Cultivated by sailors for almost 900 years, mussels are an eco-friendly, sustainable seafood choice.

“They are rich in nutrients and ideal for entertaining and sharing with the whole family,” says Linda Duncan, executive director of the Mussel Industry Council of North America, based in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Indeed, mussels are low in fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, vitamin C and iron. An average serving contains only 90 calories.

Available year-round, mussels are a versatile addition to appetizers, soups, salads, pasta and rice dishes, and entrees. When shopping for them, follow this important advice from the Environmental Defense Fund:

“Cultivated mussels are thin, with light black-to-brown shells; they have higher meat content than wild mussels. Be sure that shells are closed, which indicates that the animal is still alive. Cook live shells, and only eat the ones that open during cooking.”

Add some “mussel” to your culinary repertoire with these recipes:

  1. Mussel-Stuffed Mushroom Caps
  2. Creamy Mussel Chowder with Sorrel
  3. Cape Mussel and Clam Gazpacho
  4. Pumpkin Lasagna with Mussels
  5. Mussels in Fresh Lime

Mussels FAQ 

  1. Buying Mussels
  2. Storing Mussels
  3. How to Cook Mussels
  4. Your Organic Diet: Improve Heart Health with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Calling All Crafters!

Kids and adults can decorate leftover mussel shells. For springtime place cards or centerpieces, add some bling with pastel-colored paints, colorful ribbons and faux gems.

Photo: Bendini/Flickr | Creative Commons