Foraging For Food: The Oyster Mushroom

In this blog series, "Foraging For Food," I will begin to unveil some things that I like to forage and talk about the benefits of adding them to your diet… besides free organic food!

The Oyster Mushroom

I spend a lot of my time in the summer procuring food from my garden and vending at local markets, but when I get a free moment, I am off to the woods for a bit of foraging. So, this past weekend, I went on a hunt for mushrooms, and I ran across the lovely and delicious Oyster Mushroom.

From Canva
Oyster Mushroom On Tree

These mushrooms are an absolute pleasure to find. Oyster Mushrooms have a mild flavor with just a dash of sweetness. They even have a bit of a licorice flavor and are one of the few carnivorous mushrooms out there, which means they will dissolve and eat parasites that get on them.

The Oyster Mushroom is rather delicate around the edges and often grows in clusters on hardwood trees and downed logs. The parts closest to the stem are often too tough to eat, but it depends on the age and size of the mushroom.

This species is popular for home mushroom cultivation. There are several varieties of Oyster Mushrooms in many different sizes and colors, and they grow all over the world.

The Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms produce "statin" naturally. Statins lower cholesterol and are mass-produced and distributed synthetically by the pharmaceutical industry.

Like many other mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms also contain polysaccharides, a type of sugar. Specifically, the polysaccharide Beta D Glucan is found in mushrooms, and studies confirm its ability to fight cancer, reduce tumors, and to be anti-inflammatory.

These Beta D Glucans are also beneficial for regulating the immune system. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients like:

  • Protein

  • Fiber

  • Niacin

  • B Vitamins

  • Folate

  • Choline

  • Potassium

  • Phosphorous

  • Zinc

  • Iron

  • Selenium

  • And Vitamin D

Further, Oyster Mushrooms are beneficial for digestion and cultivating healthy bacteria in the gut. So these little guys are a nutritional AND medicinal powerhouse!

Eating Oyster Mushrooms

I used my Oyster mushrooms as a sandwich filling this time that I then ate on my yuca flatbreads. You can get the yuca flatbread recipe here. I sauteed them in a few drops of olive oil with some green peppers and onions from my garden and melted some organic goat cheese on top. I then topped it off with homemade dill pickle slices and homegrown lettuce.

Oyster Mushroom
Just Enough For Me... not enough for thee

Dinner in 3... 2...
Oyster Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions

You can find Oyster Mushrooms in grocery stores and farm markets, but you will pay a pretty penny for them, and the quality doesn't come close to mushrooms found in the woods. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can also cultivate this species at home if you want to try your hand at it.

At the very least…

Next time you go for a stroll in the woods, keep an eye out. You never know. You could very well spot one of these scrumptious and nutritious mushrooms.

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