20131009-154447.jpg Shrooms are amazing and chaga (shh-a-ga) is my fav. This big guy grows inside birch trees, the portion that forms outside the tree looks like charred wood, and the inside is dense red/orange. When harvested and dried it's hard as rock, you'll have to smash it with a hammer to break off a piece. Chaga has countless healing properties, which can be extracted using water, alcohol and fat methods. Here is a simple recipe for delicious chaga tea (water extraction), or add chaga powder and tinctures to your smoothies or any healthy recipe to up the nutritional content. Cinnamon Chaga Tea 1" chunk of chaga 4 cups filtered water, boiled 1 cinnamon stick 1L mason jar Place chaga and cinnamon stick into jar, pour boiling water and leave to sit on the counter or in the sun for 8 hours, or overnight. Reuse the same piece several times. I feel great when I drink this tea, I love the taste as it's not bitter and I'm fascinated by its ancient history. David Wolfe has a great book all about Chaga. I could go on but we like to keep it brief at THE GOODS. And if you're not into mushroom hunting you can buy chaga at Qi Naturals, Kind Herbs at Sorauren Farmer's Market, and The Big Carrot.

Organics are not always cheap but they are important. If you're taking the time to eat better, buying organic produce is the first place to start. If they spray the plants with pesticides it's in the air, soil and water which means it's in the plant and in you. No scrubbing will get that stuff out. Sticking to the dirty dozen is a great place to start. Click here for current list. I do almost all my shopping at two stores on Roncesvalles, Qi Naturals carry all my oils, powders, nuts, seeds and anything else I need. I haven't found better prices then at Qi and their service is great. I then walk North about four store fronts to Maple Produce. They're a little grocer with zero frills and THE best prices. They don't always have local in the summer but in the winter they've got organics covered. Personally I feel much better about spending my dollar at family owned, locally run business like these especially when I'm getting my money's worth. Yes Miss Mellors this one is for you... sorry it's on the other end of the city!