One of the most elusive and prized varieties of mushrooms, morels are a hollow wild mushroom with a spongy texture. The cone-shaped body has an irregular honeycomb pattern, and can range in color from pale white to almost black, while the stems are pale.
How to Find Morels Near Me
Morels grow in the moist soil of forests, usually around the edges of the wooded area. They may grow around the base of dead or dying trees, as well as areas recently disturbed by fire or other human activity. Morel season varies slightly by region in the United States, but generally runs from March to May. While the eastern United States is the most common, morels can grow from Maryland to Georgia, and toward the west from Michigan to Tennessee – and anywhere else growing conditions are right including Oregon, Colorado and even Washington state.
How to Enjoy
Morels are a true culinary treat. Earthy and exotic in flavor, they work in a variety of dishes. A darker color usually indicates a smokier, nuttier flavor. We love to cook them in any of these ways:
– Stuffed with cheese, then breaded and fried
– Sautéed with butter and shallots (and maybe some fresh tarragon if you’re feeling fancy)
– Added to your favorite flatbread, pasta sauce, or quiche recipe for an earthy twist
Health Benefits of Morels
Morels have one of the highest amounts of vitamin D among edible mushrooms, making them great for calcium metabolism (think, great when paired with cheese in the recipe above) and bone development. They also provide antioxidants, which help protect your body from free radicals, and other nutrients like iron, copper, manganese, zinc, potassium and more. They are truly a powerhouse of a mushroom!
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information and National Library of Medicine, “Morels have been in use in traditional medicine for centuries, due to their health-related benefits, and current research demonstrated their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, in addition to immunostimulatory and anti-tumor properties.”
We also love this video from Learn Your Land.
Check out our blog post on Morels!: