My friend Alex sent me an email a few weeks ago with the subject line: “new obsession”. Alex and I have very similar tastes in food and she is also not one for melodrama, so I knew this was an email I was interested in reading. She proceeded to write: ” I have a new obsession. Full out obsession” with the recipe for a delicious-sounding “Turmeric Tea.” Thank you, Alex! Right up my alley. Print!
I don’t know what has taken me so long to wind down an evening, any evening, with a cup of warm, anti-inflammatory turmeric tea or latte. It’s everything I love — soothing, nourishing, delicious and might even help me sleep better to boot. The same day I received Alex’s email, a text came through from another girlfriend, whose husband was instructed to follow and anti-inflammatory diet. “Can you tell me what foods are anti-inflammatory? Need to get on this pronto!” First thing I wrote back was … turmeric.
I love turmeric in curries, stews, juices and I even add it to my homemade taco seasoning. Because turmeric runs bright, flaming yellow, I also use it in place of saffron sometimes (like in Mediterranean fish stew and paella.) It is truly one of the most healing, powerful foods on earth. I already mentioned turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, but it is also an antioxidant, wound healer, digestive stimulant, liver detoxifier, helps to lower cholesterol, and has a warming thermal nature. I use fresh turmeric in juices, and ground in everything else for practical reasons. Turmeric has a very distinct, but mild flavor. Since it is related to ginger, it does have a faint hint of ginger, but also a bitter, tart, chalkiness, too. A little is nice, but a lot can be offensive. It also stains like crazy — from clothing to countertops — so be careful!
Since Alex’s email, I have made this beverage many, many times and guess what? I’m OBSESSED! It’s my new favorite drink, just in time for winter when I don’t really drink cooling juices as much. However I’m calling this a Turmeric Latte, since the base of it is milk. I use almond milk, because it’s my go-to and I always have homemade on hand. Of course you can use regular milk or your favorite alternative milk, or a combo of milks. I recently started playing around with adding a little cashew milk to almond to add a thick, creamy richness. More on that another time!
This turmeric latte is beyond delightful and the perfect way to settle into a restful evening. It is also quite easy to prepare and you might even have all the ingredients on hand. I would start with the basic recipe below and then change it to suit your taste/needs. For example, it would be perfectly easy to use a few drops of stevia to sweeten instead of the maple syrup. Or a couple pinches of ground ginger instead of fresh. If you love turmeric, feel free to add more.
As we near the end of 2014, I know many of you have resolutions of better health and adopting new habits on the brain. I hope this post catches you in time, as I think drinking a turmeric latte a few times a week is a resolution I can stick to. How about you?
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (or more if you like it)
- ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 ounces warm unsweetened almond milk (or half coconut milk-half almond milk, regular milk or cashew milk)
- other possible add-ins: pinch of ground cinnamon, drop of pure vanilla extract, spoonful of unrefined coconut oil, chai spices
- Place turmeric, maple syrup, cayenne, and ginger in a mug. Pour in warmed almond milk. Stir and allow to steep for a minute. Enjoy!