Oysters bring the taste of the sea and a chewy texture to craving palates. That’s if you don’t let ‘em slip down the gullet unchewed, as some like to do. They’re simultaneously delicious, nutritious and expensive. They’re that healthy indulgence that many mollusk lovers would say is well-worth their jacked-up price.
Although our ancestors didn’t have to buy them; They were likely on the Paleo menu because they were easy to find and consume. Whether you enjoy splurging on them or not, oysters spout a host of beneficial nutrients. They can be a tasty addition to any meal. Here are some facts about this salty bivalve and why it’s a Paleo all-star:
Why we love oysters
Oysters are a very versatile food source. In addition to being delicious raw, they also lend themselves well to a number of cooking methods. Equally delicious options include smoked, baked, or oyster stew.
Sustainable food source
Oysters are a sustainable seafood. Farmed oysters account for 95% of the world’s total oyster consumption. Unlike farmed fish, they get what they need from their source of sea water and don’t require feed sources like soy or fishmeal. They minimally impact their environment. Many oyster farms are sustainably operated. You should always select fresh oysters that have been harvested under safety guidelines. Look for a tag on the container or sack specifying.
They’ve been helping folks get their sexy on through the ages. These legendary aphrodisiacs are rich sources of zinc, a key mineral for male sexual health, testosterone levels and sperm production. Zinc is also vital for other aspects of our health. Playing an important role in our senses of taste and smell and enriching our hair, skin and nails.
Native to your region
Because oyster populations exist naturally around the world (except for polar regions). It’s easy to harvest native species in any location. This helps lower the risk of non-native species contaminating the waters in geographic areas worldwide.
They contain decent amounts of vitamin B-12, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium in each serving (about six medium raw oysters or 3 ounces of canned).
Low in calories
Oysters are naturally low in calories, containing between 43 and 58 calories per serving.
Shucking and eating oysters
Fresh oysters should be refrigerated at 40 degrees (F) or lower until they’re served or added to a recipe. When cooked, the shells should open up. Throw out any that remain closed because they’ve been dead too long.
When you shuck (open) them, try to keep the juice, also called the liquor. This tasty liquid gives oysters a good deal of their yummy flavor and should be clear. Not cloudy and shouldn’t smell sour.
Usually, raw oysters are safe to eat. However just as with eating any type of raw fish or seafood, the possibility of food-borne illness exists. Make sure you know where your oysters are coming from and how they were harvested. If you’ve been told to stay away from the raw ones, take the advice. The only way to kill the bacteria that can be harmful for some is through cooking.
Dousing raw oysters in hot sauce or drinking alcohol while eating them will NOT kill the bacteria that can be extremely dangerous to vulnerable individuals. Be safe and eat them cooked if you are immunocompromised.