Whatcha know about turmeric?
This root looks like ginger and sweet potato’s love child and has more than just zesty flavor and a vibrant color to offer…
It’s being called the panacea of spices because of it’s incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties plus a boatload of additional benefits.
But before you start eating it at every meal, we’ve got a better idea…
Toss a spoonful, along with a few other spices, into a warm cup of nut milk to make a bitchin’ cup of turmeric milk.
The flavor of this vibrantly orange “milk” will take some getting used to, but you’ll be so thankful you did once you see the copious benefits it has to offer.
So grab a mug and let’s get started!
Golden Milk Recipe
The concept of Golden Milk, or Turmeric Milk, comes from Okinawa, an island off the coast of Japan with the world’s longest average lifespan (81.2 years! They’re one of the Blue Zones).
It’s loaded with turmeric (duh), spices, milk and a few other ingredients that’ve received a lot of hype for their potentially medicinal properties.
Here’s a little more information about each ingredient in this cup-o-joy:
Turmeric is the superstar root veggie that gives Indian cuisine it’s distinctive zing and beautiful chroma.
It’s the main spice in most curries and has been utilized by Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Turmeric has historically been used to reduce inflammatory ailments such as arthritis, headaches, and joint pain (source). It’s potential ability to do this is attributed to it’s high level of curcumin, the plant pigment responsible for it’s bright orange hue.
There’s no evidence that curcumin is a treatment for cancer, however inflammation is sometimes associated with cancer growth, therefore curcumin may be a beneficially aid (source).
Research has also been conducted on turmeric as an antidepressant. In fact, studies have shown curcumin to have potential antidepressant-like activity in animals! (source)
On top of all that goodness… there’s more.
The people of India have the world’s lowest Alzheimer’s rate. Researchers believe this may be directly linked to the role turmeric plays in their diets…
“Extracts of turmeric have been found to contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease.” (source)
When working with turmeric, keep in mind this bright orange color will stain (not permanently, but it’ll leave an irritating mark you won’t love). So choose your surface and utensils wisely.
The good news is this stain will fade, eventually. I haven’t found any tips for removing it, but am all ears if any of you have suggestions!
Fresh turmeric can be hard to find in the states. If unavailable grab a jar of dry turmeric.
I do prefer the texture of fresh turmeric (grated with a microplane zester) over dry. It adds a few chewable chunks that’ll surprise you upon sipping the milk!
Although it may seem out of place, black pepper is a crucial ingredient in this recipe.
It’s strategically used an ingredient because it contains piperine, and alkaloid that helps our bodies absorb the benefits of curcumin (the ingredient in turmeric described above) (source).
In addition, piperine may speed up the metabolism (source).
Ginger contains an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerols, which reduce pain and inflammation in people suffering from some inflammatory illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (source).
In fact, some studies have found ginger to be just as effective at relieving pain from osteoarthritis as ibuprofen! (source)
Not to mention the heaps of additional benefits this powerful root embodies, such as being a solid digestive aid, immune booster and nausea remedy.
If fresh ginger isn’t available, you can use dried ginger. According to Dr. Weil…
“Dried ginger preparations are actually more powerful than fresh due to a chemical conversion and concentration of its constituents” (source).
Again, I prefer the texture of fresh ginger (grated with a microplane zester) over dry for the same reasons above.
Ghee is clarified butter, which believe it or not, may be good for you!
It’s been used for centuries by Ayurvedic practitioners as a means of detoxification. In fact, it’s a used in Panchakarma, the mind-body healing experience practiced by Ayurvedics as a means of removing deep seeded toxins from the organs (source).
Ghee can be made from home or purchased. Either way it makes for a great butter substitute.
I love adding ghee to turmeric milk to balance out the sugar from the sweetener.
Not only is cinnamon delicious to sprinkle on a myriad of dishes, it may also be good for you!
In fact, cassia cinnamon has been linked with lowering blood sugar and helping to curb sugar cravings (source).
Many recipes call for coconut sugar or maple syrup, however I stick to raw honey.
Raw honey hasn’t been heated or filtered, which is why some believe it’s a carrier of trace minerals, enzymes and antioxidants (source).
Not to mention consuming local honey may be a great way to help relieve allergies naturally!
If you’re watching your sugar intake, feel free to omit the sweetener. However, I find it helps to mellow out the strong, sharp flavor of turmeric.
You can also add a few drops of liquid stevia!
You can use which ever milk you fancy for this recipe, cow’s milk included.
Make Ahead Turmeric Milk
If you’re mixing up the spices, why not mix a jar of turmeric milk to use at a later day?
To do this, you’ll need to use dry turmeric and ginger. Mix all of the spices below, then simply add to a glass of warm milk with honey and voila!
To make it even easier, replace the honey with coconut sugar.
Having trouble with the flavor of Turmeric?
For some, turmeric will take some getting used to.
If that’s you (it was me too!) try adding a few lemon wedges, along with an extra helping of sweetener to see if it helps!