Mushrooms have been in our kitchen for thousands of years. They are an extremely healthy and tasty ingredient in the diet. Even a small addition of mushrooms to a simple dish can make it a culinary work of art. Mushrooms play a special role in traditional Polish cuisine. They are a component of many native dishes. The aromatic taste of boletus, bay boletus or bolete is associated with holidays and a carefree time. Speaking of mushrooms in our tradition, it is impossible not to mention oyster mushrooms. These mushrooms, although they differ from the forest look and taste, deserve special attention. They have numerous health properties.

Oyster mushrooms – characteristics of the species, curiosities
Pleurotus is an edible arboreal mushroom that is becoming more and more popular in our country. We can find it on the shop shelves, next to the mushrooms. It occurs in many varieties, of which the most popular are oyster oyster, white-collar oyster, oyster mushroom, and oyster mushroom. The Polish name of oyster mushroom was introduced by naturalist and ecologist Henryk Orłoś in 1951. The oyster family is quite common around the world. They grow on the dead wood of deciduous trees. They find the best on the trunks of hornbeam, beech, willow, poplar, acacia and birch. Oyster mushroom colonies consist of many fungi of various sizes. Oyster mushrooms appear late in autumn. The first specimens can be found at the end of October. Fruits can be harvested until the first frosts, usually the harvest ends in mid-December.

Oyster mushrooms have a quite characteristic appearance. The hat, 5-15 cm in size, resembles an oyster shell (hence the name oyster mushroom). Oyster mushrooms come in many colors, but most often they are white, gray, dark gray, light pink, and gray. The plates of young oyster mushrooms are white, darken with time. The oyster cap is deeply embedded in the hat, usually very short, sometimes invisible. It is worth to get acquainted with the appearance and characteristics of oyster mushroom, because it is not difficult to confuse it with poisonous mushrooms that look like it.

A dozen years ago, amateur and oyster-growing was carried out in our and many other countries. Special straw bags filled with oyster mushroom mycelium could be purchased. This fashion is coming back to grace. On many portals with advertisements, you can find offers to sell amateur oyster farms.

Oyster mushrooms – nutritional values
Oyster mushroom is classified as dietary mushrooms. The basic component of its mass is water. The dry mass is between 9.6-13.8% of the fresh weight of the fungus. The carbohydrate content in 100 g of oyster mushroom is 6.43 g. A significant part of carbohydrates found in mushrooms are polysaccharides, of which glycogen deserves particular attention. Oyster mushroom, unlike other fungi, contains large amounts of free glucose, mannose, fructose and xylose. It is also worth paying attention to the protein. The amino acids present in the largest amounts are lysine, leucine, arginine and aspartic acid. Oyster mushrooms also contain small amounts of fat, especially unsaturated fatty acids.

The following table shows the nutritional value in 100 g of oyster mushroom.

Oyster mushrooms are the source of many well-absorbed vitamins and minerals. In 100 g of dry matter there are 3 g of potassium, 150 mg of calcium and approx. 125-757 mg of sodium (a large discrepancy depending on the variety). In addition to macronutrients, you can also find microelements, such as fluorine, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese and mercury. When it comes to vitamins, particular attention should be paid to vitamin D and a group of B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, folic acid, pyridoxine). They owe their characteristic flavor and aroma to numerous volatile substances.

Oyster mushrooms – health-promoting properties
Not many of us are aware of the health-promoting properties of oyster mushrooms. Although they are not very popular with us, they are very popular in the world. Studies have also been carried out to prove that different varieties of oyster mushrooms can have practical applications in the prevention of many diseases and maintaining good body condition.

Oyster mushrooms have many health-promoting properties, including
– antitumor activity – Wasser et al. Conducted a study to determine the relationship between the consumption of edible fungi, including Florida oyster mushroom, and the occurrence and development of cancer cells,

– antioxidant effect – oyster mushroom is characterized by a strong antioxidant potential. This means that the substances contained in it inhibit free radical processes and slow down the aging of cells. The substances responsible for the active antioxidant activity are phenols, beta-tocopherol and beta-carotene,

– preventive effect in diseases of the cardiovascular system – due to the high content of dietary fiber and low fat content, oyster mushrooms can be part of the anti-atherosclerotic diet. Additionally, the substances contained in them slow down the synthesis of the so-called bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. One of such substances found in some varieties of oyster mushrooms is lovastatin, which is used in patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia to reduce total cholesterol – LDL and TG,

– antifungal activity – proteins derived from oyster mushroom have an inhibitory effect on the development of Fusarium oxysporum mycelium producing large amounts of mycotoxins,

– antiallergic effect – ethanol extract from oyster mushroom shows a strong antiallergic effect,

– anti-inflammatory effect – ethanol extract from spoonstick mushroom has properties very similar to diclofenac (a drug from the NSAID group). In addition to anti-inflammatory effects, it also has antipyretic and analgesic effects,

– action supporting the body’s resistance – soybean (oyster and Santa’s) extracts stimulate the growth of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus spp. And Bifidobacterium spp.

Oyster mushrooms – a recipe for a tasty dish

Chicken in a creamy sauce of oyster mushrooms

Ingredients for two servings
– medium-sized chicken breast (200 g),
– Oyster mushrooms (250 g),
– a spoonful of rapeseed oil (10 g),

– 5 tablespoons of cream 12% (90 g),
– 1 bunch of parsley,
– 1 bag of basmati rice (100 g),
– 2 cloves of garlic,
– salt, pepper to taste.

Nutrients of one portion

47.4 g carbohydrates,

31.3 g protein,

fats 12.75 g.

The energy value of 420 kcal

Heat the oven to 200 ° C. Thoroughly rinse chicken breast and cut into two parts. Make small incisions on it with a sharp knife. Sprinkle gently with salt and pepper. Slice the garlic slices into the incisions. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Add the oyster mushrooms fried on the oil. Pour the cream and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. At that time, cook basmati rice. After being taken out of the oven, serve with oyster sauce and rice. You can sprinkle with fresh parsley. Can be served with whole-grain pasta tagliatelle or pappardelle, it tastes equally good.

It is worth remembering how to store oyster mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms after cleaning should be stored in the refrigerator at the lowest possible temperature, no longer than a few days. Often on the mushrooms you can see a white coating, which are spores of the fungus. They swell under the influence of moisture and lack of sufficient air circulation. However, such fungi are suitable for use after rinsing with water beforehand.

Oyster mushrooms can be subjected to various cooking processes – boil, fry, marinate and dry. However, they must not be eaten raw. Due to the rich nutritional properties of oyster mushrooms, it is worth incorporating them into your diet.

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