Back to the Cold

I'm now home from my wonderful travels... from the warmth of Florida to the ice cold temperatures of Canada. As I write this, it's -19C (-2F) which is on the warmer side of what it has been this past week. In fact, lately it's been too cold to snow. Can you imagine?! I bundle up in a heavy coat, puffy vest, hat, scarf, mitts, wool socks, and boots, to go outside - the works!

On the positive, I've just discovered an abundance of chaga in my area. Actually, turns out it's growing in my back yard! I'd heard about all the health benefits of this medicinal mushroom a while ago, and was super curious to get my hands on some. As fortune would have it, I got to taste some of the chilled tea while in Vermont. I found it to have a maple/vanilla/caramel undertone - yum, I loved it! Chaga is a fungus that grows in cold climates, mostly on birch trees.

I took this pic after it dried out - it almost looks like it's glowing here. The outside is black and looks charred, while the inside (which can be broken apart with your fingers) is golden and "cork-like". This came off the tree with the simple strike of an axe.

The tea is high in antioxidants and is said to:
Boost the immune system, detoxify the liver, help heal cancers, stomach diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, tumors, treat HIV, and is anti-bacterial/anti-fungal... among many other things.

I enjoy the tea hot (especially with a shot of maple syrup to bring out the natural sweet flavours) or chilled, by itself, or with yummy additions, such as the following drinks. As crazy as it sounds in the depth of winter, I have been enjoying these frosty drinks, full of ice.

Chaga Maple Frosty

1 cup chilled chaga tea (or try with other medicinal tea)
1 cup ice
(small cubes, or a few extra large ones)
2 tbs pure maple syrup
2 tbs hemp seeds
1 tbs vanilla water
1 tsp lucuma
Blend all ingredients until creamy and the ice breaks down.
For a Blueberry Chaga Frosty, I added a large handful of frozen wild blueberries to the drink and cut back on the ice.
Today I made a delicious spicy chaga tea by infusing lots of fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg into it. My next project is to make chaga ice cream... will let you know how it turns out.
I'm on the frozen lake here, where I could scrape away just an inch of snow to see the ice - you can barely see the island in the background, it's a bit of a white out.

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  1. December 13, 2009 at 12:30

    Here's to staying warm!! Freezing here too :(

  2. B Well With Ginny M
    December 13, 2009 at 13:30

    I REALLY love your blog. I have to say that it is the only one that i read thoroughly. I just wanted to let you know that you are touching people in such a positive way. Thanks.

  3. December 13, 2009 at 16:49

    Haha I was in Florida too and came home to 34degree weather. I found your blog via "Ginger is the new Pink" and I love it. Your food pictures look insanely good!

  4. Tabitha
    December 13, 2009 at 18:07

    I just snuck a chocolate turtle from my mom's Christmas present and it was DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEElicious!!!!!!!!! Can I have your recipe?? I would love to make some!!!

  5. December 14, 2009 at 05:37

    thanks for coming to visit my blog!! I haven't seen Artisan anywhere yet!! But I will look, I live in a small town on Vancouver Island and haven't seen it anywhere!! Thanks for saying hi though and i look forward to following your blog!! <br /><br />Jessica

  6. December 14, 2009 at 18:41

    Look at you and all your delicious Chaga recipes! You are awesome princess! xoxo

  7. December 15, 2009 at 04:28

    And I thought I had a rough adjustment back to cold Northern California after Thanksgiving in Florida, ha! Great blog!

  8. December 15, 2009 at 07:19

    Hey girl! Thanks so much for visiting my site! Awesome! <br /><br />Omg! I cannot even imagine it being that cold. I think right now its winter and 52 degrees out. hehe. I was so interested in reading about Chaga. Ive never heard of that. Thanks so much for the wonderful info and recipes. It all sounds amazing! Im so looking forward to keep on reading more. Take care and stay warm!=)

  9. December 15, 2009 at 19:35

    Veggie - guess it means we appreciate the warmer months all the more, eh?<br /><br />Ginny - thank you so much, your comment really means a lot :) I appreciate it! <br /><br />Rawkstar - cool, where in Florida were you? Wasn't it great to be down there this time of year?!<br /><br />Adam -We will go chaga crazy baby!!!<br /><br />Tabitha - thanks! I'm so glad you got to try one! <br /><br />Jessica - for some reason i thought you lived in Vancouver... you can definitely get it in the city. You'll love it - especially their coconut butter (as opposed to oil).<br /><br />Ali - thanks for dropping by, beautiful! So glad I had you to guide me through my first chaga tea making experience!<br /><br />Christine - haha northern california has nothing on us! ;)<br /><br />Chrysta - glad you enjoyed the chaga info... i am enjoying your blog too!!!

  10. December 15, 2009 at 21:56

    I love me some chaga. : )

  11. December 16, 2009 at 16:39

    Enjoy the chaga harvest and keep drinking that tea!! Blessings

  12. December 16, 2009 at 18:40

    Oh, that maple frosty sounds SO good! Stay warm and enjoy this chilly Christmas time : )

  13. Anonymous
    December 26, 2009 at 05:18

    After reading more about the chaga, please be aware that people on medications should avoid this....while new and interesting foods are wonderful we have to be your own research please.

  14. Anonymous
    March 10, 2012 at 08:05

    Chaga tea looks wonderful!!!

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