Turmeric has apparently been used medicinally for about 4,000 years…so you might say I’m hopping onto the turmeric bandwagon a little late. It’s all right if you are, too, though. There’s plenty of room!
Previously, I’ve taken turmeric as a supplement and even added it to my homemade cosmetics for a touch of warm color, but I only got around to trying Golden Milk a week ago. Here’s the picture to prove it:
I was so excited, I posted a photo to my Instagram account
For that first attempt, I went with a basic cow’s milk recipe: Wellness Mama’s turmeric tea/golden milk. Very simple and tasty. Next, a really nice friend shared some of her Golden Milk Powder from Gaia Herbs with me. (Thanks again, Colleen!) That was yummy (I especially liked the spices) and it was also super easy to make–just add a teaspoon of the powder to whatever kind of warm milk you prefer and give it a stir. Another recipe I tried and enjoyed was Minimalist Baker’s Easy Vegan Golden Milk, which used almond milk and coconut milk, rather than dairy. I thought this one was pretty great, but I still wanted to make my own version. So, I did some tweaking and came up with this recipe–a yummy, decadent-ish drink that’s good for your health, to boot.
(*Adapted from the Minimalist Baker’s Easy Vegan Golden Milk)
Image via pixabay/Ajale
My Favorite, Easy-Peasy, Yummilicious Golden Milk Recipe:
400 ml (about 1 ¾ c) coconut milk (*canned or from carton—I used 1 full can)
400 ml (about 1 ¾ c) unsweetened almond milk
1 ¾ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ¼ TBSP coconut oil
Pinch ground black pepper
½ tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
Honey, maple syrup, etc. to taste (optional; also, don’t choose honey if you want the drink to be vegan)
(*Those are the basic ingredients, but if you’d like to spice things up a bit, here are some options:
very small pinch cloves
very small pinch saffron)
In a saucepan, combine the ingredients over medium heat. I chose to combine them with a stick blender (while heating), until everything was emulsified and frothy; however, you could also use a regular kitchen blender to combine (before heating) or whisk by hand (while heating). Makes at least two, guilt-free, good-for-you servings.
*Note: black pepper and coconut oil are believed to aid in the absorption and/or delay the breakdown of turmeric and prolong exposure–therefore both increase turmeric’s numerous benefits (which are listed below).
Image via pixabay/Mareefe
FYI–Health benefits of the spices in golden milk:
*I’m not a healthcare professional, so please check with your doctor regarding these ingredients if you have any concerns.
Turmeric (thanks to its main active ingredient–curcumin) is the star of golden milk. It is anti-inflammatory (helps treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases), antibacterial, and antioxidant; it can increase levels of the brain hormone BDNF (which boosts the growth of new neurons and fights degenerative processes); it helps fight heart disease (anticoagulant, regulates cholesterol, etc.); it may help prevent and even treat cancer; may also help treat Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, and depression; acts as a digestive aid; helps manage pain; and has anti-aging properties. Risks: anti-coagulant, large doses may increase risk of bleeding.
Ginger takes on the role of best supporting actor in golden milk. It is great for stomach upset (reduces nausea and vomiting); anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant; stimulates circulation; acts as a digestive aid and helps prevent stomach ulcers. Risks: contains oxalate, so people with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones may need to avoid.
Cinnamon contains antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal; reduces high cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as high blood pressure; helps fight diabetes by improving sensitivity to insulin and lowering blood sugar levels; helps improve brain function and defends against neurological disorders; may help lower cancer risk; boosts immunity; boosts oral health; helps fight allergies; improves skin health. Risks: may cause skin irritation; cassia cinnamon in very high doses can be toxic, especially to people with liver problems; lowers blood sugar, so this will need to be considered by diabetics taking cinnamon supplements.
Black Pepper increases the absorption of nutrients (*note: some say black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric, while others say it helps prevent the breakdown of turmeric in the gut and liver and allows it to remain in the body longer; either is a benefit); aids digestion; contains antioxidants; helps fight cancer, arthritis and depression; benefits oral health. Risks: can cause skin irritation or respiratory irritation if inhaled; use is contraindicated for people taking certain drugs (cyclosporine A, cholinergic, digoxin, and cytochrome P450); can cause stomach upset.
Cardamom aids digestion; is antibacterial and contains antioxidants; helps fight cancer; helps treat asthma symptoms; helps detoxify the body; high in heart-healthy minerals. Risks: in large doses can cause problems for people who have gallstones (can cause spasmodic pain/gall stone colic).
Ashwagandha boosts immunity; combats anxiety and depression; helps treat infertility, inflammation, diabetes, and cataracts; stimulates thyroid; is antibacterial; helps strengthen the heart and manage cholesterol. Risks: should not be used during pregnancy, because of the risk of miscarriage; should not be used by nursing mothers; should be avoided by people who are allergic to nightshade plants (Solanacea sensitivity); patients with hyperthyroidism should consult a doctor before use.
Cloves help improve digestion and treat nausea and vomiting; treat joint pain and respiratory problems; improve headaches, earaches, and acne; help treat stress. Risks: overconsumption can thin blood and increase risk of bleeding; lowers blood sugar; may cause sensitivity in the mouth or skin; can cause allergic reactions or respiratory issues; large doses can cause seizures.
Saffron is high in minerals, such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium; aids in digestion and can work as an anticonvulsant; contains antioxidants and can help combat depression and anxiety; may help treat PMS and Alzheimer’s Disease. Risks: sleepiness, headache, upset stomach; in higher doses, may thin blood and also cause mood swings; should not be used by pregnant or lactating women.
Image via pixabay/pexels
Natural supplements are not regulated, so it’s best to buy your ingredients from a reputable source. I bought my spices (in bulk–yay!) from Penzeys and am really pleased!