How to make golden milk (turmeric milk), a comforting, nourishing, healing Ayurvedic drink – to reduce inflammation and increase sleep quality! Just 6 ingredients in 5 minutes, with dairy-free/vegan options!
I am a fan of nutrient-dense smoothies and health-boosting juice shots. So it’s no surprise that this sweet, soothing, healing golden milk (aka turmeric milk) is another favorite of mine. Whether you want an early morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or a soothing before-bed beverage, this turmeric tea has you covered. It’s creamy, sweet, flavorful, and packed to the brim with health benefits!
What’s in This Post
What Is Golden Milk?
While golden milk is the current “popular” name for this soothing beverage, it’s known under several names. This includes turmeric milk, turmeric latte, golden milk latte, golden latte, turmeric milk tea/turmeric tea, etc. However, traditionally it’s called Haldi Doodh. This is because it has roots in India and Ayurvedic practices (an alternative medicine system), dating back 3000 years.
Turmeric milk traditionally combines warm milk (originally cow’s milk) with turmeric and black pepper. However, more recently, additions/tweaks have been made to make a more palatable drink with more good-for-you ingredients. That includes using more warming spices like ginger & cinnamon (similar to chai), creamy coconut butter, flavorful dairy-free milks, sweeteners, etc.
The result is an incredibly warming, “winter spiced,” slightly pungent yet sweet beverage with a mustard-yellow color. In fact, because of all the touted turmeric and ginger benefits, this drink has essentially entered “superfood” status.
What Is Golden Milk Good for?
Ayurvedic medicine has been around for 3000 years, and the consumption of Haldi Doodh for almost as long. It is used to treat multiple ailments/conditions. This includes inflammation-based issues like joint pain and other aches and pains, digestive issues, fatigue, colds and coughs, depression, and more!
Having spoken to an Indian friend, I was told that turmeric milk was THE “cure-all” of their mother for practically everything. But why? This is primarily because turmeric contains a compound called curcumin and provides most of the golden milk benefits.
What is Turmeric and What are the Turmeric Benefits
Turmeric is a type of flowering plant that comes from the ginger family. It is natively found in India and Southeast Asia. It’s used for flavor and, as mentioned above, within Ayurvedic medicine and can be used either in fresh or powdered form. Some of the beneficial effects of turmeric (and thus benefits of golden milk) are:
- Brilliant for increasing the body’s antioxidant capacity: Protecting your body from free radicals and possibly beneficial towards signs of aging.
- Curcumin may aid the reversal of the heart disease process. It improves the function of the lining of blood vessels and improves “endothelial function,” which helps regulate blood pressure and clotting.
- Minimize joint pain and reduce inflammation thanks to plentiful anti-inflammatory properties.
- Curcumin could help prevent and/or treat Cancer: By affecting the development and growth of cancerous cells.
- It has also been seen to reduce symptoms of depression!
Turmeric can also boost the immune system and reduce blood sugar levels. It has been shown to positively impact brain function, and can even reduce the risk of heart disease.
On top of that, ginger provides a long list of health benefits, and cinnamon is beneficial in several ways, too. Thus, the golden milk benefits are plentiful.
Check out my full post on How to Use Turmeric, including the benefits, recipes, and FAQs for this ingredient.
Golden Milk Ingredients
You’ll likely already have everything you need for this goldenmilk recipe in your kitchen or spice cupboard. Gold milk relies on just 6 ingredients and two optional ones.
- Milk: You can use dairy (i.e., skim, 2%, whole milk, etc.) or non-dairy milk (such as coconut milk, oat milk, almond milk, or cashew milk).
- Spices: Turmeric powder, ginger powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and (freshly cracked) black pepper.
- Vanilla extract: (Optional) Add some natural vanilla extract to boost the flavor further.
- Sweetener: (Optional), i.e., honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or even a sugar-free syrup/granulated option.
For additional flavor in this turmeric milk recipe, you could also experiment with nutmeg or ground cloves.
Why Add Black Pepper To Turmeric?
