New Year, New Cocoa

Try this tasty (and healthy) beverage at home.

Improving one’s health is the quintessential New Year’s resolution. Local holistic health guru Jodi McKee has a recipe for aspiring health-nuts in 2018: It’s a comforting classic—hot chocolate—with a twist. The secret ingredient? A mushroom called chaga. Don’t let the weirdness stop you. “With its mild taste, even children like it,” McKee says. Holistic health experts say chaga helps boost the immune system to help ward off colds. McKee’s recipe also includes familiar spices: cinnamon to balance blood sugar and cardamom to help with digestion.

Chaga Hot Chocolate

  • 3 tsp. chaga
  • 1 astragalus root slice
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 2 tsp. real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
  • Dash of cardamom (start small;a little goes a long way)
  • 2 tsp. milk (optional; try whole, nut or coconut milk heated or frothed)

Place chaga, astragalus root and water in a small saucepan. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until water is dark brown. Strain out chaga and astragalus root (save to make another cup), add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Serve in your favorite mug.

Visit to learn more about McKee’s holistic practice, plant medicine, workshops and more.