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Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Kits

When we first saw these grow-your-own mushroom kits from Back to the Roots at Camp Blogaway, our initial reaction was, “No way.” You can’t grow mushrooms out of a box with coffee grounds. Er…can you? The answer is, apparently, yes you can.

Ten days after we got our mushroom box started, we had an enormous spread of beautiful pearl oyster mushrooms. The results? One, it was great fun for the kids. (Each day it was the first thing they wanted to look at when they got up in the morning.) Two, it gave us plenty of quick gratification. (The mushrooms seemed to grow by the hour, unlike most plants that take days or weeks to grow.)

Back to the Roots Kits

Back to the Roots started in 2009 with founders Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora as a 100% sustainable urban mushroom farm. Now the kits sell at more than 250 Whole Foods stores. This year, Back to the Roots will collect, divert and reuse 1 million lbs of coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

grow-your-own mushroom kitsBut the real question is…how do The Holy Mushroom taste? We’re happy to report that they are delicious. They’re mild and flavorful, with just the right amount of chewiness (and no coffee aftertaste whatsoever).

We knew that we needed a special recipe to honor our beautiful mushrooms. We first considered pairing them with heavier grains like barley. But given how delicate these mushrooms were, we decided to pair them with something a little lighter like couscous. When we settled on making mushroom couscous, the most logical name came to mind right away –  Moos-cous. Now the kids ask for it by name.

Moos-cous (Mushroom Couscous) Recipe

Moos-Coos (Mushroom Couscous)

A tasty couscous dish with homegrown pearl oyster mushrooms.

Course Main Dish/Side Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword couscous, pearl oyster mushroom, side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup pearl oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 green onions, chopped


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onions. Saute the onions, turning frequently, until translucent (about 3 or 4 minutes). Add the mushrooms, continuing to turn them frequently, to cook for another 4 minutes.

  2. In a separate pot, heat the chicken stock until boiling. Add the couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let the couscous stand for 5 minutes, then take off the lid and fluff the couscous. Toss in the onions and mushrooms. Top with green onion pieces and serve.


Bonus: Now that we’ve gotten the first harvest, we can grow more out of the other side of the box.

Like what you see? You can order your own grow-your-own mushroom kits directly from Back to the Roots. Happy growing!

P.S. Want another great mushroom recipe? Check out these Mushroom Polenta Bacon Bites.

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14 Responses to Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Kits

  1. Joe May 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    oh, i am so doing that… awesome.

  2. Erika - In Erika's Kitchen May 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    My box is still sitting on my kitchen counter….You’ve motivated me to read the directions!

  3. Laura @ Family Spice May 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    I gotta break into my box, too! Those grew so quickly! Very cool!

  4. jollytomato May 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Thanks, Joe, Erika, Laura… and yes – I would definitely encourage anyone with kids to give it a try. It was such a fun and easy project, and the kids really got into it.

    • Rahul Sagar October 30, 2015 at 9:47 am #

      Hey any one can tell the price of these mushrooms box.

  5. Shannon May 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Can’t wait to go get a box. Yum and fun all in one box.

  6. Kim May 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I just cracked mine open tonight! It was already sprouting at the top. So I have about 10 days to come up with something special. 🙂

    Your Moos-cous is the perfect application.


  7. sippitysup May 20, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    WOW! Time to pull mine from the closet and get growin’ then eatin’ GREG

  8. Karen May 30, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    So glad your enjoyed the mushrooms! I still get a thrill every time the little mushroom pinheads appear around Day 7. Definitely fun (and yummy) for big kids and small.

    • jollytomato May 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks, Karen! I think our “pinheads” came even sooner than that. It was SO much fun – we can’t wait to do it again!

  9. jollytomato June 18, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    That’s amazing, Kristina! I guess they were very determined to grow!

  10. Crystal Newcomer February 16, 2021 at 2:28 pm #

    Mine is on day 11 and I haven’t seen any changes no signs of mushrooms yet I was wondering if I have did something wrong

    • Jeanne February 17, 2021 at 6:28 pm #

      The first thing I would check is the room temperature – It grows best between 65 and 68 F. so I would check to see if your room is too hot or too cold. Then make sure it is kept moist. Use a spray bottle filled with water to “mist” it twice a day (more so if your air is very dry). You can even boost this by placing a humidifier in the room. If it’s too hot or too cold, or not moist enough, the mushrooms may take longer to grow. Hang in there!

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