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7 Incredible Morel mushroom Nutrition facts and Health benefits

Selection and storage

Morels are “wild harvest” mushrooms and cannot be cultivated on farms, unlike shiitake or button mushrooms.

The fresh morel season lasts from late April until June in the United States. Their arrival is eagerly awaited by several hundred Morel enthusiasts each season. Mushroom hunters often take cues from the blooming of lilacs, bluebells, and dandelions after spring rain. Typically, they forage fully grown morels by trimming them at the base of the cap using a paring knife.

Fresh morels are often sold in farmers’ markets or civic-municipal markets. Amateurs should always accompany an experienced picker while foraging.

Fresh morels perish quickly unless dried or frozen. To store them, place the fresh harvest inside a paper bag and keep it in the refrigerator. Do not store them inside a plastic cover since they sweat, become soft and mushy, and decay sets in early.

Dried morels can be stored for several months and are usually exported to overseas markets. Homemakers often steam, braise, or sauté them before freezing them for extended usage.

Preparation and serving methods

Fresh morels are highly coveted mushrooms, particularly in French cuisine.

It is essential to always cook morels before consumption, as eating them raw could lead to stomach upset. Since they are field mushrooms, morels tend to collect sand and grit in their crevices and require cleaning. Soak them in cold salted water for a few minutes, then strain and rinse them again in cold water for a few seconds to eliminate any salty taste. This cleaning method should be applied only to morels intended for cooking.

Morels retain their flavor even after drying. Dry morels should be reconstituted by soaking them in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. This soaking process swells them up, allowing them to regain their original conical shape. After soaking, dry them using a paper towel. Slice them lengthwise or into quarters, depending on your preference for cooking.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Morels can be stewed, braised, or cooked in main dishes such as rice, poultry, game, and fish (such as wild-caught halibut with morels and baked cod with morels).

  • Traditionally, morel mushrooms are enjoyed pan-fried in butter and garlic cloves, with the addition of some salt and pepper.

  • You can also add sliced morels to soups.

  • Fine-sliced or diced morels can also be used as add-ons in pizza, pasta, risotto, etc.

Safety profile

Always cook morels before eating. Allergic reactions to the consumption of true morel mushrooms are rare.

False morels (Verpa bohemica) may often be confused for true morels. Repeated and prolonged consumption of V. bohemica may cause poisoning similar to Gyromitra esculenta, another mushroom that mimics real morels. Both possess the gyromitrin toxin, which may cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, muscle weakness, etc.

Although people in some countries relish false morels, caution should be exercised to avoid their toxicity. (Medical disclaimer).

You may also like to read≻≻-

≻≻-Back to Mushrooms from Morel mushroom. Visit here for an impressive list of edile mushrooms with complete illustrations of their nutrition facts and
health benefits.

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Further reading and Resources:

  1. The Great Morel: A Tribute to Shroomers.

  2. Productivity and diversity of morel mushrooms in healthy, burned, and insect damaged forests of northeastern Oregon.

  3. USDA National Nutrient Database.

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