This mushroom smoothie might seem unusual but chaga benefits us in so many ways! It's an amazing immune booster, which makes it perfect for winter sipping. Chaga is a type of mushroom that typically grows on the trunk of birch trees. Chaga is traditionally used to make healing tea, but in powder form, it can be added to any smoothie or soup for a more potent dose. We add it in combination with our Daily Shake for a superfood shake that's out of this world.
CHAGA BENEFITS FOR IMMUNE SUPPORT
Chaga mushrooms are rich in compounds called Beta-Glucans, which are classified as biological response modifiers. "Biological response modifiers" is a general classification for a compound that can both increase immune response and slow it down when it is overactive. Beta-Glucan is like an intelligence booster for your immune system. Not only is it beneficial for warding off colds, but Beta-Glucan has been shown to prevent and fight cancer as well.
Some compounds that stimulate the immune system can be harmful in cases of autoimmune disease and allergic reactions because they have the ability to overstimulate. Beta-glucan is unique in that it knows when the immune system has put out enough of a response and can slow the response down when appropriate. This quality has even been shown to be beneficial in counteracting some of the negative side-effects of chemotherapy.
CHAGA BENEFITS FOR CLEAR SKIN
The anti-viral compounds in chaga can help clear blemishes and acne. It also improves circulation and fights inflammation which helps keep skin healthy, glowing, and prevents aging. In addition to fighting acne, chaga may fight off sunburns as well. Chaga's deep color comes from its dense concentration of melanin - the same substance that's found in human skin.
CHERRIES TO HELP YOU SLEEP
Since cherries have a short season (usually late spring to mid summer), we've chosen frozen cherries for optimal nutrition and flavor. Cherries naturally contain melatonin, an antioxidant that fights free radical damage in the body. Melatonin is more well-known for its important role in sleep. Our bodies naturally produce melatonin, but with excessive exposure to screen light in the evening and other modern stressors, melatonin production often suffers. Consuming cherries and cherry juice can increase our levels of melatonin (meaning better sleep).
CHIA COMPLETES THE MEAL
We've added chia seeds to this smoothie for a boost of protein, fat, and nutrients. Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3s (supplementing is another way to get those all-important Omega-3s) and have 3 grams of protein in just one tablespoon. For an even bigger boost of protein, we've added a serving of Clean Daily Shake - both vanilla and chocolate work well in this smoothie.
1 cup coconut milk (or nut milk of choice)
1 cup cherries, fresh or frozen
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 large cucumber or 1 whole small
1/2-1 tsp chaga powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 scoops of Vanilla or Chocolate Daily Shake
Wash cucumber and cut into blendable pieces. If using fresh cherries, remove stems and pits before adding to your blender.
Add all ingredients to a high-power blender and blend until smooth.
You can optionally top with additional chia seeds or hemp seeds.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble.