Cultivating morels is quite difficult because mushrooms are often found in natural forests.
Most people find them first when they appear in the market places.
Morels are expensive if you buy them before their season.
People get very excited when they see a black-spotted tan egg -size mushroom.
They can be fried, sautéed, or added to soups and salads. Morel mushrooms are very tasty in omelets.
A fried morel mushroom is easy to recognize because the stem end of a morel mushroom looks like it has been cooked with sugar and cinnamon.
When people do not use them immediately, they freeze the morels to preserve their quality.
Freezing morels is easy. You need to clean and dice the morel mushrooms before freezing them, then store them in a freezer bag or individual plastic bags.
In this article, we will discuss more freezing morels.
Does Freezing Affect Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushrooms have high water content. They usually contain 80-90% of water to lose considerable water in the process of freezing.
When you freeze morels, the ice crystals that form inside the cells burst open the cell membranes and displace most of the intracellular fluids.
The morel mushrooms shrink during freezing. Many people quickly place their morels in a freezer.
They leave them there for quite a long time until they need to use the frozen morels.
In this process, the cell membranes of the mushrooms are disrupted. The cell structure collapses as well.
This can cause changes in texture and loss of flavor. The worst part is that the mushroom flavor can be changed when you freeze morels.
Freezing destroys the mycelium of the mushrooms because it causes dehydration and cell damage.
You may wonder why some frozen foods taste okay, despite their poor quality? The secret is that freezing keeps the quality of food for a short period, but it can only be kept fresh from three to four months in many cases.
Therefore, preparing morel mushrooms must be based on buying freshly picked organic morels in the early season.
In addition, you should not expose the frozen mushroom to extreme temperatures.
How to Freeze Morel Mushrooms?
If you want to freeze morel mushrooms, you should avoid the process of freezing and thawing.
By doing so, you will be able to save flavor and texture to a large extent.
To do this, follow these suggestions:
Step 1: Preparation.
The first step is to clean the morels thoroughly before cutting them.
Then, it would be best if you chopped the morels into small pieces before freezing them.
Step 2: Freezing.
After that, divide morel mushrooms into portions and wrap each portion in plastic film.
At this time, make sure that there is no air inside the bags.
Then, put them to freeze for at least six hours or until they become frozen.
Then it would be best if you moved the packages from your freezer’s cold part to its frozen part.
Make sure to label the bags with the date and put them in a freezer bag.
This way, you will not have any difficulties when you use the morel mushrooms later on.
They will last for one year in the freezer.
Some manufacturers sell morel mushroom packs ready for use, but these packages will cost you more money.
How to Thaw Frozen Morel Mushrooms?
If you want to use the frozen morels you have prepared, make sure to thaw them first.
You may wonder why you should do this when you can heat them? The reason is simple – if they are warm, the textures will be better, and they will taste better.
Pay attention while thawing morel mushrooms because if you do not thaw them slowly, they will lose their flavor and become mushy.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Thaw the Morel Mushrooms First.
Before you thaw the morel mushrooms, make sure that they are properly sealed.
Then, move them from a freezer to a refrigerator.
The best way is to put them in an airtight container and placing them in the coldest part of your fridge, which is usually the bottom shelf.
It should take at least eight hours for them to become thawed.
Step 2: Cook the Morel Mushrooms When they Become Soft.
To cook them, you need to heat a pan and place them.
Cover them and let the morels become soft before turning off or removing the cover.
This also means that you should pay attention when cooking frozen morels because they may lose their flavor if they are cooked for a long time.
Step 3: Do Not Freeze Them Again.
After thawing, do not freeze again because this process will kill the cells of mushrooms and make them lose their texture.
You should use frozen morel mushrooms as soon as possible to prepare them for cooking.
How to Cook Thawed Morel Mushrooms?
Once you have thawed the morel mushrooms, you can cook them using different methods.
The most popular way is to sauté them with butter and other ingredients that will boost their flavor.
You can also mix them with scrambled eggs and make an omelet.
You can use morel mushrooms for various dishes such as soups, sandwiches, stews, and salads.
These mushrooms also work great when you juice them to create nutritious drinks.
In addition, morel mushrooms will be great in beef stew recipes if you replace the meat with them.
If you want a more exotic dish, try out some of these recipes:
- Simple Roasted Mushrooms in the Oven with Garlic and Thyme Recipe.
- Morels Mushroom from Wisconsin Recipes.
- Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe.
- Sautéed Morels Mushrooms Recipe.
- Creamy Pesto Pasta with Morels Hearts Recipe.
How to Tell if Morel Mushrooms are Bad?
Finally, if you wonder how to tell if morel mushrooms are bad, do not worry because there are ways to check.
First of all, make sure that the mushrooms are stored in a cool and dry place and have been properly frozen.
Older mushrooms will start to shrink or turn brownish, while the younger ones will appear fresh and white.
If you want to know how to tell if morel mushrooms are bad, just look at them.
They should be dry and firm with no dark spots or bruises.
If they have any of these signs, throwing them away would not hurt – you cannot eat something that does not smell, looks, or feels fresh.
On the other hand, if they smell good, you can say that they are fresh and ready to be used.
In conclusion, morel mushrooms are popular in the United States, and they can be found in many stores.
You can freeze these mushrooms to preserve their freshness and enjoy them anytime you want.
Ensure that the morel mushrooms you freeze are dry and firm, without any dark spots or bruises.
After freezing, thaw them to improve their texture.
Finally, use these delicious mushrooms for cooking soups; they will make the dish richer.