You may have seen shiitake mushrooms at your local grocery store and wondered what they were. Shiitake mushrooms, scientifically known as Lentinula edodes, are a type of edible mushroom that is native to East Asia. They are grown on the logs of trees, and they have a dark brown cap and a white stem.
In this blog post, we will cover what shiitake mushrooms are, where they grow, when they are harvested, and the health benefits of shiitake mushrooms.
What are shiitake mushrooms?
Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are a type of edible mushroom that have a dark brown cap and a white stem. The caps can vary in size from 2–8 cm in diameter. Shiitake mushrooms have a smoky, umami flavor, and they can be used in many different dishes.
Where Do Shiitake Mushrooms Grow?
Shiitake mushrooms grow on the logs of trees. They are typically found on oak trees, but they can also be found on maple, beech, sweet gum, ironwood, poplar, ash, elm, hickory, cherry, and plum trees.
When are Shiitake Mushrooms Harvested?
Shiitake mushrooms can be harvested between one and two months after the first flush of spores appears. Caps and stems can be dried for use as a powder, capsules, or liquid.
Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms have many health benefits. They are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins B6 and B12, selenium, copper, and niacin. Shiitake mushrooms also contain compounds that can boost your immune system and help fight cancer.
To learn about the amazing health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms:
How to cook shiitake mushrooms?
Shiitake mushrooms can be eaten fresh but are more commonly used dried. They can be reconstituted by simmering in water for about 10 minutes. Shiitake mushrooms have a long shelf life when they are dried.
When cooking shiitake mushrooms, cook them and use them in recipes as you would regular mushrooms. Usually, the simpler the cooking method, the better.
Wash and cut the mushrooms into quarters. Heat up your favorite cooking oil and sautee the mushrooms with some garlic powder until they are golden. Yum!
Clean & Delicious shows how to expertly sautee shiitake mushrooms in this 4 minute video:
Can you eat shiitake mushrooms raw?
Yes, they are delicious and nutritious!
Shiitake mushroom substitute
There are several options that can be used to substitute shiitake mushrooms in a recipe. The flavor will be similar but not the same, and these work well:
How to store Shiitake mushrooms?
The best way to keep shitake mushrooms fresh, and most other mushrooms as well, is to place them in a paper bag and put them in the fridge. Storing them in a plastic bag will cause them to rot quickly, as they need ventilation to stay fresh longer.
How to take shiitake mushrooms as a supplement
Aside from eating them fresh, Shiitake mushrooms can also be used in powder or capsule form, and are also available as a liquid extract.
If you are looking for a quality, organic shiitake mushroom powder supplement, we did the research for you. Here are 2 quality brands:
1. Nutricost Organic Shiitake Mushroom Powder 4 oz – Gluten Free, Non-GMO
Why we love Nutricost Organic Shiitake Mushroom powder supplement:
- Premium, organic shitake mushrooms
- Correct serving size scoop included
- 3rd party tested
- Accredited manufacturing facility
- Highly rated on Amazon
2. Orgnisulmte Organic Dried Shiitake Mushrooms Powder
Why we love Orgnisulmte Dried Shiitake mushroom powder:
- Made from the finest shiitake mushrooms
- 100% grown in organic logs
- Highly nutritious, rich in vitamins, protein
- Nothing added, nothing taken away, 100% natural
How Much to Take When Supplementing with Shiitake Mushrooms
When supplementing with shiitake mushrooms, it is recommended that you take 3–9 grams per day.
How to grow shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms can be grown from spores, sawdust, or grain. The most common way to grow them, however, is by using blocks of hardwood sawdust that have been inoculated with mushroom spores.
Shiitake mushrooms can also be grown in liquid culture or in capsules. In liquid culture, the mycelium is grown in a sterile liquid medium and then transferred to a solid growth medium. Capsules are filled with a growing medium that has been impregnated with mushroom spores. When the capsules are broken open and the growing medium comes into contact with moisture, the spores germinate and the mycelium grows.
Many people find it much easier to purchase a growing kit to grow shiitake mushrooms. This one comes highly recommended on Amazon.
Root Mushroom Farm- Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit-Start it Right Away Once Received
Why we love it:
- No guess work, start growing shiitake mushrooms right away.
- Open the box, start growing immediately
- Everything is included
- Correct wood type
- No extra tools
- Humidity tent included
- Great learning for kids and adults
- Highly recommended on Amazon
We wish you well on your continuing journey to optimum health!
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