Oysters

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 15. Oct. 2020

Oysters might have a hoity-toity reputation, but these delicious little mollusks are actually surprisingly easy to prepare, and incredibly healthy as well.

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Oysters...

  • ...is rich in lean protein.
    100 grams of oyster meat contains an impressive 9 grams of protein, which keeps you energized and helps the body build muscles.
  • ...is a good source of iodine.
    In most foods, iodine is present in tiny amounts, if at all. Not so for oysters. 100 grams of oysters contain around 30 percent of your daily requirement of this powerful trace element, which helps keep your thyroid gland and metabolism functioning properly, among other benefits.
  • ...is packed with iron.
    If you’re suffering from an iron deficiency or just feel particularly tired or listless, try eating more oysters. 100 grams of oyster meat contains more than half your daily iron requirement.
  • ...strengthens the immune system.
    Oysters contain more zinc than nearly any other ingredient, with 100 g containing over a thousand times your daily requirement of the essential mineral. Among other benefits, zinc strengthens the immune system, promotes would healing and acts as a component of various hormones such as insulin, thyroid and sex hormones.
  • ...contains abundant B vitamins.
    Oysters are rich in B-group vitamins, especially B12. Just 100 grams of oysters covers more than 5 times your daily requirement of this important vitamin, which plays an important role in healthy brain and nerve function.
  • ...must be eaten fresh.
    There is a good reason why fresh oysters are traditionally served on crushed ice: they spoil very quickly. As a result, make sure to eat oysters as soon as possible after purchasing them.
  • ...might be hard on some stomachs.
    The traditional way of eating oysters in one bite might irritate some stomachs, as the body gets a quick shot of concentrated protein so quickly. If you have a very sensitive stomach, it’s probably best to sit out the oyster shooters.

What You Should Know About Oysters

Origins

Oysters are grown throughout the U.S. coast, largely in Massachusetts, Washington, California and Maine.

Season

As with all mussels, oysters are best eaten in months with an "R" in them (September-December).

Flavor

More than any other marine animal, oysters have an intense taste of sea and salt water.

Oyster Cookbooks

Find all our recipes with oysters here.

How Healthy Are Oysters?

Oysters are known for many things; their aphrodisiac qualities, their polarizing texture and flavor, their commanding price tag. Rarely are oysters seen as a health food. However the facts seem to indicate that oysters are just that. These delicious mollusks are teeming with health benefits, from their rich supply of lean protein, to their impressive amounts of rare minerals like iodine, which helps support a healthy thyroid, and zinc, which helps strengthen the immune system, promotes would healing and acts as a component of various hormones such as insulin, thyroid and sex hormones, among other benefits.

Oysters are also rich in B vitamins, specifically vitamin B12, which which plays an important role in healthy brain and nerve function, as well as iron.

OYSTER NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 63
Protein 9 g
Fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 4 g
Fiber 0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

If you're purchasing live raw oysters, look out for a tightly-closed shell and a sea-water aroma with no unattractive fishiness.

Storage

Fresh oysters must be prepared absolutely scrupulously, as they can spoil very quickly if handled incorrectly. They should be placed in a bowl with the curvature downwards and covered with a damp cloth or seaweed. Stored this way, they will keep fresh in the coldest part of the fridge for up to two days.

Preparation

To pry open the shell of a raw oyster, you'll need an oyster shucker, which can be purchased at any kitchen store. You can also have your fishmonger open the shells for you, but only if you'll be serving the oyster within a half hour. Shells should be opened just before you are ready to serve to ensure optimum flavor and freshness. 

Preparation tips for oysters

A raw, cold oyster with a little lemon and vinegar might be one of the delicious snacks on the planet, but it's far from the only thing you can do with oyster. Indeed while purists might turn up their noses at any oyster that's not served raw, we are big fans of cooked oysters. Whether steamed, grilled, baked, stuffed or gratinated, there is a plethora of ways to cook and enjoy oysters. Fried oysters are a delicious North Eastern treat, served with a squeeze of lemon and salt, while grilled oysters have a delicious, smoky flavor all their own.

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