March 4, 2012

Veggie Fact of the Day

I read somewhere earlier today "here's a mushroom that lives up to its name - it looks, smells, and tastes like oysters" and I can definitely attest to all of these. I bought a couple of packs of fresh Oyster Mushrooms yesterday at the store and my fridge was beginning to smell like something died in there (seriously!). 

Oyster mushrooms can be found growing year-round on fallen tree-trunks and are apparently easily identifiable in the wild. I'm not one to go mushroom picking as I'm too scared to get the wrong kind!! They have a very soft cap, almost fragile to touch and as I said before, a very strong sea-foody smell. Nutritionally, they're one of the few mushrooms to be rich in Vitamin C, along with eight amino acids, B vitamins, a high amount of protein and equally high amounts of essential fatty acids. 

Like the shiitake, oyster mushrooms are regarded very highly in Eastern cultures for their medicinal properties. Interestingly, oyster mushrooms are supposed to be a natural source of statins, or cholesterol lowering compounds.

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