Turmeric is well researched in the medical literature for its benefit in inflammation and pain, for blood sugar regulation, antioxidant support, cognitive and digestive function, and liver and gallbladder health.
I prefer the whole root, not its isolated components. Although turmeric has recently has become available fresh in some of our local markets, dry turmeric powder is usually the easiest way to purchase it. Look for organic and non-irradiated turmeric whenever possible.
We know that turmeric is not well absorbed unless it is taken in a lipid soluble form. Black pepper has also been shown to improve the uptake of turmeric from the gut and into the body. Traditionally, turmeric is used in curries where it is often cooked for a time in a base of some sort of fat or oil, together with perhaps onions, tomatoes and other spices. This cooking process allows the turmeric to be better absorbed. I like curries but I don’t eat curry every day. Turmeric Chai Golden milk one of my favourite ways to consume turmeric in my diet on a daily basis. Thanks @jessy_lane for the inspiration to make this 🙏. If you don’t tolerate regular milk, this recipe works well with any type of milk substitute including coconut, almond, hemp, rice and oat.
I purchase the turmeric as a powder. It’s best to grind the other spices fresh for maximum flavour and nutritional value. Many of these spices are beneficial to digestion and have a high ORAC value. Grind the spices well or the milk will be too gritty. I use a coffee/spice grinder or the dry container of the Vitamix to grind my spices.
This recipe makes a lot of golden milk paste. I freeze any extra in 250ml-500ml jars. When made into a paste it keeps in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. The recipe involves heating the turmeric in a base of fat before adding the remaining ingredients. If you prefer, you can skip this step, add all the dry ingredients together and then when preparing your individual serving of golden milk, you can warm the powdered spice mixture in a bit of fat before adding the milk and natural sweetener. If you make it up as a powder, forgoing the paste, it will keep in a cool dry place for 6-12 months, however, the intensity of flavour will diminish over time as the spices age.
TURMERIC CHAI GOLDEN MILK
Yield: enough spice mixture for 80-120 cups of Golden Milk
2 cups unsalted organic grass butter or ghee, or 2 cups of coconut oil
2 ¼ cups (330g) ground organic turmeric
2 ½ TBSP (20g) ground black pepper
2 cups purified (or more if needed to make a paste)
Melt the fat over gentle heat, add the turmeric, black pepper and water and stir carefully to make a paste. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Keep the heat low, do not let it smoke or burn.
Then grind the following if using whole spices then add them to the above mixture:
2/3 cup ground (80g chopped dry root) ginger
2/3 cup ground (80g sticks) cinnamon
2 TBSP (20g) decorticated cardamom
2 ½ TBSP (20g) whole cloves
2 ½ TBSP (20g) whole nutmeg ( I quartered them before grinding)
3 TBSP (20g) star anise
4 TBSP (20g) coriander seed
2 TBSP (15-20g) ground vanilla bean, or pure vanilla extract
For sweetening: If your blood sugars can tolerate it, add:
1 cup of maple syrup to the paste, or substitute your favourite natural sweetener such as stevia to taste. It may work best to sweeten it in the cup before drinking.
Add another 2 cups of purified water (if not using maple syrup add 3 cups water instead of 2). Stir well to combine and put into jars. Keeps in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Any extra can be frozen until ready to use.
Warm 1-2 cups of milk or milk substitute: coconut, rice, oat, almond etc
Add 1-2 TBSP of Turmeric Chai Golden Paste or to taste. Over time you can add more to taste. Stir well to dissolve the paste into the milk. If your paste is not sweetened, add stevia or other natural sweetener according to taste. As you enjoy your cup of Golden Milk, there will be some spice residue in the bottom of the cup, stir well so you don’t miss out on the dregs. Enjoy!