Turmeric milk, also known as the “golden milk,” is like a warming ray of sunshine that is soothing and relaxing anytime of the day or night; the perfect ‘me time’ drink! I make mine with 1% milk, but also love it with coconut or almond milk. Ground turmeric, chopped fresh ginger root, cinnamon bark, and black peppercorns are heated in a bit of coconut oil, then the milk is added. Once the milk is nice and hot, it may be sweetened with a teaspoon of honey, but this gorgeous, golden drink is so tasty and smooth that it does not need anything else.
Turmeric is a warm spice with gold-yellow color and a bitter spicy flavor, that is a known antioxidant. This spice has been used in Asia for thousands of years. The turmeric plant grows in warm climates such as India and Australia. Turmeric is used in savory Persian dishes for flavoring a variety of meats such as, lamb, beef, chicken and turkey, as well as many vegetarian dishes. Some of the recipes that I wish for you to try are gheymeh, abgoosht, kalam polo, dolmeh bademjan just to name a few!
All of these super spices add amazing flavor to turmeric golden milk, and they also have numerous known health benefits that enrich its medicinal value. The earthy spiciness of turmeric, the spicy kick of black peppercorns, the fragrant heat of ginger, as well as the sweet warmth of cinnamon are also packed with antioxidants, and are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is usually cooked in savory Persian dishes along with black pepper as the base flavor. I guess our ancestors knew how to create delicious foods, but whether they were aware that the super spice black pepper facilitates the absorption of this golden spice is another story. As it turns out the quick digestion of turmeric is slowed down by black pepper, so it can be absorbed by our body for the maximum benefit. I heat the spices in a small amount of coconut oil to enhance their flavor and aroma, and this fat also aids in the absorption of turmeric.
Now that I have mentioned some of the amazing properties of turmeric, I feel I should bring up a subject that is of some concern to me. I have come across some recipes that instruct the reader to use turmeric instead of saffron due to the high price of saffron; this is a misleading statement with very disappointing results! I was brought up enjoying delicious foods prepared with saffron, as well as turmeric, and I love and use them both in my recipes. Turmeric gives a golden color to food; saffron does too, with a different hue. That is where the faint similarity between these two spices ends. Turmeric can not replace saffron, any more than saffron can take the place of turmeric in recipes.
I am a true fan of spices because of their aroma, flavor, and health benefits. Turmeric golden milk is like a warm hug on a chilly day, or a long night. It is also incredibly soothing for colds and sniffles that are almost inevitable in these cold months. You may increase the ingredients and make 2-3 batches of the following recipe and store the extra covered in the fridge, and warm it up and drink it in the next couple of days. I personally prefer to drink it steaming hot, while the whole kitchen is filled with the aroma of spices! Keep warm my friends!
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 1-inch unpeeled fresh ginger root, roughly chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
- 1 cup milk (your choice of 1% regular milk, coconut, or almond)
- 1 tsp honey
- Optional: 3-4 cardamom pods
- Add one teaspoon coconut oil and the rest of the spices to a small saucepan. Heat over low heat for 2-3 minutes until aromatic
- Add 1 cup milk to the saucepan and heat over medium low until very hot and steaming without boiling.
- Strain the mixture through a fine metal mesh to catch the solids. Pour into a cup or a small bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon honey, and enjoy!
- Optional: You may also add 3-4 whole cardamom pods to the spices.
When ready to use: The frozen ginger grates with an incredible ease, using a sharp microplane grater! You may also leave a piece out on the counter for 5 minutes or so and carefully cut off a chunk and chop, or slice.