Chaga mushroom powder is gaining popularity around the world as more people learn about the health benefits associated with the mushroom. Some even go as far as to call chaga a superfood because of the full range of ailments chaga can aid.
Chaga is proven to improve the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve overall skin health. Some studies even suggest that ingesting chaga can help fight cancer, though more research needs to be done before scientists can come to a consensus.
The most popular way to consume chaga is through grinding the mushroom into powders and creating chaga tea. Chaga mushroom tea isn’t the only way to handle chaga powder, though. Ahead we’ll take a look at some easy and delicious ways to consume chaga.
How is Chaga Mushroom Powder Prepared?
Since you can only find chaga in the wild, it’s entirely possible to harvest your own chaga and make your own chaga tea from the powder. There’s more to it than just chopping some chaga off of a tree and putting it in a teapot, though.
Whether you’re dealing with chaga mushroom chunks or chaga mushroom powder, you need to prepare your chaga before you can digest it. The cell walls are composed of chitin, which humans can’t naturally digest. Freshly harvested chaga chunks need to be processed before used for tea or other home recipes. We’ll soon post our own video explaining Tru North’s harvesting practices but there are many demostration videos available online.
Hot Water Extraction
The hot water extraction method is the simplest and most common ways to prepare chaga at home. First, you need to clean and dry your chaga, as you do with any preparation method. Make sure you wash all the bark away, and all that’s left is a beautiful brown hunk of chaga. If you buy your chaga online, they’ll take care of this process for you.
After that, the hot water extraction method is just like making a big pot of tea. Put your chaga mushroom chunks or chaga mushroom powder in a pot of boiling water. Let the chaga steep for a period of time (depending on your amount), strain, and you’re ready to drink.
This process is great because it’s quick, easy, and cheap. Most of the components of chaga are water soluble, so you’ll have many of the nutrients you want in chaga tea. Certain elements, though, such as polyphenols and beta-glucans aren’t water soluble. To get these nutrients, you’ll have to make a chaga tincture.
Making a chaga tincture is considerably more work, but the payoff comes in the versatility. You can add the chaga tincture to anything, which means you’re not only limited to tea or coffee.
Below are some recipes that will allow your body to get all the nutrients from the chaga while creating delicious beverages and snacks.
First, break you chaga into chunks and grind those pieces to make chaga mushroom powder. Use a spice grinder or blender to make sure there aren’t any clumps.
Put the powder in a one-gallon glass jar and fill it until about two inches from the top with water. Fill the rest with at least 100 proof vodka. Let the jar sit for a minimum of eight weeks, and make sure to shake the jar every day.
After eight weeks has gone by, filter the alcohol out using a cheesecloth. Measure that amount, and take another cup and measure the same amount of water. Put your chaga in a clay pot, then add the water you measured.
Put the rest of your chaga mixture in a clay pot and add the water. Mark the water level, as this level will be the indicator of when your tincture is complete. After this, add twice the amount of water from the first measurement.
Heat the chaga until boiling then let it simmer on low heat. Once your water has reached the original level you marked, take it off the heat and let it cool until the next day. Repeat these steps for two more days, for a total of three. Once you’ve completed this, add the alcohol and let it sit in a glass jar.
It’s a complicated process, but it’s worth it for the amount of nutrients you receive. The tincture you make will be potent, so use it sparingly to make it last.
Chaga mushroom tea is the most common way people consume chaga. It’s the easiest way to get most of the benefits of ingesting chaga and is the easiest way to prepare chaga you found on your own.
If you buy chaga from a reputable dealer, it will likely have all the nutrients in the form of chaga extract. If you prepare it yourself without making the tincture, you’ll miss out on some vital nutrients but will still make a healthy drink.
Regular Chaga Tea Recipe
Making chaga tea is as simple as any other kind of tea. All you’ll need is a mesh tea ball, kettle, teapot and cup.
- Boil 4 cups of water
- Fill your tea ball with chaga mushroom powder
- Boil water
- Pour boiling water into teapot with your tea ball
- Let steep for 10-15 minutes
- Pour into your teacup
- Add some honey or syrup for flavor
If you’re extracting your natural chaga using the hot water extraction method, your result will be several servings of pure chaga mushroom tea. If you aren’t going to drink it all, you can always freeze some of your extra chaga tea into ice cubes, then add them to iced chaga tea in the summer.
Chaga Chai Latte Recipe
If you want to get a bit adventurous with your chaga tea, you can make yourself an iced or hot chaga chai latte, this one from Conscious Health. For this chaga recipe, you’ll need:
- 1-2 cups of milk
- 1 tbsp. of ground chaga extract
- Black pepper
- 3 cups of water
- Spice mixture (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger)
To create a Chaga chai latte, follow these steps:
- Boil water and milk together in a pan
- Add spices and chaga
- Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes
- Create froth using a hand blender
- Strain, pour, and enjoy!
Iced Coconut Chaga Tea
If you don’t love the flavor of chaga by itself, mixing it with a few other ingredients will probably do the trick. Chaga is an acquired taste, so it’s not uncommon for new drinkers to want a recipe that dilutes the flavor to a degree.
