What's the Deal: Functional mushrooms, the new craze for 2018

Image credit: WLOS Staff

People love mushrooms. Everything from mushroom soup to roasted mushrooms, to mushroom lovers pizza, people love mushrooms.

One of the biggest trends of 2018 is for “functional mushrooms,” which ranked #3 on Whole Foods’ report of the top food predictions for 2018.

"Medicinal uses of mushrooms and functional mushrooms is a big craze right now," says Brett Peterson with Whole Foods.

Reishi mushroom, lion mane, chitaga mushroom, they’re all “functional” mushrooms that companies are claiming have big health benefits for everything from immune systems to the digestive system.

"For example, lion's mane great for cognitive and neurological, other mushroom, reishi is calming, great for immunity, great for cardiovascular so a lot of these bars have different benefits."

That’s right, a new line of mushroom energy bars just hit the shelves at Whole Foods in Asheville. We gave customer Laurin Trigg a taste to see if they were any good, “honest opinion. I would eat it. It's good. It's very good.”

And it’s not just bars and treats, you can also drink the benefits of mushrooms, “sweeter, earthier can be used for chocolates and cocoas and coffees," says Brett.

Eva Cruz-Schultz has heard all about the mushroom mania, and she likes it, “Organic coffee with mushrooms. (What's it taste like?) It's good. I taste the coconut milk. (You don't taste a whole lot of mushroom?) No. There's a little texture, but it tastes good. I just tried a mushroom cookie a couple of days ago. It was delicious!"

Using these functional mushrooms in broths and soups makes sense, and oddly enough, mushrooms in tea, coffee and energy bars seem to be a hit as well.

So what do these new concoctions cost? The mushroom bars run $2.99 as well as the cold coffees.

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