Oyster mushrooms are one of the most popular types of mushrooms being consumed and grown all over the world today. Their increasing popularity over the years is due to a few contributing factors. The foremost of which is the ease of growing and cooking that are enabled by oyster mushrooms. They are one of the most resilient types of mushrooms out there in the sense that they can still grow healthily in conditions that are not considered to be ideal. So, for people who are new to the mushroom game, oyster mushrooms are a great first choice to indulge in. Even if you get the temperature off by a few degrees here and there, your oyster mushrooms will continue to grow at an ideal rate. On top of that is the fact that oyster mushrooms have a savory taste that can be used as a meat/seafood substitute in many dishes. People who are looking for ways to minimize their consumption of meat for a multitude of reasons can do a lot worse than simply switching to oyster mushrooms. In recent years, there is growing awareness in the global community in terms of being more conscious about the health choices that we make every day. Oyster mushrooms, due to the numerous health benefits that they provide have now become a staple of any supermarket shelf due to their growing demand.
If you’re the type who still wants to grow their own mushrooms but feel that they lack the expertise in terms of controlling the conditions required to create and maintain a mushroom colony, then mushroom grow kits are definitely something that you need to look into. These growth kits are fruiting blocks that have already been colonized. A lot of the initial process has already been done for you and thus it takes the load off the person who is growing this kit. The only thing that you need to do is to watch proudly as the mycelium grows threads and expands right in front of your eyes.
Before we get into the methods of cooking oyster mushrooms, let’s get into the several health benefits of consuming them.
Prevent Heart Disease
In a lot of ways, the direct benefit of consuming mushrooms is the fact that you are not consuming other harmful foods. The advanced industrialization of our world has meant that everything we eat is going through a synthetic process at some point or another. This means that even the ‘healthy’ food that we eat today is also polluted by the same toxic processes. It has gotten so bad to the point that microplastics are being found in the bloodstreams of people today. In this world so dominated by the artificial, oyster mushrooms are the fix that the people have asked for. If you possess the skill set required for growing and nurturing mushrooms, there is no doubt that you need to go ahead and utilize it. Mushrooms are low-calorie and contain antioxidants. They are also a great source of potassium, something that can counteract increasing blood pressure by lessening the tension in the veins. In the long run, high blood pressure can often lead to a plethora of heart-related diseases, each one scarier sounding than the rest. The circulatory system of the body is responsible for sending oxygenated blood to the rest of the body and taking the deoxygenated blood back to the body. It powers the entire body, and the heart is in many ways the grid station of the body. So, if you’re grid station is faulty, you’re in big trouble.
Immune System Boosting Effects
The beta-glucan fiber that oyster mushrooms contain is essentially an energy drink for the immune system. It helps to activate your immune system which includes the natural killer cells and macrophages. By empowering these, the body’s ability to protect against a foreign intruder is strengthened and infections are better countered by the more powerful immune system. Antioxidants also play a role here, by helping to boost the immune system and also slowing down cell and tissue damage.
Might Be Able to Counter Alzheimer’s
Mental disease is a prospect that everyone is scared of, yet it is entirely probable that almost everyone will come in contact with some form of mental disease at one point in their lives or another. It could be in the form of experiencing depression ourselves or it could be seeing a loved one being enveloped by Alzheimer’s. Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are perhaps the worst because they chip away at the entire concept of the person, taking bit by bit until what’s left can barely be recognized as the same human being. There have been studies that have introduced the possibility of oyster mushroom consumption being correlated with better management and treatment of Alzheimer’s. Not only just Alzheimer’s but other mental issues like depression or anxiety can also be treated by medicinal mushrooms. The rise of mental illness in this age is often attributed to how far from nature we have strayed, how our lives are a story being lived through screens and social media chats. Consuming oyster mushrooms offers a chance to go back to nature and put ourselves back together in the right order.
These mushrooms are extremely rich in terms of fiber and provide a way for people to improve their digestion. Research has shown that people who have a high-fiber diet generally tend to have lower instances of being constipated and having hemorrhoids. Essentially, fibers help by bulking up the stool through the process of peristalsis. Peristalsis is basically the movement of the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract of our body that forms the base of digestion. This helps to move the particles of food down the tract. Naturally, if this process is ever curbed, people can face a plethora of digestion-related issues that can have adverse effects on their mental health as well and also affect their work productivity in the long run. If you suffer from spending hours in the bathroom in the morning, adding oyster mushrooms to your diet can really add a lot of value.
How to Cook Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms in general are not hard to cook. If you know a few basics of cooking, you should be good to go. The best part is the fact that they are a fancy-looking food to cook. So, if you have the kind of friends who you want to impress with your ‘sophisticated cooking philosophy’, oyster mushrooms are a great bet. They generally taste a lot like chicken due to their meaty texture and are often used as a substitute for chicken as well in dishes. A lot of people are of the opinion that they taste like oysters (hence the name) but I have found that to not be true in personal experience. Regardless, let’s get into how you can dress these mushrooms to impress!
Cleaning Oyster Mushrooms
You can’t run oyster mushrooms through water because that might take their turgidity away and affect the end product. What you need is a much more tactical process, a wet towel works great in most circumstances. Be sure to be extremely gentle when wiping the mushrooms and your cleaning process shouldn’t be too hard beyond that.
Cutting Oyster Mushrooms
The individual mushrooms are connected with each other through one central stem. In order to get the mushrooms to be ready for being fried, you need to cut that stem off and the mushrooms will simply be separated from the stem itself. After that, go through each individual mushroom and see if there is any excess stem still left on it. If you find any, gently remove them from the mushroom. Another chef’s tip that you should use is to cut the mushrooms into smaller parts before putting them on the pan. This helps to increase the surface area that is in contact with the pan and speeds up frying as well.
How to Fry Oyster Mushrooms
Place some butter in a pan and then add olive oil to it. Once the butter has completely melted and has been mixed around the pan, add the mushrooms as well. You will need to only wait a few minutes before the color of the mushrooms starts to change. Knowing when to take the pan off the heat is perhaps the only tricky part of this whole recipe. It’s going to be based mostly on your personal preference as well. If you want mushrooms that are very crispy, cooking for an extra minute will get you your desired result. The bottom line is that the moment the mushrooms start to turn golden, you can flip them over.
Add garlic to the pan (it should be in the form of smashed garlic cloves) and wait a few minutes of cooking. It is also advisable to turn down the heat of the pan by just a little bit. The moment the mushrooms start to turn brown, you can take the pan off the heat. Add salt, pepper, and other spices to your heart’s content and your tasty, pan-fried mushroom dish should be ready in about 20 minutes of work. Now you can enjoy the taste of the oyster mushrooms as well as the compliments that are inevitably going to get.