Just another hipster health fad? Well no! Golden milk as its commonly known, is a delicious creamy drink that has been enjoyed for centuries–and for good reason. Turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Phew!
While the amazing properties of turmeric are a recent finding for science, this flavoursome root has been a central spice used by the ancient Indian Ayurvedic system. If you’re looking for a tasty winter alternative to coffee here are just some of the reasons to try a turmeric latte:
- Immunity booster. The lip polysaccharide helps stimulate the body’s immune system helping to ward off colds and flu. Its antibacterial, and antiviral properties are great for soothing a sore throat.
- Relieves joint inflammation and arthritis. Anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial for both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Helps manage weight.Turmeric helps increase the flow of bile, which is a component in breakdown of dietary fat.
- Improves digestion. Its bile stimulating properties mean its also beneficial for improving digestion and reducing the symptoms of gas and bloating.
- Brain booster and preventative for Alzheimer’s disease. Beneficial for brain function by aiding in the removal of plaque build and improving the flow of oxygen.
Now you know its good for you, here’s how to whip one up at home!
Golden turmeric latte
- 1/2 (or more) teaspoon of turmeric powder*
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper**
- 1 cup of milk of your choice (I use soy, or coconut; fresh un-homogenised organic milk is good too)
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of honey
- cinnamon to sprinkle
- boiling water to dissolve.
Heat milk on the stove till warmed. meanwhile, dissolve turmeric, ground pepper and honey in a tablespoon or two of boiling water. Pour warmed milk into a small plunger (or milk frother if you have one) and plunge repeatedly till froth forms. Pour into mug and stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy. Alternatively you can place all ingredients into the pan and warm, then froth and pour.
Notes and variations:
- Turmeric has a strong earthy flavour so start out with less and a little more sweetener until you work out how you like it.
- Peppercorns contain an enzyme called Piperine which enhances absorption in the digestive tract and slows metabolism through the liver, allowing the body time to take up the benefits of turmeric. Even a small amount will increase bioavailability of turmeric.
- I use *organic turmeric from the health food store. It costs a little more but its fresher, tastier and contains more of the benefits. If you have fresh turmeric root use a heaped tablespoon, grated and add this to the pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Many recipes add ground or fresh grated ginger, and also a touch of ground cardamon to the milk along with the turmeric and heat this altogether in the pan.
- Experiment to see what you prefer. The above recipe gives you the goodness and is simple and quick.
If you plan to use turmeric in your diet regularly the best option is to make a paste and store this in the fridge for up to two weeks. It can be added to smoothies, warm drinks, lattes or other dishes. Making the paste allows you to heat the turmeric and further increase its absorption.
- 1/4 cup of turmeric
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix gently in a pan and warm over low heat. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens into a paste. When its quite dry store in a jar in the fridge for use in your drinks or other foods.
If you are pregnant or have kidney stones you may wish to moderate your use of turmeric.