It’s totally OK if you use them fresh and cook them. However, you’ll get more benefits if you use the extract powder. Why? Because they are already a concentrated form of the glyconutrients and healthy components present, plus the extraction process breaks down chitin in the cell walls, which we as humans can’t do, because we lack the enzyme needed to break it down. So, doing an extraction is necessary to be able to get the nutrients from the mushroom’s fruiting body.