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Mushroom Nootropics

How to Cook Mushrooms

Mmmm….mushrooms. Healthy and nutritious, these little fungi have been known to have numerous potential wellness benefits* like boosting brain function and the immune system.

The versatility of mushrooms means there are many delicious ways to enjoy them. From sauteing and deep frying to grilling and baking, the opportunities are endless!

In this blog post, we’ll look at a few common varieties of edible mushrooms, share some cooking techniques, and look more closely at the potential benefits.

Understanding Different Mushroom Varieties

There are thousands of species of mushrooms but not all of them are edible. In addition, some mushrooms are difficult to cultivate, making them less readily available. Here are some common species of edible mushrooms that you’re likely to find in your grocery store!

1. Button Mushrooms

Button mushrooms, or Agaricus bisporus, are the ubiquitous mushrooms that you find everywhere. There are several types of common button mushrooms including white, cremini, and portobello.

While they are all the same species, white mushrooms are young buttons, cremini mushrooms are brown and older, and the most mature mushrooms are packaged as portobellos. They are a darker brown and much larger than their younger counterparts.

You can find them canned, fresh, or preserved in brine in most grocery stores, and they are the most commonly eaten mushrooms worldwide.

They have a mild, subtle flavor and can be eaten raw. They are commonly included in salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, and sauces.

Button mushrooms are low in calories and an excellent source of nutrients like B vitamins, selenium, copper, potassium, and antioxidants. They also contain beta-glucans, a bioactive compound that has been known to potentially boost the immune system.

2. Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms, or Pleurotus ostreatus, are another popular mushroom variety with a distinctive cap shaped like an oyster, hence the name. They have a mild flavor that has a subtle anise-like tone and a delicate, tender texture when cooked.

Like buttons, they are versatile in all kinds of cuisine and can be sauteed, fried, grilled, or added to soups and stews. Oyster mushrooms are commonly found fresh in grocery stores but you also can find dried oysters.

3. Shiitake

Shiitake mushrooms, or Lentinula edodes, are one of the tastiest mushrooms. Boasting a rich, umami flavor, shiitake mushrooms are used widely in Asian cuisine but their popularity in Europe and the US has been on the rise.

You can find dried and fresh shiitake in grocery stores. The texture is meaty and chewy when cooked, making them a favorite addition to mushroom recipes.

Shiitake mushrooms have been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries.

Essential Mushroom Cooking Techniques

There are several ways you can enjoy mushrooms. Here are some of the common ways to prepare them.

1. Sauteing

To sauté mushrooms, clean them thoroughly and slice them so that they cook evenly. Add some oil or butter to a hot cast iron skillet or pan and allow it to heat first before adding the mushrooms. The medium-high heat will caramelize the sugars in the mushrooms which will give you a golden brown exterior while the inside of the mushroom remains tender.

Sauteed mushrooms can be then served as a side dish or added to pasta, salads, or sauces as a topping for meats or a main course.

2. Deep Frying or Air Frying

Deep fried mushrooms have a crispy texture and intense flavor. However, deep frying requires the use of a lot of oil, and it isn’t the healthiest option. If you want a more nutritious alternative, you can use an air fryer instead which will give you similar results without adding saturated fat.

After frying, you can get creative with the seasoning like adding garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Experiment, and you’ll find something perfect for you!

3. Baking or Roasting

Baking doesn’t require the use of much oil and can be a low-carbohydrate alternative to sauteing or frying. First, preheat the oven to about 375°F (190°C). Then, clean and slice the mushrooms and toss them in a mixing bowl together with your seasoning and a little dash of extra-virgin olive oil or butter.

Bake them in the oven till they are golden brown. Different mushrooms have different cook times so keep an eye on them if it’s your first time preparing a specific type.

Preparing Mushrooms for Cooking

To prepare your fresh mushrooms, clean them thoroughly with a soft brush to remove the dirt and debris. If you need to, you can clean mushrooms by rinsing, but don’t soak them as they can absorb the water, altering the texture and taste.

If there’s stubborn dirt that won’t come off, you can trim them off. Some mushroom varieties like shiitake have tough, chewy stems so if you don’t want those, cut them off as well. Slice them as evenly as you can so that they cook uniformly.

If you are frying or sauteing, don’t overcrowd the pan with the sliced mushrooms. If the mushrooms are overlapping each other, they will cook unevenly, and the water that’s released when cooking might cause some other mushrooms to boil or steam, which results in a different taste or texture.

Creative Cooking Ideas

Experimenting with food is so much fun, so go right ahead! Try making mushroom chips with shiitake and buttons or you can stuff a large portobello with veggies and cheese. With toppings like salsa, lime, and avocado, oyster mushrooms also taste great as a taco!

To season your mushrooms, use a variety of herbs and natural flavorings like black pepper, fresh thyme, rosemary, lemon, parsley, or vinegar.

Storing and Preserving Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the happiest when they are allowed to breathe, so keep them in the fridge in a breathable container such as a paper bag. Only clean them when you’re ready to use them, not before.

If you want to freeze mushrooms, you’ll need to blanch them first or they could turn mushy. After you blanch them, freeze them individually on a baking sheet or tray first so that they don’t get stuck together. Once frozen, you can then transfer them to portion-sized freezer bags for storage.

Another way to store mushrooms is to dry them with a food dehydrator or the oven. Once dried, you can store them in a cool, dark place and rehydrate them before using.

Potential Benefits of Mushrooms

The potential wellness benefits* of mushrooms have been researched for centuries. They are thought to potentially support your immune system and lower cholesterol.

In addition, the beta-glucans contained in many mushrooms are known to potentially improve and support wellness.

A certain group of mushrooms called nootropics have also been studied extensively as a potential way to support cognitive function and memory*. The popularity of mushroom supplements has been steadily rising, especially with the growing awareness of health and wellness. Check out some of our bestselling nootropic supplements and give your brain a boost!*


To wrap things up, mushrooms are a low-calorie, healthy addition to any meal. Not only are they delicious and versatile, but they also boast numerous potential wellness benefits*.

Feel free to experiment with different cooking processes and you’ll find something that’s perfect for you. Have fun, and bon appetit!


Can mushrooms be eaten raw?​​

You can eat common varieties of mushrooms found in grocery stores raw, like cremini, white button, shiitake, and oyster. However, certain varieties of mushrooms found in the wild like Chicken of the Woods have to be cooked or you might get an upset stomach.

What is the best way to cook mushrooms?

The best way to cook mushrooms depends on the variety of mushroom and your personal preference. Common ways include sauteing, baking, grilling, frying, or boiling.

How can I tell if mushrooms are bad?​​

It depends on the species of mushroom but as a general rule, if the mushroom feels slimy and looks discolored and shriveled, it might have gone bad.

Is it better to cook mushrooms in butter or oil?

Cooking mushrooms in butter or oil will result in two distinctive tastes so it depends on your personal preference. However, butter has a low smoke point and more care has to be taken to prevent burning. Many cooking oils have a higher smoke point and might be more suitable for sauteing and frying.

What are the best mushrooms for specific dishes?

Button mushrooms have a mild taste and can be used on pizza toppings or to make mushroom pasta or risotto. Shiitake mushrooms are great for making mushroom soup or added to stir-fries. Portobello mushrooms can be stuffed with cheese and garlic butter.

*It is important to note that the benefits of these products have not been conclusively proven. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and the NHS has not made any guarantees about the efficacy of such products.

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