Many morel lovers around the nation rave about this amazing mushroom because of its rich taste that is like no other wild edible mushroom.
Morel mushrooms have bloomed to be one of the most desired mushroom types across the globe. There are tons of information on how to cook morel mushrooms and recipes to use them in. Grown in spring season, morel mushrooms find many hunters flocking into the deep woods – with the hope of laying their hands on these mysterious treats to cook up for a tasty meal.
Morchella species have a high refined taste which is indeed a prized flavor. Another thing which makes these mushrooms so exclusive is the fact that they can’t be grown in all conditions, and seasons. They require a special growing platform and specific methods as well. This is one prime reason morel mushrooms are so expensive around the globe, and they can’t even be duplicated so easily. Finding and growing them is a task, so many people resort to hunting for wild morels or buying morel mushrooms online.
Nutritional Value & Benefits of Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are rich sources of many essentials minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that are needed for good health. They offer many health benefits. Morel mushrooms have low calorie percentage; a cup measuring 68 grams gives you 20 calories. As you can see, per gram consumption of morel mushrooms gives you 0.3 calories which means you can easily consume them in larger quantity without worrying about the calories. It is helpful for those who want to stay low on calories as it will keep you full. It can be used for making low calorie meals.
These mushrooms are even low in carbs but are an excellent source of fiber. Eating more fiber lowers the cholesterol level while preventing constipation and keeping your gut healthy. Morel mushrooms also have little amount of protein and very minimal fat count. Fat and protein help in supporting your overall health, fat gives you energy while protein takes care of your tissues. Morels are completely vegan, and should be a part of your everyday diet.
As mentioned above, these mushrooms are very low on calories but are rich sources of vitamins and minerals required by your body. They provide you with adequate amount of vitamin D, iron and potassium. Iron helps in blood supply throughout the body, while potassium aids in healthy functioning of your muscles; and vitamin D is very important in the absorption of calcium and it even helps in boosting bone health.
Morel Mushrooms Cleaning & Preparation
Like most mushrooms, morel mushrooms also grow on the forest ground which makes them prone to dirt, insects, and bacteria. If you are buying the store brought morel mushrooms, which are generally in the dry form; you just have to soak them in freezing water for a minute or two just to get rid of any possible dirt.
If you choose to get fresh ones from the forest or farm; you will have to clean them thoroughly. Rinse them in water gently several times so that all the dirt gets away. It is also highly recommended you soak your morels in a salt water solution to help kill off any bacteria. When selecting the morels, choose the ones that are firm and dry. Don’t go for the larger ones as they happen to be spongy and prone to breaking.
When preparing the morel mushrooms, first slice off their tough end section of each stem. Now cut them in halves, lengthwise – you can cook them the way you like.
Morel Mushroom Recipes
The two recipes below are the basics of cooking morel mushrooms! However, these two techniques are simply the starting point for much more complex meals. There are tons of sources on recipes to use mushrooms for. Anything you can think of using mushrooms in, will go great with morels.
Click here if you are interested in some exact meals and couplings you can experiment with!
- Fresh morel mushrooms
- 2 lbs butter (margarine)
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1 box of saltine crackers
Cut the mushrooms into quarter sized pieces after you have thoroughly washed them. Place the slices of morels in a large bowl and fill with tap water. Add a good amount of salt to the water to help kill off any bacteria sitting on the mushrooms. Let this sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
Heat up a cast iron skillet on medium to low heat. Drop about 4 tablespoons of butter on to the skillet and let it melt.
In a separate bowl, crack several eggs and beat until they are well mixed. Now, put the saltine/ ritz crackers into a bag and use a roller to break up the crackers into small bits. Place the smashed crackers into their own separate bowl.
Place a handful of morel slices into the egg bowl; making sure the mushrooms are fully covered with egg. Then place each slice into the bowl of crumbs to cover the entire mushroom with a layer of cracker crumbs.
Place the coated mushrooms into the pre-heated skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Morels with Wine Sauce
Re hydrate your morel mushroom batch and carefully sauté them in an oil and butter combination with garlic and or scallions. Sauté the morchella mushrooms until they have absorbed most of the oils in the pan.
Take the mushrooms out of the pan, reduce the oven heat by half, pour a shallow layer of white wine into the pan, then place the morels back in. Place fresh parsley into the skillet and let the food simmer for a few minutes. Add some ground pepper to the mix for a little added flavor.
Quick Tips for Cooking Morels
To cook morel mushrooms, you should take care of a few things:
- Wash them only when you are ready to cook, because added moisture can make them very soggy.
- Take care while cleaning; don’t be too hard with the morels.
- Soak them in salted brine for nearly 15 minutes as it helps removing any bug if present.
You can have different morel recipes, but if you are a first timer; keep it simple. The best thing could be sautéing them with simple butter or coconut oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add little salt and pepper as per taste, and enjoy them with rice, eggs, or use as side dish.
Store them loose in refrigerator, packed in a container that has ample ventilation. Avoid sealing them in a bag. Canning is indeed a good way of storing as it retains the flavor and freshness.