Chaga has a natural vanilla taste, but adding some vanilla extract will bring out the flavor. If you have some chaga ice cubes, you can add them to this drink or even blend them for a sweet treat on a hot summer day, like this iced coconut chaga tea recipe from Allison Smith.
- Make chaga tea – if possible, save some extra tea and freeze them for ice cubes
- Cool your tea in the fridge
- Add regular or chaga ice cubes to your tea
- Add vanilla extract
- Add coconut milk, stir, and enjoy!
You can also make a chaga chai latte using the chaga tea instead of water. If you prepared your chaga mushroom powder yourself, this is likely the route you’ll want to go.
Another popular way to drink chaga is through coffee. Coffee isn’t as healthy as tea, but in moderation, it has health benefits of its own.
If you prefer a caffeine kick but want the nutrient benefits of chaga, take a look at our chaga coffee recipe.
Chaga Coffee Recipe
To make chaga coffee, you’ll need the following:
- Chaga powder or chunks
- Coffee beans or grounds
- French Press
- Coffee Grinder
Making chaga coffee is quite simple. Just boil water, grind your beans, then add your chaga powder and coffee to the French press. Fill the French Press with your hot water and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Add some more hot water until the French Press is full, then wait another few minutes. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a pot of hot chaga coffee to enjoy.
If you want iced coffee for the summer, just put your coffee in the fridge for an hour or two and add some chaga tea ice cubes. Chaga coffee is a great way to get the benefits of chaga with your morning pick-me-up.
Other Ways to Consume Chaga
Chaga coffee and chaga tea aren’t the only ways to consume your chaga. Several creative recipes also involve chaga mushroom powder as the main ingredient.
If you bought your chaga from a reputable source or created your own tincture, then you can enjoy chaga on almost anything. Most of these recipes involve chaga mushroom extract, so you’ll probably need to buy some if you don’t want to go through the process of creating the tincture yourself.
With these recipes, you can enjoy the health benefits of chaga in delicious, year-round treats.
Chaga Cacao Smoothie Recipe
The chaga cacao smoothie by Conscious Cooking is delicious, and it contains all-natural ingredients. If you’re extremely health conscious, this is the smoothie for you. Even better, you can make it with any chaga tea you have leftover. You can make the tea in the morning and the smoothie after dinner for dessert.
- 1 cup chaga tea/infusion
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
- ½-1 tbsp. raw honey
- Dash nutmeg
- Pinch Himalayan sea salt
Blend the ingredients, and you’ll have a delicious smoothie you can enjoy guilt-free.
Chaga Spiced Nuts Recipe
The chaga spiced nuts recipe from Hotel Wilderness requires chaga extract powder or a homemade chaga tincture. This recipe makes a tasty and filling snack that will curb your appetite for hours and give you the health benefit of chaga mushrooms. The best thing about this recipe is you can make enough to last you for a few weeks of snacking.
- 4 cups raw (unsalted, unsweetened) mixed nuts
- 1/2 cup Chaga simple syrup (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup organic cane sugar, 3 tablespoons Chaga mushroom powder– see directions below)
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon each of Ginger and Cinnamon powders
- 1 teaspoon Clove powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (divided in half)
To make the chaga simple syrup and the nut mixture, complete the following steps:
- Simmer water and add 3 tablespoons of chaga powder. Stir well and let mix for about 20 minutes.
- Increase the heat and add sugar to the mix. Stir the syrup until the sugar dissolves.
- While the syrup is infusing, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a double boiler. Take two tablespoons of melted coconut oil and set it aside. Take the rest and use it to cover the inside of a large crock-pot.
- Pour your desired nuts into the crock-pot
- Combine coconut oil, Chaga syrup, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.
- Pour this mixture into the crock-pot, making sure to cover the nuts.
- Cook uncovered for two hours and stir every 15 minutes
- After two hours, turn off the crock-pot, put your nuts in a bowl, sprinkle some salt on top and enjoy.
Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Chaga Ice Cream Recipe
This chaga vegan treat by Wild Remedies is a lot easier than it might sound. If you’re looking for a vegan dessert that incorporates chaga mushrooms, you can make this recipe in less than 20 minutes.
- 3 frozen bananas (preferably cut into smaller pieces before frozen)
- 1 Tbsp. pure, organic cocoa powder
- 2 Tsp Wild Remedies Chaga Extract with Ceylon Cinnamon
You can blend and eat this treat immediately, or freeze it and save some for later. If you wait for the bananas to thaw a bit, this recipe makes an excellent smoothie as well.
There is no shortage of ways to enjoy chaga mushroom extract. The internet is full of delicious and creative ways to get the nutrients of chaga. If you don’t like the taste of chaga tea by itself, try adding some coffee. If you want to get creative, some of the above recipes should jump-start your chaga cooking.
Chaga is hugely beneficial, and with an endless supply of different recipes, there’s no reason not to add chaga to your diet.