This might sound like more of a magic potion than a recipe…and it sort of is! Not the revolting eye of newt and toe of frog-type potion though of course!
First, I suppose we should talk about “chaga”. Chaga is a wild mushroom, unlike the more common mushrooms you’re used to using in cooking though. It’s known by the Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and has been used by populations to support health for thousands of years due to its incredibly high mineral content and antioxidant levels.
Chaga, along with Reishi (another power-packed wild mushroom), can be used to support hormonal balance, increase immunity, improve sleep quality and relieve stress.
I’ve been enjoying both the Four Sigma Foods Chaga and Reishi “instant mushroom beverages”, just prepared with hot water as a tea as I find the flavour really pleasant (especially with a slice of fresh ginger), but you can blend the powders into smoothies and use them in baking, cooking and raw recipes. For more ideas on how to use them, take a look at the FSF Recipes page.
Today, I’m sharing my Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir which is above and beyond my favourite way to use the instant powders.
So, onto the elixir! I’d actually never heard of an elixir until a couple of weeks ago when I went to a talk by blogger friend, wholefood consultant and childrens’ cookbook author, Ellie Bedford, at London VegFest. Ellie talked about superfood smoothies and drinks and showed us her formula for making elixirs- super nutritious and delicious warm drinks, and a great alternative to smoothies in winter!
The formula lends itself to a million and one variations but this has been my favourite so far and the one I’m making over and over. It’s a wonderfully decadent-tasting drink and perfect for any time of the day- enjoy it curled up on the sofa with friends and a movie in the evening or snatch a few minutes to yourself mid-afternoon. Just be sure to savour every sip!
I used the Four Sigma Foods Chaga as my base. I happen to really like the taste which is quite earthy, a bit like coffee or black tea (without the caffeine), but you could use another mushroom beverage like Reishi, Cordyceps or Lion’s Mane, or a herbal tea like Rooibos, depending on your needs/preferences since the tea flavour is just a background flavour. We’re adding in lots of richness with hemp seeds and cashews, cinnamon and cayenne for that spiciness-which goes so well with cacao in my opinion, coconut sugar for sweetness and and a couple of other little flavour boosters. You’ll see it tastes just like a luxurious hot chocolate!
We simply blend everything up in a high-powered blender. I use my Froothie Optimum 9400 blender which is especially wonderful here, as, not only does it break down the harder ingredients into a smooth and creamy drink, but blending on high for a few minutes produces friction heat so the elixir is warm, frothy and ready to drink with no extra heating.
I hope you give this recipe a try and then have fun coming up with your own elixirs! Try different base teas, carob instead of cacao, your favourite superfoods, nuts and seeds, spices, essential oils etc.
- 3 C Hot, brewed Chaga tea/ 3 C hot water + 2 sachets instant chaga powder
- 1/4 C Hemp seeds
- 1/4 C Cashews (preferably soaked)
- 3 Tbsp Cacao powder
- 3 Tbsp Coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp Lucuma (optional)
- 1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/8-1/4 tsp Cayenne powder
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla powder
- Pinch of salt
- Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend on high for a few minutes until you have a warm and creamy drink.
- Taste and adjust any flavours to your preference (more sweetness, more spiciness, etc.).
- If you prefer your elixir extra hot, pour into a pan and warm gently over low heat.
If you’re interested in trying Four Sigma Foods’ products, check out this list of resellers to find where they’re available near you, or buy online from their worldwide webstore.
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[Disclosure: Four Sigma Foods sent me samples of their products for review purposes, but I received no other compensation and, as always, all opinions are my own.]