For mushroom lovers, winter may not seem like a season to celebrate. The trails are icy, our favorite secret spots for foraging frozen and barren. But while you might come home from a hike or stroll empty-handed, there is still plenty to do, see and experience this time of year.
If you’re missing mushrooms — and maybe even struggling to practice gratitude for winter — read on. We’re sharing 10 of our favorite cold weather rituals for mushroom lovers. Whether you want to cozy up and stay warm or venture out to explore no matter the temperature, you’ll find something inspiring on the list.
1. Sip on mushroom tea.
Even if you’re a coffee person, there’s nothing like a “cuppa” on a cold day. Our limited-edition botanical powder blend created in partnership with the renowned luxury tea company TEALEAVES is warm and spicy, like a big hug from a good friend. Our Fantastic Mushroom Tea is caffeine-free, so you can enjoy it any time of day or night.
Yes, it contains actual (organic) mushrooms: red Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion's Mane. We also added your favorite warm winter spices: organic ginger, turmeric and cinnamon, plus cardamom, clove and nutmeg.
Tip: Sip without scrolling to truly make this a ritual.
2. Thaw out with hot cocoa.
What do you think about on the way home from a long, cold hike or after playing in the snow? Is there any better way to thaw cold fingers than with a steaming mug of creamy hot chocolate? Level-up your cocoa routine with Mushroom Hot Chocolate Mix or Chaga Hot Chocolate. Mini mushrooms aren’t included, so be sure to add those to your grocery list.
Tip: Use coconut milk for a decadent, creamy cup of cocoa.
3. See what’s happening in the off season.
While you won’t find edible fruiting bodies this time of year in most locales, that’s no reason to stop scouting your favorite foraging spots in winter. One of the best ways to get more comfortable in nature is to simply spend more time in nature. Observe your favorite spots all year round, taking note of small changes. Which plants last the longest in winter? Which wither away early on? What types of trees are nearby? Have any fallen recently? These observations can help you locate new foraging spots in the warmer months.
4. Add Drops to your routine.
Our Mushroom Drops contain liquid extracts, which are a convenient way to integrate the benefits of mushrooms into your daily rituals. When our community inquires about which one(s) they should choose, we simply can’t play favorites. Each one is special and supportive in its own way.
This time of year, we find ourselves reaching for Immune, Gratitude, Mindful or Chill. (Learn more about all six here.) Before you decide, think about what’s happening in your life and where you could use some support.* From there, the Drops are easy to integrate into routines. In winter, you might take them before or after a candlelight yoga session, as part of your pre-journaling ritual or each night before bed.
5. Savor Gratitude Chocolate as a multisensory practice.
Have you tried our new Gratitude Chocolate Bar? It’s a blissful symphony of organic, ethically sourced cacao and our Gratitude Mushroom Drops, a synergistic blend of eight functional mushroom extracts. Handcrafted by a skilled chef, this chocolate is smooth, rich, vegan and gluten-free.
Cacao has a rich history as a sacred plant and food across Central and South America. Without infringing on those respected ceremonies, you can honor your own relationship to cacao and chocolate at home. Practice mindful eating by placing a small piece on your tongue and waiting for it to melt. What do you smell, taste and feel? How does the flavor change and evolve as it transforms from solid to liquid?
6. Fill your home with the aroma of mushroom broth.
Using a pressure cooker, slow cooker or pot on the stove, saute your favorite mushrooms with alliums, herbs and other aromatics. Add vegetable scraps and let simmer. If you have a favorite bone broth recipe, add fresh or dried mushrooms for those additional nutritive benefits. Or, if you follow a meat-free diet, simmer an alternative to chicken or beef stock.
Strain and use in your favorite recipes, or simply sip on it when you crave a warm, cozy drink. This time of year, try making a meatless French onion soup with mushrooms in place of beef broth!
7. Spending time studying foraging guides.
The next best thing to foraging mushrooms? Reading about foraging! Recently, we compiled a list of 14 books we’re loving right now. This time of year is perfect for brushing up on your foraging skills. Grab a guidebook and learn to identify your favorite mushrooms. Challenge yourself to get to know a certain number of new-to-you species. Once spring comes, you’ll be ready to look for them in nature.
8. Get creative, with no expectations.
Curl up on the couch, turn on the film that started it all and get ready to be inspired. If you’re comfortable drawing or painting, go for it. Choose a mushroom and let it be your muse. Need more inspiration? Grab a coloring book (it’s a great stress reliever!) or a DIY painted mushroom kit.
9. Inspire the next generation of mushroom lovers.
Did you know that we offer a free curriculum based on the film, in partnership with the Fungi Foundation? FungiEducation.org provides access to this free mycological curriculum, and it also provides additional resources to learn and stay informed about the new fungal research and findings, various online learning activities, as well as help to become a citizen scientist.
If you have kids at home, this is a wonderful activity to do together during the winter or holiday break.
10. Grow your own indoors!
When you use a DIY at-home kit, mushrooms are surprisingly easy to grow, even if you don’t have a green thumb or any experience. This is a fun activity for kids and adults, and the best part is you get to eat the mushrooms you grow. Choose from three colors of Oyster mushrooms, Lion’s Mane and Reishi.