Listen up, apartment dwellers! Just because you don't have a plot of ground doesn't mean you can't grow your own food. You can thrill your friends with culinary delights using the freshest mushrooms possible, grown in your own kitchen. All you need is a little bit of room, indirect sunlight, and a mushroom growing kit.
Just Add Water
It couldn't be simpler. Add water, wait a week, and watch tiny pinheads emerge and turn into luscious full-grown edible mushrooms. Every type of mushroom has a unique growth habit, fascinating to watch. And of course, each has its own distinctive flavor.
Shiitake mushrooms have a warm, earthy flavor and meaty texture, highly valued in Asian cuisine. The caps of this dark brown mushroom range from two to four inches in diameter. Shiitakes add complexity to stews and soups. The adaptable shiitake can also be sauteed, broiled, baked, grilled, stir fried, or stuffed and broiled. Raw, the caps add flavor and texture to salads and the stems make tasty, healthy snacks.
For a rainbow of mushrooms grow a variety of oyster mushrooms. Oysters come in white, blue, gray, brown, gold, and pink. They are relatively high in protein and free amino acids. Vitamin content, generally high, varies according to the strain. Gold oyster mushrooms are pleasantly nutty and lighter than pearl oyster mushrooms. Blue oyster mushrooms have blue-gray caps that make a lively visual contrast with the creamy white stems. While flavors vary, oyster mushrooms tend to have a mildly shellfish flavor.
Harvest when Young
Harvesting mushrooms is an art in itself. The ideal stage for harvesting depends on the type of mushroom, but most are tastier when they are young. Best to harvest before the curled edges of the cap start to flatten out. When you use a mushroom growing kit you will likely get several flushes of mushrooms, which means your harvest will extend for a few weeks.
Try a Recipe
There's no shortage of recipes for mushroom dishes, from the very simple to the complex. A simple way to create a complex dish is to saute two or three different types of mushrooms in olive oil and butter. Don't overload the pan--give the mushrooms plenty of room so they can brown all over. You can add a little freshly ground pepper if you want, but it's not necessary because the flavors of the various mushrooms will blend together and create a very tasty dish without any additional seasoning. (Please do not add salt while the mushrooms are cooking!) Serve this as a side dish with meat or fish, or fold it into an omelet for an extraordinary brunch treat.
Mushroom Growing Kits
With a mushroom growing kit you too can join the home food growing revolution. Just instead of your back yard, you'll be using your back room. Learn about the fascinating life cycle of mushrooms. Grow different kinds. Experiment with recipes. Most of all have fun and bon appetit!
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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