Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chaga Recipe: Chaga Frappé Recipe



Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is another one of the supposed superfoods and miracle-producing natural remedies that the internet just seems to love. There are hundreds of sites extolling the virtues, sharing the lore, making miraculous claims, and selling chaga in multiple forms to anyone seeking it out. We are fortunate to find it quite often on yellow and white birch in Connecticut, and I have a bucket filled with the corky conks in the pantry, just waiting to be brewed up into tea, tinctured in vodka, and experimented with. I am not going to get into the medicinal and health claims of consuming chaga, but I will share a yummy recipe that we take out to mycological society potlucks, and I can tell you we always come home with empty bottles.

This recipe is made vegan, for no other reason than we like the flavor of the coconut milk. Real dairy tends to curdle in the chaga tea, but we will top it with a bit of whipped cream for extra richness. The amounts of sweetener can be adjusted for taste, and in the early spring when we are tapping the trees, Robert will boil the decoction of chaga in maple sap and not add any sweetener at all, since the maple sap reduces into a light syrup on its own. The amount of coconut milk can also be adjusted for taste and richness, and be sure to look for preservative-free cocnut milk in the can, otherwise it will curdle too. We use roughly ground chaga for this recipe, and Robert accomplishes that by sawing the chaga with a serrated bread knife.

Chaga Frappé  makes about 7 cups

6 c. water
3 Tbsp. ground chaga
1 ¼ c. maple syrup
1 c. canned coconut milk

1. Make the chaga decoction by simmering the chaga in the water for 45 minutes. Cool for about 30 minutes and strain out the ground chaga using a coffee filter.
2. Whisk in the maple syrup.
3. In 2 batches, use a blender to blend the coconut milk into the chaga decoction for about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust sweetness or the coconut milk. You can serve it chilled or slightly warmed. Store the frappé in the refrigerator, you may need to give it a vigorous shake to homogenize it before serving.

Chaga conk on yellow birch

The ground chaga can be boiled several times. Use the same grounds and add them to 6c. of fresh water, and boil for 45 minutes again. Here is a pic of the same grounds being boiled 6 times, each time in 6 c. of fresh water.



2 comments:

Alana Shaikh said...

Chaga Mushroom also known as inonotus obliquus in scientific terms is a mushroom that grows on birch trees. Unlike other mushrooms that draw their nutrients from the soil, this mushroom draws its nutrients from the birch tree. Other than drawing its nutrients from trees, another unique feature of this mushroom is that it’s usually hard instead of soft like other mushrooms. The insides of chaga have the color of rusted iron and the veins are cream-colored. The texture of the mushroom is cork-like and it has a charcoal-like appearance.

Terri and George said...

Thanks so much for having this recipe online! This drink is very memorable.