This spicy, chocolatey, chaga elixir is warm, nutritive and perfect for a cold winter day.
Actually, it's good for any day, you could totally use cold liquids and ice and make this a summer drink too.
The best part of this drink are the amazingly healing ingredients that go into it- unpasteurized honey, raw cacao, cinnamon, but the real star of the show being chaga mushroom. Chaga is one of the most potent antioxidant rich foods that we know of, rich not only in the strength of the antioxidants it contains, but also the different types of antioxidants within it. Chaga is a mushroom that grows on living trees, most commonly birch trees, and lives in a symbiotic relationship with the tree.
Chaga Midwest describes this relationship nicely:
The fungus inhabits and grows on and within wounds of the tree. The fungus feeds off of the nutrients of the birch bark, which itself is highly nutrient rich. Over many years, the chaga clinker consumes and concentrates these nutrients into its own body...forming one of the most concentrated clusters of antioxidants, melanins, and superoxide dismutates on planet Earth.
Chaga is soooo nutritious, but its combination and diverse spectrum of antioxidants is what makes it such a powerful food. These antioxidants have been proven to help protect cells, quench free radicals, reduce inflammation, slow the aging process, and balance the immune system. It is also an adaptogen, a particular group of herbs that help bring your body to balance and adapt to stress more effectively.
Chocolate Chai Chaga Latte Recipe:
1. Steep some chaga tea:
- Chaga looks like bark or a little piece of charcoal, you can usually find it at your local health food store or farmers markets.
- I like to make mine in a large mason jar, I pour boiled water over a few tbsp and steep it for several hours to a few days. I often take some out for smoothies and teas and refilling the jar with more hot water until the chaga starts losing its colour. Then I make a fresh batch.
- You can always make it more quickly by pouring boiling water over a tsp of chaga and letting it steep for a few minutes. Save your chaga pieces though, as they can be steeped again.
- Alternatively, you can soak your chaga for 10-15 mins in cold water in a sauce pot, then bring that cold water and your chaga to a boil. Turn off heat and let steep for 15 mins or longer. This is called a decoction.
- If you are short on time, I love love love this super convenient INSTANT CHAGA from Four Sigma Foods.
- Sometimes I steep the chaga with some chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and cloves. The earthy taste of chaga tea goes so well with warming spices like this. Alternatively, you can use a bag or blend of your favourite chai tea blend. Currently, I'm using the Tulsi Chai or the Organic Rooibos Chai from David's Tea.
2. Carefully add 1 cup of your chaga chai tea to your blender, along with:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk, ect.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp raw cacao
- 1 tbsp honey
- a little extra cinnamon for good measure
3. Blend together and enjoy!