Golden Milk Turmeric Latte
I've been interested in learning more about nutritional healing and adding certain ingredients to my diet specifically to address and prevent disease. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I am particularly interested in foods with anti-inflammatory properties. I have been looking for ways to add turmeric, in particular, to my diet.
Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 6000 years. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and is the primary active ingredient in turmeric. Chronic inflammation is now thought to be an underlying factor in many Western diseases including obesity, arthritis, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimers, cancer and cardiac disease. There are more than 5600 peer-reviewed, published biomedical studies that show cucurmin's potential to treat and prevent diseases. Scientists are discovering additional health benefits of cucurmin, including promoting brain health and digestive health, blood sugar regulation, reducing depressive behavior, enhanced cell signaling, cell detoxification and multiple mechanisms that lower the risk of cancer.
There are numerous studies that show cucurmin is a viable alternative to several prescription and over-the-counter drugs including: lipitor, corticosteroids, prozac, imipramine, aspirin, various inflammatory medicines, oxliplatin and metformin. Many of these studies are animal studies that still need to be proven in human studies, but it is clear that turmeric is powerful, health promoting agent on many different levels.
My rheumatologist, who happens to be Indian, told me she drinks a cup of golden milk at the first sign of a cold and that it often stops the cold in its tracks. She also said for some people with osteoarthritis, a daily dose of turmeric can be as effective as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs for controlling symptoms.
Golden Milk has taken on a Western foodie twist and has evolved from the bland turmeric tea traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, which was often simply a mixture of milk and turmeric. In my opinion, the Western twist is a good thing in terms of flavor, nutritional and health benefits. I researched a number of golden milk recipes to develop this recipe. Each ingredient in my recipe has a reason and a purpose.
The Other Ingredients
- Black pepper is added to golden milk because black pepper contains piperine, a natural substance that increased the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%. Plus it gives the drink a nice kick.
- Ginger is added for its broad medicinal properties, including its use as an anti-inflammatory agent, digestive aid, ability to lower blood sugar levels, treat indigestion and lower cholesterol levels. Plus, I like the spicy taste of ginger and the kick it gives to this latte.
- Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, aids in digestion, lowers blood sugar and is rich in antioxidants. And like ginger, I like the spicy flavor of cinnamon in my golden milk. Note there are two kinds of cinnamon -- Ceylon and Cassia. Choose Ceylon cinnamon as Cassia contains coumarin which can be harmful in large quantities.
- MCT or coconut oil - is added for multiple reasons. First, cucurmin is fat soluble, so adding a source of fat to golden milk helps unlock more of turmeric's nutritional benefits. MCT oil is being studied for its ability to suppress appetite, provide a ready source of energy that is not stored as fat, improve cognitive and neurological function and improve mitochondrial function, the energy factories in our cells.
- Medjool dates provide sweetness without adding sugar. Medjool dates are nutritional powerhouses, loaded with fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper and vitamin B6.
- Almond milk has less than half the calories of whole milk, is high in calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and does not contain lactose. It aids digestion and has a low glycemic index so it doesn't rock your blood sugar levels.
- Himalayan salt is iron-rich (thus the pink color), and is loaded with more than 80 minerals and trace elements. Himalayan salt is thought to aid in sleep, digestion, balance pH levels and improve respiratory function.
- Lemon juice adds flavor and Vitamin C and provides its own cornucopia of health benefits including: assists in balancing pH levels, promotes digestion and bowel health, improves respiratory function and has strong anti-bacterial properties.
- Nutmeg was added simply for flavor, then I did a little research and found nutmeg is a natural sleep aid, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, promotes brain and digestive health, helps lower blood pressure and even fights bad breath. Be careful, too much nutmeg is toxic. So a few gratings over the top of your latte is plenty.
Are you sold yet? This little cup of goodness is incredibly good for you. I find I'm ditching my morning cup of joe for this healthy libation. It is not bad as a night cap before bed either.
Make a Big Batch
It takes a few minutes to make a cup, and not much more to make a batch. This recipe makes four 1-cup servings, but you could easily double it and make eight servings. Store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you are ready to serve, heat up a cup on the stove or in the microwave. If you like, throw it back in the blender or whip it up with a milk frother. I like using a milk frother to avoid washing the blender. This milk frother is very inexpensive and has the best ratings on Amazon.
Try Your Golden Milk Over Ice
Golden milk is also delicious over ice. I like to add an extra squeeze of lemon juice when I serve it cold.
How Much Turmeric?
Most studies I have read suggest Westerners take turmeric in capsule form because it is hard to consume enough turmeric to get a therapeutic dose. The World's Healthiest Foods, a wonderful resource for finding summaries of science-backed nutrition and health information, reports that even as little as 50 milligrams of turmeric (about 1/50th of a teaspoon) taken on a daily basis can provide health benefits over time. So a cup of golden milk a day wouldn't be a bad habit to take up.
Yellow Fingers, the One Draw Back
The one draw back of making golden milk is preparing the turmeric results in yellow fingers and a yellow cutting board. There are several solutions that will help: a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda, a sugar and water scrub, a lemon and sugar mixture or a little bit of coconut or olive oil. If you really hate yellow fingers you can use latex gloves when you prepare the turmeric.
A good blender is a clutch tool for making golden milk. With a good blender you don't have to pre-grate your turmeric and ginger, saving both time and yellow fingers. If you have made an investment in a Vitamix, you are in great shape. If you want a powerful blender, but don't have the budget for a Vitamix, I love my Jamba Juice Quiet Shield Blender. It makes great smoothies and is perfect for making golden milk.
Golden Milk Turmeric Latte
Yield 4 servings
A nutritionally dense warming beverage to start your morning, end your day and help heal what ails you all day long. Made with a cornucopia of good-for-you ingredients including: fresh turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, Medjool dates, almond milk, MTC oil, black pepper, lemon and Himalayan salt.
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 4 fingers of fresh turmeric, peeled
- 2" knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- 8 Medjool dates, seeded
- 2 T MTC oil
- 2 t Ceylon cinnamon
- 10 twists of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 t Himalayen salt
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Nutmeg (optional)
- Star anise (optional garnish)
- Pour almond milk into a saucepan and heat until it just begins to bubble around the edges of the pot. Do not boil.
- While the milk is heating put the peeled turmeric and ginger into a blender. Process on high until ginger and turmeric are finely minced. Add dates, MTC oil, cinnamon, pepper, salt and lemon to the blender and process on high to combine.
- When almond milk is hot add it to the blender and process one more time. Serve immediately with a garnish of fresh grated nutmeg and/or a star anise seed.
- Store remaining golden milk covered in the fridge. Stir before pouring as some of the ingredients may settle to the bottom. You can refresh by putting back in the blender or by using a milk frother.
If you have a powerful blender you will not need to grate the turmeric and ginger first. If your blender is a light weight unit, you may get better results by grating your turmeric before adding it to the blender.
Cuisine New American