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.
But the real question is…how do the mushrooms 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.
- 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
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.
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.