Local Vermonters call this time of the year, the thickest of the winter. It is when most of us feel like we can’t take any more of these brutally cold temperatures.
Last month, we made the difficult decision of moving out of our current place to a newer one. It was a decision made solely based on the high heating costs that come with living in a big house. The new place is much smaller yet it still has the charm of the similar New England house we all love.
Sadly, in the midst of all the preparation for the move, I broke a toe (!!) and got a terrible cold. The movers are coming next week, but until then I am on strict rest (doctors orders) and currently finding comfort in the magical healing powers of this Turmeric Golden Milk.
If you are new to using turmeric in your cooking and/or never tried your hand in making turmeric milk, this post is for you. With its incredible healing and calming properties, this easy and healthy vegan drink is exactly what you need, especially if you are like me, feeling defeated by these cold winter days.
More on the health benefits later. First, let’s talk about what is turmeric milk, its benefits, and how it is made.
What Is Golden Milk
Gold milk is a traditional Ayurvedic drink made with turmeric root (or ground turmeric), milk (originally made with cow’s milk, but can also be made with plant-based and dairy-free milk like almond and coconut), black pepper, and oil.
However, in most recipes, it is also mixed in with other good-for-you ingredients like ginger root (or ground ginger). Though it is totally optional, it can be sweetened with unrefined sugars like honey and maple syrup.
If you do a quick research online, you will be presented with various other terms for golden milk. While I am sure there are some exceptions to the rule, they are essentially the same thing.
Below are some of the most common terms used for Golden Turmeric Milk:
- Haldi Doodh: Having been originated from India, this is the original name for golden milk.
- Golden Milk Latte: Since it is made with warm milk mixed in with turmeric, some people also refer to this drink as golden milk latte, golden latte, golden turmeric latte, or turmeric latte.
- Turmeric Milk Tea: I have also found some people referring to this drink as “milk tea” or “golden milk tea.” I guess it is a British thing, but again it is essentially the same thing.
Turmeric golden milk benefits
If you are familiar with Indian cooking, it is likely that you already know turmeric spice (also known as a golden yellow spice). Mainly a staple in their curry dishes, turmeric is known for its incredible healing properties.
Research shows that turmeric has many components that are good for our health, but the most well researched and known active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. Its usage goes back to the ancient Ayurvedic practice and has been known to promote the holistic health of the body with its antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-cariogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. (source)
Consuming food and drinks made with turmeric, such as this Turmeric Golden Milk, is known to:
- Help minimize joint pain and reduce inflammation
- Fight off various infections and build (and boost) immunity due to its antibacterial properties
- Help with a healthy glowing skin
- Delay diabetes as curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help moderate insulin levels. It has also been a way to help boost the effect of medications that treat diabetes.
- Protect brain and improve memory functions in Alzheimer patients. The following comes from this site: “Studies show that curcumin may increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a compound that helps your brain form new connections and promotes the growth of brain cells.”
- Tame heartburn and indigestion issues
How To Make Golden Milk – 3 Different Ways
Below, I outline three ways of making turmeric milk. As you read through it, you will see that the methods are pretty much similar but the ingredients used are variations of the same things.
I wanted to share this with you as the availability of these ingredients might be different based on where you live.
Method #1 – Using Fresh Turmeric – Golden Milk with Fresh Turmeric:
The first method is made by using fresh turmeric root. Here in Vermont, I usually find it in health food stores. It is not always available, but when I see it in the store I grab a bunch and store it in the fridge. It usually keeps well for a month in the fridge.
To make golden milk with fresh turmeric root, I mix unsweetened homemade almond milk with fresh turmeric root, fresh ginger root, a stick of cinnamon, a pinch of black pepper and a bit coconut oil in saucepan and cook (while I stir constantly) it in medium heat just until it starts simmering.
While there is no set rule as to how much you use for each of the aforementioned golden milk ingredients and it depends on your personal preference, I love the ratios below and think that it is a good place to start:
The sweetening agent here is totally optional and can be swapped with other sweeteners like honey or stevia. I personally try to avoid it as much as I can because I usually drink this golden latte before bed and prefer not to consume sugars right before I am getting ready to sleep. Still, it is up to you.
Method #2: Using Ground Turmeric or Turmeric Powder
The second method is to use turmeric powder, which is widely available.
Similar to the previous method, you can mix everything in a small saucepan and cook until it starts simmering.
Method # 3 Using Golden Paste (AKA Turmeric Paste):
Another method you can use to make turmeric gold milk is making it with turmeric paste (aka golden paste). If you are interested in making turmeric golden latte a daily habit then this method is for you.
