Golden milk is the perfect warming drink for this time year, plus as it contains turmeric you can reap all its wonderful medicinal properties too!
Golden milk is an age old traditional medicine originating from Asia, as its key ingredient is the spice Turmeric (or Curcuma longa). Turmeric root is bright yellow in colour and is used all the time in Asian cooking, especially in curries to add a bright colour and depth of flavour. However, a lot of people don't realise what wonderful medicinal properties and uses it has in Herbal Medicine. It has a wide range of actions and indications, many due to the constituent curcumin, the most note-worthy of which is as a powerful antioxidant, it is anti-inflammatory, meaning it can be used in conditions such as arthritis and digestive issues, it also prevents plaque build-up in arteries so may help prevent stroke, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and new research shows it could fight free radical damage and be anti-tumour also! So it is a very exciting and amazing herb!
Turmeric can be taken in a capsule form but a really great way to increase absorbtion into your body is to eat it alongside fat, therefore it is perfect in curries made with oils or ghee, or as golden milk as I have done here.
I've tried quite a few shopbought alternative vegan milks as it's an area I'm intrigued by and aim to generally reduce my dairy consumption, however you can skip to below and use whatever milk you like! Here I've made my own oat milk, as when flicking through Fearne Cotton's 'Cook Happy Cook Healthy' book she had a recipe for oat milk that looked incredibly cheap and easy to fulfil!
First of all you'll need to soak 150 g rolled oats in 1 litre of cold water for 1 hour. Then drain and rinse the oats and place in a food processor or blender and add 4 medjol dates, 1 tso vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt. The mixture should form a paste and then slowly add, whilst the motor is still running, 1.1 fresh cold water (filtered is best or boil the water and let cool completely) until fully combined. Then pour the milk into a bowl over a sieve lined with a cheesecloth to ensure there is no oat pulp in your nice smooth oat milk. This may be quite slow, you can squeeze the cheesecloth to ensure all the liquid is out and then transfer to an airtight bottle container and store in the fridge. It will keep for 2-3 days.
I looove oat milk, I find the texture is really rich and creamy and the most similar to cow's milk I've found. Oat milk additionally has lots of good fibre and cholesterol and it contains tryptophan which triggers dopamine in your brain which means it induces better sleep so is great at night time!
Golden Milk Chai Tea Recipe
This is such a lovely warming, soothing drink on cold, Wintery mornings as a bedtime drink. To help allieviate pain from arthritis, aches in the joints, IBS and other inflammatory conditions, drink this tea daily. Turmeric can be quite bitter, but obviously the more you put it in the better its medicinal effect will be, combining it with honey and sweet spices makes it a lot more pleasant and easier to take though! Even my cat wants in on it!
I do have a slight confession... the first time I tried it (in the top pictures) wasn't very successful as I didn't achieve that traditional frothiness and still had lumps of powder, which is why I decided to try it with the chai teabag! Plus whisking it throughout keeps it smooth and airy so I can guarantee my final recipe and my second go (the last picture just above) is a lot tastier and fool-proof! So why not give it a go and let me know how yours turns out!
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.