Interested in an edible mushroom growing kit that produces beautiful, unique, and tasty mushrooms? We have a variety for you to try

People are starting to learn more about mushrooms and it is taking them beyond the Agaricus bisporus, which is the scientific name for the button, crimini, and portobello mushrooms. 

There are so many gourmet mushrooms to try out there, and we offer growing kits for those of you who are interested in producing these delicious mushrooms at home or commercially. The choice edibles that we offer as growing kits include shiitake, oyster (blue, pink, and yellow), lion’s mane, and chestnut mushrooms. Below I have shared some interesting information for you about these mushrooms. You can get your grow kit here when you’re ready. 

Background information on the mushrooms found in our edible mushroom growing kit options available to you 

Chestnut mushrooms: Chestnuts are the new kid on the block in the specialty mushroom field. These are a nutty mushroom that grows in clusters. The strong flavor of this mushroom lends it well to being used in rice dishes and stir fries, giving the meal a stronger umami and nutty flavor and texture. 

Chestnuts have a beautiful chestnut-brown coloring and can have slightly ornamented caps and stems. The baby mushrooms have spikes that stick out from the cap of the mushroom. It’s important to realize that the caps can be dry to slightly slimy. If they are this is totally normal and likely does not mean the mushroom has gone bad. The entire cap and stem can be used, with the stem being diced into smaller pieces. 

How to cook these mushrooms once you have harvested them from your edible mushroom growing kit: To simply saute this mushrooms cut the caps into ¼ inch slices and dice the stems. Throw into a saute pan at medium heat with 2 TBSP of coconut oil. Stir frequently for about 15 minutes until the desired consistency is reached. If you dislike the slimy texture mushrooms sometimes get simply turn the heat up a little and keep cooking them. This can give them a crunchier taste. Chestnut mushrooms along with most specialty mushrooms have no fats in them, they have a protein content of 3-5% when fresh. 

Lion’s mane: This strangely-shaped and delicious mushroom is welcome to the dinner plate of any mushroom lover. With a lobster-like taste this mushroom is fantastic sautéed with some butter and lemon juice or used for faux crab cakes. Lion’s mane is very sponge like and soaks up the flavors it is cooked with. Lion’s mane has cascading spines and can bruise easily, be sure to get it when it has been handled minimally and traveled a short distance. The mushrooms starts out pink without any of the spines that are seen at maturity. As it grows the spines lengthen and point straight out and then start to cascade down to the ground. When buying this mushrooms spines should not be over ½ an inch long. If it is grown in warm temperatures it can be a little bitter. 

How to cook these mushrooms once you have harvested them from your edible mushroom growing kit: For a simple preparation slice the lion’s mane into ¼-inch thick pieces, heat the pan up at medium heat with about 2 tbsp of butter. Cook the sliced lion’s mane on each side for about 7 minutes, until the spines get crispy. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to both sides. Place these slices on crackers for an appetizer or mix them right into a stir fry. Several in vitro studies have looked at the impacts of lion’s mane on neural tissue and suggest lion’s mane has neurotrophic properties, meaning it supports the growth, survival, and differentiation of both developing and mature neurons.

Oyster mushrooms: This diverse mushroom comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. It can be an extremely beautiful mushroom coming in grey, blue, yellow, and pink. It also has a great taste. The common name oyster covers a wide range of species which allows it to have such diversity. Several oysters grow wild here in Massachusetts but tend to get bugs in them when growing outside. This mushroom is sweeter and has a more subtle taste than shiitake. 

How to cook these mushrooms once you have harvested them from your edible mushroom growing kit: The caps are the most desirable part and the stems should be chopped finely. Where the stems come together at the base of the mushrooms should be discarded. Oyster mushrooms are amazing with fried eggs, omelettes, or in pasta dishes. Pink and yellow oyster mushrooms have a much shorter shelf life, be sure to use these within four days of purchasing them. If you are interested in growing mushrooms oysters are a great one to start as they grow on a wide range of materials and grow very quickly. One interesting in vitro study about oyster mushrooms is titled “Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster) inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells.”

Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitakes are the gateway mushroom into the field of specialty mushrooms. They are the second-most consumed mushrooms in the world, and in my opinion, leaps and bounds better than the button mushroom. 

Shiitakes have a strong umami flavor and stand out in most culinary dishes. The stems of shiitakes are typically discarded or made into stock and the caps are cooked and consumed. Shiitakes are great in stir fries, miso soup, or roasted on their own! 

How to cook these mushrooms once you have harvested them from your edible mushroom growing kit: For a simple saute slice shiitakes, saute onions for 10 minutes on medium heat with a small amount of oil. Place the shiitakes into the pan and cover with a top allow to cook for 8 minutes, stirring once. Remove the top, add a small amount of oil if needed and increase the heat to medium-high, cook for another 12 minutes stirring every 4 minutes or so. Shiitakes have a high protein content around 18%, and a complete profile of amino acids. Shiitakes are thought to be immunomodulating. In a scientific study regular consumption of 10 grams of shiitake “resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and activation.”

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