Like its fancy cousin the truffle, the morel is a unique variety of mushroom found in woodlands. These spongy mushrooms have a distinctive honeycomb texture and a nutty, earthy taste. They grow wild from early spring to late June.
Health Benefits. Morel mushrooms have high levels of copper,
vitamin E and potassium, which may improve cardiovascular health. There is also evidence that morels may decrease the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer, since they are packed with selenium and niacin. They are also low in fat and calories, yet high in vitamins and antioxidants, which may boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.
Buying. Pick dry, springy but still firm morels that are free of
excessive dirt. Colors of fresh morels range from tan to dark brown to black.
Storing. Do not rinse morel mushrooms. Instead, use a soft,
dry vegetable brush or gently roll the mushrooms on a flat surface covered with a clean cloth to remove any dirt trapped inside. Store morels in a loosely covered paper bag in the fridge for up to 2–3 days.
Using. Morel mushrooms must be cooked. The best method is
to lightly sauté them. Morels can be served as a side dish, in a sauce or as part of a casserole or pasta dish.
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