If you are not familiar, golden paste is made by mixing ground turmeric powder (aka turmeric spice) with oil (i.e. coconut oil), black pepper, water and other Ayurvedic spices like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. You simply make a jar of it, keep it in the fridge, and incorporate it in your diet everyday in no time.
Nowadays, most health food stores sell turmeric paste. However, it is quite easy to make it at home. You can find the recipe, a quick how-to video, and all the details of making turmeric milk from golden paste at home in this turmeric paste recipe blog post.
To make golden milk using turmeric paste, simply place a teaspoon of turmeric paste into a mug, pour some hot milk over it, and sweeten with your favorite sweetener. Give it a mix and your golden tea is ready to enjoy.
HOW TO MAKE HALDI MILK VIDEO
Why Do We Use Black Pepper & Oil In Golden Milk Recipe:
At this point, you might be wondering why we are using black pepper and coconut oil in this recipe. It will be a little bit technical, but I will do my best to explain:
First, let’s start with why we use black pepper:
As we discussed earlier, the key compound in turmeric is called curcumin. This is what makes turmeric so healthy and good for us. However, sadly for us, our bodies are unable to absorb (into our intestines and bloodstream) curcumin when we consume it just by itself.
This is where black pepper comes to our help. One of the active components in black pepper, piperine, is known to help us absorb the curcumin when they interact with each other.
In other words, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper helps our body to take in some of the benefits of this magical golden spice.
Second, let’s talk about why we use coconut oil:
The ancient Ayurveda practice makes golden milk tea with a little bit of ghee. The reason for this is because curcumin has poor solubility in water. In other words, in order for us to benefit from its full potential, turmeric needs to come in contact with oil.
In my version here, I used coconut oil as it is widely available, but if you have access to ghee feel free to use that instead.
Here you might ask, how much coconut oil should I use? I find that most recipes use a tablespoon of oil for 2 servings, which (depending on the milk you use) yields approximately 2 cups of turmeric golden milk.
What Milk Should I Use?
The original recipe for golden milk is made with cow’s milk. However, I usually use plant-based (dairy free) milks like unsweetened almond milk, cashew, or coconut milk.
Amongst all the different types of milk I tried, I find that turmeric with coconut milk delivers the most creamy and silky drink. My second favorite is unsweetened almond milk as it is a little lighter, but it is just as good.
You can also mix your favorite milk with some water to make it lighter. So feel free to try the recipe and make adjustments to your liking.
A Word On Bringing Turmeric Golden Milk To A Boil
If you read the recipe below, you will see that I do not recommend boiling it. Rather, I bring it to a gentle simmer and serve. This is intentional, because according to this article, cooking turmeric for long durations may lead to a loss of curcumin compound of turmeric.
Turmeric Golden Milk Recipe
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened and full fat almond or coconut milk
- 1 stick cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon more as garnish at the end
- 2 inches fresh turmeric sliced or 1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric spice
- 1 inch fresh ginger sliced or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey or more to taste
- Place milk, cinnamon stick, turmeric, ginger, coconut oil, and black pepper in a small saucepan.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until warm but not boiling.
- Give it a taste and add in your sweetener.
- If you used fresh turmeric and ginger, strain it to your cups. If not, divide it in two mugs.
- If preferred, sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Serve.
- The calories listed in the below nutrition label is for Turmeric Golden milk made with unsweetened almond milk. If you decide to use unsweetened full fat coconut milk, the calorie count goes up to 549 calories.
- You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat for 1 additional day.
When Is the Best Time To Drink Turmeric Milk
Most people, myself included, prefer to drink turmeric milk right before bed. It’s especially good for when you’re feeling under the weather.
This is also why some people call this drink, “Golden Night Pill,” as drinking a glass of turmeric golden milk before bed is known for its ability to fight nighttime coughing, which hopefully results in a more restful night’s sleep.
With this being said, when I am drinking it at night, I do my best to drink turmeric milk without any sugar. Having been the daughter of a dentist, I learned at a young age that sleeping after consuming sugary foods (i.e. hot milk with honey) before bed will result in cavities. So be sure to brush your teeth well after consuming it.
Whether you want to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, or simply get a relief from a never-ending cough, turmeric golden milk is a fantastic natural remedy that you can make in less than 10 minutes. I hope you’ll give it a try, find the relief you need, and enjoy it as much as I do.
Other Turmeric Recipes You Might Like
- Turmeric Ginger Tea
- Ayurvedic Detox Tea – Feasting At Home
- Overnight Turmeric Chia Oats – Vanilla and Bean
- Green Turmeric Smoothie