Are you curious about the best mushrooms to eat? We go through a variety of mushrooms, including taste and nutritional value
It is hard to define the best mushrooms to eat because there are so many tasty mushrooms available to us.
Today we are looking at some popular favorites, including morels, shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, and lion’s mane. We also look into general nutrition value for these delicious edibles. Take note that we offer mushroom growing kits for all of the gourmet mushrooms we discuss below. You can check out the full line of mushroom growing kits here.
Mushroom varieties and flavor
There is not just one flavor that mushrooms have.
I’ve heard some people say, “I don’t really like to eat mushrooms”, or, “the texture doesn’t do it for me”, or “I don’t like the flavor of mushrooms.” I am always surprised by these statements because mushrooms have such a vast range of flavor and texture due to the varieties.
My recommendation to you: Try as many different types of edible mushrooms as you can and do not lump them all together. Also realize that different ways of cooking mushrooms will lead to different tastes and textures as well.
Check out the video below for more on this topic of mushroom varieties:
Morels are among the top for many mushroom lovers if you ask them about the best mushrooms to eat
Professional chefs have sought morel mushrooms because of its complex earthy, umami flavor. The savory taste is appreciated throughout the world, even in locations where the morels do not grow.
One way to use dried morels in your culinary explorations is by reconstituting them first. I do this by first grabbing a handful of dried morels and combining it with 2-4 cups of warm water. I let the morels sit in the warm water for about 20 minutes. The morels will grow in size, nearly doubling.
Once rehydrated, you can add these delicious morels to a variety of dishes. For instance, they go great in pasta sauces; red, white, or pesto, even. They are also wonderful as toppings for pizza and a perfect ingredient for any number of stir fry dishes. With the oncoming winter, these morel mushrooms can make a flavorful addition to soups and stews.
Shiitakes are another great example of one of the best mushrooms to eat
For the last 20+ years, the global production of shiitake mushrooms has soared, especially in the United States and China.
Shiitakes often have a nutty, smoky, and earthy flavor with a meaty texture. The stem of the mushroom is removed before cooking. The cap is the choice edible part. It goes great sautéed and added to stir-fries. It also goes well in soups, pastas, or as a side dish.
Furthermore, shiitake mushrooms contain eritadenine, a compound linked to helping the body remove cholesterol from the bloodstream. In one study, researchers found that adding 90 grams (about three ounces) of fresh shiitake to the diet every day lowered cholesterol by 12% in one week. In addition, shiitakes have antiviral and immunity-boosting properties.
The best part about shiitakes is that you can grow them at your own home! Try out one of our mushroom growing kits to produce your own delicious food.
Oysters as some of the best mushrooms to eat
We have mushroom growing kits for a variety of oyster mushrooms, including blue, yellow, and pink oysters. The oysters have slightly different tastes in relation to one another, and all look beautiful when you grow them.
The blue oyster mushrooms have a mild, yet complex taste. There’s a delicateness on the palate when you eat them. Their texture is velvety, and many chefs like to pair them with chicken dishes.
Pink oyster mushrooms and yellow oyster mushrooms are often a hit at farmers markets because of their eye-catching nature. People familiar with eating them will also attest to their exquisite tastes. These gourmet mushroom strains are worth trying, especially if you’re a cook or chef who wants to present beautiful and tasty food.
As for taste, some find them more pungent and woody than other oysters. Their texture is also a bit tougher. Yellow oyster mushrooms have a flavor that is more nutty than the others, reminiscent of cashews or almonds.
We cannot forget lion’s mane on the list of the best mushrooms to eat
Many edible mushroom fans love the taste of lion’s mane mushroom, as they provide great texture and flavor. Lion’s mane may support the nervous system and brain function including increased memory and nerve growth.
This strangely-shaped and delicious mushroom is a welcomed addition to the dinner plate of any mushroom lover. With a lobster-like taste this mushroom is fantastic sautéed with some butter and lemon juice.
General mushroom nutrition information
Amino acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are nine amino acids essential to humans because our bodies cannot make them. While animal-based foods generally contain all the necessary amino acids, plant-based proteins are usually low in one or more kind. Mushrooms, however, contain all nine types of essential amino acids.
Protein: Popular species of edible mushrooms normally contain 18-35% protein. To be clear, the protein content in mushrooms refers to dried mushrooms, not fresh ones. Compare that to the general protein content of the following foods:
- Rice: 7.3%
- Wheat: 13.2%
- Soybean: 39.1%
- Milk: 25.2%
Vitamins: Edible mushrooms are a fantastic source of several vitamins, especially B vitamins. The B vitamins found in mushrooms help your body break down carbohydrates and fats and play an important role in the nervous system. Eating one cup of mushrooms can provide you with the following amounts of vitamins, depending on the species:
- 7% daily intake of B1
- 30-35% daily intake of B2
- 22-25% daily intake of B3
- 23% daily intake of B6
Mushrooms are also a great source for vitamin D. Just like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. When it comes to getting this essential vitamin, mushrooms are the only source of produce that can help. The key here is that they have to be exposed to sunlight. Check out our sun-dried mushrooms to help boost your vitamin D intake. They can be added to soups, risottos and vegetable dishes, or made into a delicious tea.
Minerals & Antioxidants: Mushrooms contain many essential minerals, including iron, phosphor, copper, potassium and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that protects us against heart disease and some cancers. Mushrooms are one of the richest natural sources of selenium, not to mention one of the only items you’ll find in the produce aisle that has it. One single portion of mushrooms can provide a quarter of the daily needs of selenium.