There’s something about sipping a warm beverage that instantly calms my nervous system. I look forward to a mug of green tea each morning, and treat myself to the occasional Starbucks latte from time to time. But as I try to avoid caffeine for the most part, I’m always on the lookout for warm, soothing drinks that aren’t coffee-based. Enter the Turmeric Latte. Heard of it? After doing some research about it online, I was instantly intrigued.
Turmeric lattes (also known as golden milk or golden milk lattes) feature almond milk steeped with turmeric. In case you aren’t familiar with turmeric, it is a root that looks a little like ginger root. It is smaller and skinnier than ginger root, and bright orange inside. Usually turmeric root is ground into a yellowish-orange powder and used in Indian and Chinese cuisine. I love its savory, warming flavor in curry dishes, and it turns out that it also makes a delicious latte! Turmeric lattes are nutty, lightly sweet, and a little spicy, with several potential health benefits. Read on to find out more.
How to Make a Turmeric Latte
Pour 2 cups of almond milk into a small-medium saucepan. Stir together 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger in a small bowl.
Then whisk spices into almond milk. Whisk in 1 teaspoon honey. Heat almond milk mixture over medium heat, until hot, about 8-10 minutes. Whisk frequently during this time. The latte will turn yellow in color and become quite frothy, then the bubbles will reduce a little.
Pour into 2 mugs, then sprinkle each with freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg to serve. As you are drinking, the spices will settle at the bottom of the mug—avoid the last bit of the drink unless you want a mouthful of spice!
Note that my recipe adds pepper as a garnish on top because research suggests pepper helps the body absorb curcumin. See below for why this is important.
Ingredient Notes for Turmeric Latte (Golden Milk)
- Turmeric, Ginger, and Cinnamon: You can also make this latte using turmeric root, ginger root, and cinnamon sticks rather than the ground versions (for one or all of them). If you choose to use all whole ingredients, just peel and slice 1-2 inches each of turmeric and ginger roots into thin coins, and add to the almond milk, along with a cinnamon stick. After heating the latte as directed, turn off the heat and let it sit and steep for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat back on and heat up again, then strain into mugs when you are ready to serve. I tried this version using whole ginger rather than ground, and I found that the flavor was not quite as intense. I prefer the good spicy kick of ground ginger.
- Almond Milk: The almond milk that I used is lightly sweetened. If you prefer unsweetened almond milk, you may want to increase the honey in the recipe. Also, feel free to substitute other types of milks instead, such as coconut milk, oat milk, or soy milk.
- Honey: Feel free to replace the honey with another kind of sweetener, especially if you are looking for a vegan version of this recipe. Maple syrup and agave syrup are good replacements, or whatever sweetener you prefer to use.
Curcumin vs. Turmeric
Have you heard the term curcumin and wondered what the difference is between curcumin and turmeric? Well, curcumin is the main chemical in turmeric, the one to which most of turmeric’s health benefits are attributed. Curcumin can be purchased as an extract as well as being ingested through turmeric.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?
Turmeric is high in manganese and iron, as well as fiber and several antioxidants. It is also a very good source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium. A few years ago, turmeric was being touted as a superfood. Research claimed it could help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It was also said to decrease inflammation within the body and build the immune system.
But a review of scientific literature suggests that turmeric’s benefits may be more limited than what the recent press has extolled. Why? Many of the research papers published are not based on strict clinical trials. And, several of the researchers had conflicts of interest (people who could benefit for turmeric or curcumin extract sales).
Perhaps the biggest concern with the research is that you may need to ingest far larger quantities of turmeric than reasonable in order to get enough curcumin to make a difference. And unfortunately research has shown that the body does not easily absorb curcumin. As a result, eating foods that include turmeric may not actually lead to the health benefits that researchers originally thought.
That said, many researchers and dietitians are very optimistic about the health properties of turmeric, and are exploring more deeply. For example, some research suggests the combination of turmeric with other foods (such as black pepper) may increase the ability of the digestive system to absorb turmeric. Stay tuned. In the meantime, it certainly has many promising attributes, so I’m on board with trying to incorporate more into my diet!
What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
Turmeric has a savory, slightly spicy flavor that is a little bit earthy too. It’s a warming spice, at home with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, curry powder, and ginger. My favorite curry powder blend from Penzey’s Seasonings has turmeric as one of the main ingredients—it’s fantastic in dishes like my Vegan Chickpea Curry with Spinach. Turmeric and honey is also a delicious pairing. Try adding to your tea!
Does a Turmeric Latte Have Coffee In It?
Despite its name, a turmeric latte does not have coffee in it. And in fact, there is no caffeine in it at all. Perfect for a late afternoon pick-me-up or drinking before bedtime. It’s like a glass of warm milk for adults!
Is Golden Milk Vegan?
Many versions of golden milk (turmeric latte) are vegan, though this recipe is not. For a vegan version, just replace the honey with maple syrup or another sweetener of your choice. Also, note that my recipe uses almond milk, but you could also use other non-dairy milk substitutes like coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk, or soy milk.
- 2 cups almond milk (480 ml)
- 1/2 t. ground turmeric
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 t. ground ginger
- 1 t. honey
- Freshly ground black pepper, to serve
- Freshly ground nutmeg, to serve
- Pour almond milk into a small-medium saucepan.
- Stir together spices in a small bowl, then whisk into almond milk.
- Whisk in honey.
- Heat almond milk mixture over medium heat, until hot, about 8-10 minutes. Whisk frequently during this time. The latte will turn yellow in color and become quite frothy, then the bubbles will reduce a little.
- Pour into 2 mugs, then sprinkle each with freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg to serve.
As you are drinking, the spices will settle at the bottom of the mug—avoid the last bit of the drink unless you want a mouthful of spice!
Note that the pepper is added as a garnish on top because pepper helps the body absorb curcumin, which is the main nutritional component in turmeric.
If you have ginger root or turmeric root, rather than the ground spice, you can peel and thinly slice a 2 inch chunk to steep in the almond milk. Similarly, you can use a whole cinnamon stick rather than the ground cinnamon. Heat up the latte as directed, but then turn off the heat and let it steep for another 5 minutes. Reheat again before straining and then serving.
You can substitute other non-dairy milks for the almond milk, including oat milk and coconut milk.
To make this recipe vegan, replace the honey with maple syrup or another sweetener of your choice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.