Most people either love or hate oysters with their notable, distinctive taste and texture. However, it’s time to explore reasons why these ocean creatures may be worth a shot towards your health and lifestyle.
Although the phrase, The world is one’s oyster first written in one of Shakespeare’s plays focused on money, I believe oysters can lead to a whole new level of richness in terms of nutritional wealth.
Oysters supply your body with several adequate nutrients. Three ounces of oysters, which is about 6 medium oysters, provides about 7 grams of protein, perfect for your protein source at one meal in only 60 calories. However, you can have up to 12 for 14 grams of protein to keep you more satisfied. The high quality protein is easier to digest than most land based protein. Many believe their cholesterol content gives reason to avoid their pleasure. However, their content of omega 3’s, vitamins A, B, C, and D, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron classifies this shellfish as a healthy choice on your plate. They also only contain 50mg of cholesterol per serving, which is within the recommendation of 300 mg per day.
When it comes to purchasing, fresh is usually best. Size tends to have less to do with an oyster’s flavor profile and more about the location of where it was raised.
There are about as many kinds of oysters as there are kinds of vegetables. Just kidding, but there are quite a few. The Different types of oysters have different nutritional profiles and sodium contents. For example, raw Eastern oysters harvested from the wild contain less calories per serving, significantly less than the Pacific raw oyster.
My favorite ways to enjoy the eastern oyster is raw on the half shell, but they are also amazing baked with spinach, lemon & garlic or added to a broth soup with Bok Choy.
- 12 - 20 oysters, steamed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 leek, sliced
- 2 TB olive oil
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 large potato, diced
- 2 TB Bragg's Amino Acids
- 2 cup Greens (Spinach, Kale or Pea Greens)
- Steam oysters in a pot with 3 inches of water until shells open. Drain water, remove the meat and place to the side. In the pot, saute garlic, leeks in the olive oil for about 2 minutes. Then, add carrots, potato, broth and aminos over medium heat until carrots and potatoes are tender. Add oysters and greens for 1 minutes until greens brighten. Serves 2.
Now let’s hear more about who our oysters come from with Justin Lynch, a shell fisherman from Wellfleet, MA. Justin is also an amazing photographer that provided the photos for this post.
Interview with Justin Lynch
Born Justin Christopher Lynch at Cape Cod Hospital, February 12, !983. Raised in the quaint town of Wellfleet Massachusetts by a Hammer swinging father and loving mother to 3 boys. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to grow up in such a unique and beautiful place. Essentially just a narrow strip of sand surrounded by the ever changing, pulling tides of the bay and oceanside. Cape Cod Bay being a body of water designed perfectly to offer an ideal environment for shellfish to thrive in. When I became old enough, I began working aquaculture farms, raising a species that Wellfleet has become famous world wide for. The bivalve mollusk, known as the oyster has shaped the presence of this town and the people who reside within it. Apart from being known for the cultivation of oyster beds , Wellfleet also offers an abundant supply of wild oysters fresh for the picking to those with a license and the knowledge to find them. Whenever I would have free time from working the grant I would forage wild oysters. I soon developed a strong passion for the hunt and eventually decided that this is what I wanted to do full time. Not just a job, but a lifestyle. To be synchronized with the earth rhythm of working with the tides has been a very grounding and humbling experience for me. She breathes in, the water recedes, she breathes out and back it comes rushing in, waiting for no man. I’ve respectfully scraped and turned over every inch of terrain from soupy mud fields to the pristine sandy bottoms supplying shelter for the these creatures, just to do it all over again and find it different every time. My relationship with nature has become that of a best friend and teacher and I hold much gratitude for being able to make a living doing this. Many variables are intertwined with how my catch will go that day. From the size of the tide, time of day, time of year, direction of wind and weather patterns to just my overall state of mind at the time. The structure of an oyster is strongly based off its surroundings. The type of terrain it lays on, the feed, flow and depth of water that submerges it all play a roll in how its physical characteristics form. I generally can look at an oyster and figure out which part of town and conditions it grew in. Its pretty fun really. These filter feeders are highly nutritious and perform an incredible task of cleaning toxins from the water. This is my 15th year foraging oysters full time and i can still say without hesitation that I LOVE MY JOB.