What do Morels Look Like
Morels mushrooms vary tremendously in appearance. Their shape can be oblong to bulbous. Their color can be blonde to grey. Their size can be smaller than your fingertip to larger than your hand. Their most identifiable characteristic is what’s typically described as a honeycomb like exterior. Bees are are more methodical though. The ‘combs’ or pits on the outside of morels can be tight or loose and form an imperfect pattern. The inside of morels are hollow and white’ish and up close you can detect a goosebump-like texture. The base of the cap joins to a white’ish stem which can be short or tall and the hollow of the cap runs continuous into the stem (this is important to distinguish it from some false morels).
How to Store Morels
Fresh, unwashed morels should be stored in a paper bag and used as quickly as possible. You can also store them in the fridge for up to a week, but this can also dry them out and alter the texture. To prolong the life of your morels, you can dry them by laying them out in the sunlight and rotating them. Dried morels will last up to six months stored in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use them, simply tap them with some water and wait. Pinch them a few times until they are plump and ready to use. Dried morels can also be frozen, and thawed for use in soups or purees.
Health Benefits of Morel Mushrooms
In addition to their luxurious taste and texture, morels are loaded with all kinds of vitamins and minerals. They will generally contain significant quantities of iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin D, folate, niacin, riboflavin and a decent dose of potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium, thiamine, vitamins E and B6. The fresher the mushrooms, the better the nutrient content. They’re also high in antioxidants, low in calories, and high in fiber and protein.