Vegan Turmeric Latte (Golden Milk)
WHAT IS GOLDEN MILK AND WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
“Golden Milk”, also known as turmeric milk, turmeric latte, or Haldi ka doodh in Hindi, is a creamy Indian drink made from dairy or non-dairy (almond or coconut) milk and turmeric powder, which gives it a striking yellow color. Golden milk has been used as a home remedy for coughs, weight loss, congestion, colds, insomnia, and skin problems as it contains anti-inflammatory properties such as turmeric and ginger along with other bold spices. This golden milk recipe is incredibly rich and creamy with a slightly spicy undertone, and I usually add a dash of natural sweetener to create a perfectly balanced drink. Cut down on your coffee intake and add this soothing caffeine-free drink to your breakfast routine, drink it before bedtime for a powerful sleep tonic, or have it at any time of the day to warm up instantly!
Vegan Turmeric Latte (Golden Milk)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Allergens: Tree Nuts
- Servings: 3 cups
- 1 1/2 cups Coconut milk (light or full-fat)
- 1 1/2 cups Almond milk (unsweetened, or cashew or hemp milk)
- 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/8 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons Maple syrup (or coconut sugar, agave, brown rice syrup, or any other sweetener)
In a small saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, almond milk, ground turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon stick, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, saffron, black pepper, and a sweetener of your choice (I start with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, you can always add more later).
Heat the milk over low heat for about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and adjust sweetness to your preference.
Take out the cinnamon stick.
Note - Golden milk is best when fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Just whisk again, reheat on the stovetop before serving or drink cold, over some ice for an iced latte.
WHAT ARE THE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF GOLDEN MILK?
Golden milk lattes have been used for medicinal purposes in ancient Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years. Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system with historical roots in India. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the science of life,” focusing on food acting as medicine to the body and mind. In the West, golden milk has become popularized over the last decade due to the discovery of turmeric, which is now touted as a “superfood”.
Hailing from the same family as ginger, turmeric is a natural coloring agent and flavor enhancer in so many traditional Indian dishes, where it has been a staple kitchen ingredient for a long time in both its root and, more commonly now, powdered forms. Growing up in India, I had turmeric at least twice a day because it was in practically every meal. We ate dals, lentils, curries, and rice dishes with plenty of turmeric and other medicinal spices such as cumin and ginger. Golden milk, my favorite turmeric recipe, is celebrated for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and high-antioxidant benefits among so many others thanks to curcumin, its active ingredient.
While the benefits of turmeric cannot be overstated, the other ingredients in this golden milk are just as good for you! Ginger and cinnamon are also known for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and help boost your immune system, according to WebMD. In India, where golden milk is a common drink, it’s often used as a remedy for the common cold.
One of the main components of this vegan turmeric latte – coconut milk – is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), AKA the “good fat”. MCTs have been studied for their effect on weight loss due to the increase it creates in leptin, a hormone that is responsible for making you feel more satisfied and full after a meal.
HOW TO MAKE A TURMERIC LATTE
Let’s start with ingredients…
- Coconut Milk: Use canned light or full-fat coconut milk, but don’t confuse it with the coconut milk that comes in a carton because that stuff is way too watered down. If you don’t like coconut milk or don’t have any on hand, you can double the amount of almond milk and add a little bit of coconut oil (unrefined for maximum health benefits) to emulate the creaminess that coconut milk provides.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk: You can use store-bought almond milk but I prefer to make my own. (Follow my easy Almond Milk recipe if you want to try making yours at home, too!) Cashew and hemp milk are also wonderful substitutions.
- Turmeric Powder: Turmeric in its powdered form is much easier to find and prepare than fresh turmeric, which can stain clothing, countertops, and even your hands! Wear gloves and try to wipe or wash away turmeric as quickly as you can from any surfaces it gets on.
- Ginger Powder: Ginger is peppery and sweet in flavor and pungent in aroma. If you want a real heat kick in your latte, you can use a microplane to grate a small amount of ginger directly into the pot instead of using ginger powder.
- Cinnamon Stick: Cinnamon adds just a touch of sweetness to the latte. Cinnamon sticks aren’t edible, though, and should be taken out before consuming the milk. Substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder if you want to keep that sweetness!
- Cardamom Powder: Both sweet and somewhat spicy, cardamom is a great complement to other spices such as cinnamon and ginger. I often use it in small amounts in dessert recipes because it has a very strong flavor.
- Saffron: Known to be the most expensive spice in the world, saffron gives this latte a red color pop and unique earthy yet floral flavor. A little saffron goes a long way and all you really need is a small pinch, about 3-5 strands.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper: “Freshly” is the keyword, here — prepared ground pepper that sits in your cupboard tends to lose its zing over time. Adding a few twists of freshly ground black pepper and combining it with fat (coconut milk, in this case) is said to improve the bioavailability of curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric. Just a small amount of freshly ground black pepper will give you that perfect synergy!
- Sweetener: Maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey (if not vegan), stevia, agave, brown rice syrup — basically any sweetener will work here!
Some of these spices (saffron and cardamom, in particular) may be a little difficult to acquire in your local grocery store, but you can definitely find them on Amazon. Once you build up a spice pantry you’ll be able to use these spice jars for months to come, so they are definitely worthwhile investments!
Bonus: As an alternative to plant-based milk, if you want to reap the benefits of turmeric and ginger but don’t want a creamy milk texture, try my yummy Ginger Turmeric Tea recipe.
Now, let’s make the latte…
- Add all of these ingredients in a small saucepan and heat them up gently on low heat for 4-5 minutes. It’s important to remember not to overcook the spices as they may burn easily and lose their nutritional potency.
- Remove the cinnamon stick (or keep it in if taking an Instagram-worthy shot!) and enjoy.
HOW TO STORE THE LEFTOVERS AND REHEAT
Warm, comforting, and satisfying, this turmeric latte has everything needed to make the cold winter a little easier. It’s so easy to put together in a small pot that it’s almost therapeutic for me to make a fresh cup and drink it right away. If you have any leftovers, just store it in an airtight jar for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop to serve.
You can also make a larger batch by combining all the spices (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron) ahead of time and storing them in a large jar sealed with an airtight lid. This way, you can shorten the cooking time even further by simply heating up some milk and adding ½-1 tablespoon of the spice mixture, then just grinding up some fresh black pepper on top and adding the sweetener of your choice. You can keep this mixture in the pantry for up to 3 months!