you know, all mushrooms are Cholesterol free??
"Research suggests a possible relationship exists between a compound in mushrooms called eritadenine and lower cholesterol values. However, research is still ongoing and needs to be evaluated in human subjects."
According to an in-depth study, "Chicken of the Woods" was found to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties as well, making it not only one of the best choice edible mushrooms, but also medicinal. The conclusion of this study stated:
Because of their medicinal properties, mushrooms traditionally could be used with great potential for therapeutic applications in the treatment of some diseases. In this study, we showed that mushrooms also could be a great source of natural bioactive compounds, including antioxidants, such as polyphenols, vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids and sugars, which can be useful for various applications, particularly as food additives and for promotion as healthy ingredients in the formulations of functional foods and nutraceuticals.
So next time you take a walk in the woods, keep a look out for this beautiful colorful mushroom that grows on broad leaf logs on the forest floor or stumps of hardwood trees.