We will travel far and wide for a good brunch.
Since we’ve moved into town we are even further away from one of our favourite places, The Garden.
I’ve already blogged about this place before…but I love it so much so I’m going to write about it again!
It’s bloody cold in England at the moment so we ordered a concoction of lattes to warm us up. Fran went for a Matcha latte whilst Haze and I went for Medicinal Mushroom lattes. What on Earth are they I hear you say? Well they are kind of what they say on the tin BUT they don’t actually taste of mushrooms.
They use chaga mushrooms, a dash of almond butter, almond mylk and dates to make it a little bit sweeter.
They taste creamy, a little bit like a chai latte but not as spicy and they are delicious. I am officially converted.
Mushrooms have been used as medicine in cultures throughout the world for thousands of years. In more recent years many species of mushrooms have become popular dietary supplements to promote health and wellbeing.
The Chaga mushroom or Inonotus obliquus (Fungus betulinus) is the King of the Medicinal Mushrooms according to some. It’s a nutrient dense superfood which is used to fight inflammation, support immunity and provide sustained energy. It is currently used to treat various disorders including gastrointestinal cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in countries such as Russia, Poland & most of the Baltic countries. Studies in the US support claims that the Chaga mushroom has “a variety of beneficial cardiovascular actions and immune supporting benefits” and it is “currently being used in numerous cancer studies” and is “being studied for its ability to treat the virus HIV”.
Chaga is an inflammation tamer. It’s packed with antioxidants which scavenge free radicals and protect our DNA from damage cased by oxidative-stress. It actually has the highest ORAC (“Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity”) score of any food meaning it’s very good at protecting the body from diseases caused by free radicals.
There haven’t been a huge number of human studies, but there have been extensive in vitro (test tube experiments) and in vivo (animal studies) carried out. These studies have demonstrated anticancer activity in various types of tumour cells which is pretty exciting. In vitro studies have demonstrated antiviral effects, platelet aggregation inhibitory activities, and anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Okay yes, it sounds like a miracle food but take it all with a pinch of salt. If you wrote down all the health benefits of most regular fruits and vegetables they’d all have a long list of great benefits, often like ‘superfoods’. The best thing to do, start incorporating a variety of different fruits and vegetables in your diet – not rocket science/nothing you haven’t heard before. Please don’t come off any prescribed medications from your doctor, just try and incorporate the Chaga mushroom into your diet. Make sure you talk to your doctor about it if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or you’re just a bit unsure about any herbal remedies. Also please double check with your doctor that it doesn’t interact with any current medications you are on.
(Side note: I’m a scientist – I like evidence, and I’m not going to lie, because of the lack of human studies it makes it difficult to determine the actual health benefits mushroom supplements provide. So as I said, don’t expect miracles per se.
I do however like the idea of raising awareness of the relationship between diet and disease and developing the concept of functional foods. These are foods which can be used to maintain and enhance good health whilst creating conditions for disease reduction. I think medicinal mushrooms fall into this category).
On to the food. What else would you go for when it’s arctic conditions outside…of course a frozen acai bowl.
Unsurprisingly, because we are literally all the same person, we all went for the same.
Topped with all sorts of amazing fruits, nuts and seeds.
Looking past the brain freeze they were delicious. Probably more of a summer thing though!!!
Our breakfast dessert (because that’s a thing!?) came in the form of a Pitaya pancake.
Topped with cashew cream, cacao spread, fruit and obvs a few edible flowers to make it look even prettier.
It was so good…and pretty handy timing if you want some pancake day inspo.
After breakfast we headed to Altrincham Market to have a quick look around. We’ve been wanting to visit for ages and it didn’t disappoint. It’s full of character and charm with everything from local produce stalls to home baked cakes, local artwork and handmade jewellery. Inside the Market House there’s long communal tables in the middle and all different food vendors around the side so you can browse at your leisure and then have a bit of everything!! We decided we’re going to have to go back when we’re actually hungry because all the food looked SO amazing!!
If you’re wanting somewhere a bit closer to town though they’ve got a sister market house on the edge of the Northern Quarter, Mackie Mayor, so definitely add it to your list of places to try (as well as Altrincham Market).
References for all things mushrooms:
Axe, J. (2018). Chaga Mushroom: 5 Health Benefits of this Ancient Remedy. Available: https://draxe.com/chaga-mushroom/. Last accessed 5th Feb 2018.
Frost, M. “Three Popular Medicinal Mushroom Supplements: A Review of Human Clinical Trials” (2016). All Faculty Publications. 1609. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/facpub/1609
Lee K-H, Morris-Natschke SL, Yang X, et al. Recent progress of research on medicinal mushrooms, foods, and other herbal products used in traditional Chinese medicine. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2012;2(2):84-95.
Manzer, D. (2014). The Healing Power of Medicinal Mushrooms.Available: http://thelightcellar.ca/the-healing-power-of-medicinal-mushrooms/. Last accessed 5th Feb 2018.
Smith, Rowan & Sullivan. (2002). Medicinal Mushrooms: Their therapeutic properties and current medical usage with special emphasis on cancer treatments. University of Strathclyde. 1 (1), pg 1-250.