To get the most benefits from consuming turmeric, pair it with black pepper. Our bodies cannot efficiently absorb curcumin when consumed alone. However, black pepper can increase absorption by up to 2000% and doesn’t affect the flavor.
Double up on curcumin absorption with the optional addition of a fat, which binds to the curcumin for absorption. This can be high-fat milk, coconut oil, coconut butter, ghee, etc. ½ a tablespoon per serving is more than enough.
How to Make Golden Milk
You can enjoy the best golden milk in just minutes and with minimal effort.
Add all ingredients (minus the sweetener) to a small saucepan, whisk well, and warm it up over medium heat.
If you’re using raw milk, you could bring the mixture to a boil to pasteurize it first. And only then add the spices.
Once warm enough, remove the golden milk turmeric tea from the heat. Taste it, and adjust the sweetness to your preferred flavor. Enjoy!
For a lighter frothy golden milk latte, use a milk frother in the saucepan before serving it.
Turmeric milk can aid digestion and has calming properties to help you feel relaxed and improve your mood. While not making you sleepy, this can lead to sounder sleep without making you feel groggy.
However, ginger is an energizing ingredient. So you can reduce or omit it if you plan to consume turmeric tea before bed if preferred.
I recommend consuming turmeric golden milk either first thing in the morning or about an hour before bed. In the morning, 30 minutes before breakfast, on an empty stomach allows for optimal quick absorption. At night, it will help combat the inflammation and various bodily stresses and issues from the day.
I like having a glass before bed as I find it soothing. Also, it helps me to relax and “switch off” for the evening, making for a more restful night’s sleep. And, if you’re looking for more homemade drinks to help you sleep, I highly recommend Chamomile Tea.
If you don’t usually consume turmeric, it can have adverse side effects when consumed in large quantities.
This includes stomach issues (including diarrhea), nausea, and dizziness. It’s also a natural anticoagulant and so may affect blood-thinning medication. Likewise, it can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, so it may interact with similar meds. If you have any special health condition, it’s best to seek medical advice before consuming a lot of turmeric.
Yes, use 1 inch of fresh turmeric root, finely minced. You could also use fresh ginger root (about ½ inch) per serving of this golden milk.
Simply mince the ingredients and add them to the pan as normal. No need to strain the mixture before consuming it.
Turmeric has a somewhat earthy, warm, slightly pungent flavor.
More Warming Drinks
If you try this easy golden milk recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Easy 5-Minute Golden Milk
- 3 cups milk of choice – dairy or dairy-free (coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, etc.)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder or 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric root
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger powder or 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper freshly cracked
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 1 tablespoon honey optional; or another sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave nectar, a sugar-free syrup), adjust to taste or omit
- Add all ingredients (minus the sweetener) to a small saucepan, whisk well, and warm it up over medium heat.If you’re using raw milk, you could bring the mixture to a boil to pasteurize it first, before adding the spices.
- Once warm enough, remove the golden milk turmeric tea from the heat, taste it, and adjust the sweetness to your preferred flavor. Enjoy!For a lighter frothy golden milk latte, use a milk frother in the saucepan before serving it.
Storage and Serving Recommendations
- If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature and then store the milk in the refrigerator for a further 2-3 days. You can reheat it on the stove or in a microwave, stirring well.As well as drinking it alone, you could also use this tasty yellow milk to pour over your morning cereal/granola, use in oatmeal, add to smoothies, and more. You can also enjoy it warm or chilled, like this healthy golden Frappuccino!
- Adjust the sweetness: Taste and adjust to your liking.
- Wear gloves if using fresh turmeric: It stains. A LOT. So much so that I’ve made a whole post on how to remove turmeric stains (oops!).
- Don’t skip the black pepper: This increases your body’s ability to absorb curcumin by up to 2000%, so it is a non-negotiable ingredient. Make sure to use FRESHLY cracked black pepper, too.
- Don’t boil the turmeric: Otherwise, you’ll start to reduce some of the healthful curcumin compounds.
- For additional flavor: You could also experiment with nutmeg or ground cloves in this recipe for golden milk.