Yeah, it sounds a bit strange, and not like something you would want to add to your almond milk or pour over your pancakes, but give it a shot, and we're sure you'll change your mind.
Both Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) and Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor) are quite neutral tasting mushrooms without that characteristic mushroom flavor. Hence why we've chosen them for this recipe. Really, you can use any kind of medicinal mushrooms in this immune boosting syrup, but since customers are often asking us how to use the Chaga and Turkey Tail Mushrooms we sell, we created this recipe to help inspire people of how to incorporate mushrooms in their diet, in novel and unexpected way. Plus, cold winter days call for warm beverages with immune boosting properties.
Chaga- wide array of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, copper, zinc, iron, selenium, amino acids, rubidium, cesium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.
Turkey Tail- powerful adaptogen and immune booster. Contains polysaccharides and beta-glucans which boost the immune system, reduce immune system stress and boost energy. Contains a variety of proteins, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins such as Vitamin D and B complex vitamins, helps build probiotics in our bodies, helps lower blood pressure, blood sugar and reduces inflammation.
Astralagus- an adaptogen used for millenia in Chinese medicine, astralagus is immune boosting, antiinflammatory, and antiviral. It helps reduce the effects of stress, promotes peaceful sleep and general well-being.
This recipe is more of a suggestion than a strict guide. You can add whatever spices and superfoods you have at your disposal. You can change up the mushrooms, and use agave or sugar in place of honey. Totally up to you! Below is the recipe. We've also included a few variations for you to try if Chai spices aren't your cup of tea.
The easiest way to make this recipe is in a crockpot, but you can also make it in a pan on the stove. A crockpot is slightly more convient since you won't have to leave your stove running for hours, and you can do some of the steps and let it cook overnight!
Immune Boosting Chaga & Turkey Tail Chai Syrup
Makes: 2 Cups Syrup
2 oz. Dried Powdered Chaga
1/2 oz. Dried Astralagus Root Slices
1/2 oz. Dried Rosehips
4 Cinnamon Sticks
1- 4 inch (or larger) piece fresh ginger, sliced in rounds
1 T Black Peppercorns
1 T Cardamom Pods
1 Star Anise Pod
1 T Ground Nutmeg
Put all ingredients in the crockpot and fill with water. If using a pan on the stove top add approximetly 8-12 cups water. Let cook on low for several hours with the lid cracked open.
***Note: Mushrooms need to be cooked long and slow to release all the beneficial nutrients from the hard walls of the fungal cells. This really requires being cooked for a minimum of a few hours, overnight is best! Hence why a crockpot is ideal.
Basically, we are making an extremely strong concentrated tea here. After having cooked for several hours, strain the tea from the solids, and measure out how much tea is left. We want it to reduce down alot, so you may even want to turn the crockpot on high for the last hour or two to get your mixture reduced down. Alternatively, you can take your remaining liquid and put it in a pan and simmer it on high briefly on the stovetop to reduce it quicker.
When you have only 2 cups of liquid remaining, measure out 2 cups of honey (or agave/sugar) and add both the tea concentrate and the honey back into the crockpot. Let this mixture cook on low with the lid cracked for a few more hours until you have only 2 cups remaining, i.e. all the liquid will have evaporated and all the mushroom and chai spice goodness is now residing in the honey!
You can do this with any amount of tea and honey you want, as long as you reduce it down to the orginal amount of honey added so that all the excess water has evaporated and it is now just an infused honey.
How to use it:
This is the easy part! All the benefits of mushroom tea but with instant gratification! Our favorite way to use this is simply to add a big spoonful to hot almond milk for a Mushroom Chai Latte (sometimes we sneak in some matcha or ashwaganda or other superfood powders too. If you want to add other superfood powders, add the powder to the empty cup first, then add the syrup and blend the powder into the syrup to prevent clumps, then add your liquid of choice). It is also good on it's own with hot water, it is essentially just a mushroom tea concentrate.
Reishi Ginger Lemon:
Replace the Chaga and Turkey Tail with Reishi and add one 4-6 inch chunk of ginger cut into slices, depending how strong you would like the ginger flavor to be. Reishi mushrooms can be an aquired taste for many, so ginger is nice to coverup any strong flavors. Add the zest and juice of one lemon (or other citrus fruit of your choice. Cook as directed for original recipe.
Make syrup as directed, feel free to swap out the Turkey Tail for more chaga if you like. When syrup is done, slowly mix syrup into a bowl with 1 cup cocoa powder (and other superfood powders if you would like) until smooth, you can also add vanilla extract to it now if you'd like. Add to hot almond or other plant milk for an instant vegan hot cocoa.