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Mushrooms are a fantastic way to take a dish from good to great. Adding them is a surefire method to achieve umami flavors — that hard-to-define, meaty richness that makes a soup special or a sauce stunning. Plus, mushrooms are packed with nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and zinc while being very low in calories and fat. However, mushrooms at your local market may not always be at their freshest, and gourmet varieties can be quite expensive. To solve these problems, some mushroom lovers grow their own at home.

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1. Start with high-quality mushrooms

If you want to grow your own mushrooms, it's best to start with high-quality samples. Many poisonous and edible mushrooms look very much alike, so only experts should consider foraging for samples. For a beginner, purchasing a mushroom cultivation kit is a good idea. Oyster mushrooms are tasty and one of the easiest types to grow, so many beginners start with those.

There are many mushroom types that are fun to grow. ahirao_photo / Getty Images
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