by Deborah Lieder
The holidays are here and we are often filled with nostalgic thoughts of coming together with family and friends. Spiced cider and doughnuts, hot chocolate, eggnog, or hot buttered rum fill our glasses as we commune. What if you want to enjoy a seasonal drink that has medicinal benefits as well? Golden milk, also known as turmeric tea, is one of those such drinks. It gives the feeling of being around the warm fire, with a little bit of spice, and is also quite nurturing and healing.
Turmeric is an herb in the ginger family with amazing health benefits. It is known as a blood purifier, supports blood circulation, helps brain function, and acts to soothe respiratory ailments. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle and even restores blood loss after childbirth or injury. When it is combined with cumin and coriander, which is traditional in most Indian dishes such as curry, turmeric aids in the digestion of complex carbohydrates. Golden Milk is also quite comforting before bed, helping you relax and improve your sleep. Perhaps the most valuable component is the yellow pigment curcumin. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent as well as a cardiovascular and gastrointestinal aid. This can help with arthritis, heart disease, cancer, even memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
This herb is intensely packed with so many potential benefits for our body. Those from India attribute turmeric for their beautiful skin and health. The root can be eaten raw, which will lend a mustard-like flavor to your dish, or simply add it in small quantities for its luminescent color. You can even use it to dye your Easter eggs yellow! Golden Milk has a delightful zest that makes it a perfect drink for the holidays. And who knows, it may become that drink that you simply can’t live without.
2 c. of milk, your preference (dairy, coconut, almond, rice)
1 t. turmeric
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. ginger, ground
1 pinch of black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper, for extra heat
1 t. honey, maple syrup, or sugar of choice (optional)
In a small saucepan, place all ingredients. Heat on medium/medium-low flame to prevent scorching, whisking every so often. Allow milk to come to a boil and switch off immediately. Drink immediately. Note**If looking for an alcoholic drink, try with a little bit of rum. Also, pepper is a must as it “activates” the curcumin and increases absorption.
Deborah Lieder is a personal chef serving the Metro Detroit area. She is passionate about the traditional roots of food and using it for healing with her clients. She is proficient in dietary restrictions, catering to all walks of life and fulfilling each need. Visit: www.deborahlieder.com for more information.