Ottawa·Recipe

Make your own cedar wildberry chai

Chef Paul Owl teaches you how to make your own cedar wildberry chai.

Chef Paul Owl shares his 'tree tea' recipe for the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

Paul Owl, Anishinaabe chef from the Serpent River First Nation, is sharing his foraging and tea-making techniques as part of the online version of this year's Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival. (Submitted by Paul Owl)

COVID-19 has forced organizers of the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival to take the annual event online this year.

That means cultural, musical and culinary demonstrations are yours to be had from the comfort of home.

Paul Owl, Anishinaabe chef from the Serpent River First Nation, is sharing his foraging and tea-making techniques for the festival. 

Cedar wildberry chai from Chef Paul Owl's Treeteas Brewing Co. (Treeteas/Facebook)

Owl, who has been making and selling his brand of "tree teas" for a few years now, was a guest on CBC Ottawa's All In A Day Wednesday.

"It's amazing to see all the food that's already here that I don't have to put any work in to get and all the different barks and roots and leaves that are already here that I can harvest," said Owl, who runs a sustainable farm raising alpacas, goats and chickens.

Owl markets his own teas made of wild harvested plants and shoots through a brand called Treeteas.

Here he shares his recipe for cedar wildberry chai, which he also shares on his solstice festival video, found at summersolsticefestivals.ca

Cedar wildberry chai

Ingredients:

  • 5 grams cedar leaves.
  • Cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, black pepper. 
  • Small handful each of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries.

Directions:

Fill a pot with about a litre of water and bring to a boil. Mix your spices in equal parts, or to your liking. Add your cedar to the boiling water along with about 15 grams of your spice mix and the berries. Simmer about ten minutes. Once cedar goes dark green, and before the colour goes dull remove from the pot. It's important not to let the cedar cook too long and go dull as it can release toxins, according to Owl. Ladle hot tea into cups to enjoy hot or remove from heat and chill in the fridge for iced tea. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired.

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