In the past few years, chaga has become one of the world’s most popular and beloved superfoods. Harvested from the northern fringes of the globe and used by generations of Alaskans and Siberians as a folk remedy, chaga has been shown to improve immune system health, combat aging, fight cancer, and a number of other positive health effects. Chaga is traditionally consumed as a tea, which has many people asking an important question: is it possible to make chaga tea in a Crock Pot?
The answer is yes. Crock Pots and other slow cookers are perfectly capable of making chaga tea, a definite plus for those of you with busy lives. Read on to learn how you can use a Crock Pot to harness the power of chaga.
Making Chaga Tea in a Crock Pot
A Crock Pot or slow cooker is a kitchen appliance designed for cooking food at a slower rate than more traditional methods. This allows users to cook a meal or make other types of dishes without having to constantly monitor the kitchen. Crock Pots work by simmering food at a lower temperature than ovens or stoves do, cooking food over a long period of time rather than immediately. They have become popular among working people who want to eat at home but don’t have the time or energy to cook the traditional way.
While Crock Pots can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes, due to the way in which they work, certain foods and dishes will not cook properly in a slow cooker. Certain types of vegetables will lose trace nutrients in a Crock Pot due to heat degradation, as Crock Pots are designed to cook food over a series of hours. Kidney beans and some other types of beans cannot be made in a Crock Pot due to the fact that they contain phytohemagglutinin, a highly toxic lectin that is destroyed by boiling but left intact by the lower temperature of a slow cooker.
With that in mind, is it safe to make chaga tea in a slow cooker? The answer is yes. Chaga tea, like other types of tea, is typically made through boiling chaga chunks or powder in hot water. This is done in order to break down the tough, chitinous walls that comprise chaga’s spongy, cork-like interior, releasing the mushroom’s bounty of nutrients. This is why eating chaga raw or in supplement form is an inefficient means of consuming chaga.
Pure chaga does not contain any poisons or toxins that must be destroyed through boiling, making it safe to cook in a Crock Pot. Additionally, while boiling rapidly releases chaga’s nutritional content, slow cooking over a period of hours does the same thing. As such, if you are pressed for time and cannot make chaga tea by boiling it in the traditional manner, you can use a slow cooker to make tea while you are at work or out of the house.
To make chaga tea in a Crock Pot, you need 25 cups of water (or however much water you need to fill your Crock Pot) and a half-cup of chaga chunks or power. Pour the water into the slow cooker, then mix in the chaga. Cover the Crock Pot and set it to the middle setting; depending on your model of slow cooker, you may have a “warm” or “low” setting, which is what you should use. Afterwards, set your slow cooker to cook for anywhere from six to ten hours, though eight hours is an ideal time period.
Once your slow cooker has finished brewing your chaga tea, strain the tea to remove all powder or chunks from the mix. If using chunks, dry them off, wrap them up, and freeze them so you can reuse them later. At this point, your chaga tea is ready to drink, and can also be stored in the refrigerator for later use. Optionally, you can add honey, milk, spices, maple syrup, or other ingredients if you want to change its taste. Chaga tea made in this fashion will last up to two weeks if stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
Most people these days lead busy lives. This prevents them from being able to spend large amounts of time on cooking and other activities that were common in the past. Unfortunately, when it comes to chaga, the only way to truly take advantage of its nutritional content is to brew it as a tea, which is a time-consuming process. If you own a Crock Pot, however, you can ease this process and make chaga tea a part of your daily routine.
If you are looking to save time on making chaga tea, using a slow cooker is one of the best ways to do so. You’ll get all the benefits of chaga tea for far less time and effort spent in making it.