Wow this year has flown by! We are already back in the thick of winter in Melbourne with the midwinter solstice fast approaching. If you are craving some fire to warm your belly and illuminate the dark winter you might like to try making 'Golden Milk'. It is a traditional ayurvedic recipe that uses everybody's favourite anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich spice - Turmeric, in combination with warming and digestive spices.
Turmeric is used to improve systemic circulation and digestive function, support liver function and bile production, reduce hyperlipidemia and atherosclerotic plaques and relieve arthritic inflammation.
Turmeric on its own is poorly bioavailable as it is rapidly metabolised by the liver. Ayurvedic tradition has bypassed this problem by frequently paring Turmeric with fats and pepper. Healthy fats improve the absorption of turmeric from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood stream, whilst pepper has been shown to prolong turmeric's circulation and beneficial activity within the body by slowing its metabolism and excretion from the body.
This is a 2 step recipe that is incredibly easy and quick to make. First you need to make a paste, which can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and then you can use this paste to make your Golden Milk.
1⁄2 cup turmeric powder (Fresh grated turmeric is in season at them moment and can be used instead. Otherwise I buy powdered turmeric from busy indian grocery stores to ensure quick turnover and optimal freshness).
1 cup spring water (+ 1⁄2 extra if necessary)
1.5 tsp ground black pepper
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
• Mix water (1 cup) with turmeric powder in a pan and slowly heat whilst stirring for 6-10 minutes until a thick paste is formed (add the additional 1⁄2 cup water if it is too thick).
• Add black pepper and oil and continue stirring until all the ingredients are fully mixed in together.
• Allow the paste to cool. Store in the refrigerator in a jar for up to 1-2 weeks.
1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric paste
1 cup of milk of choice (or 1⁄2 cup milk and 1⁄2 cup water)
Large pinch of ginger, cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg powder
Small pinch of saffron (optional)
Maple syrup or Organic raw unfiltered honey to taste
Mix all the ingredients together over medium heat except the sweetener. Do not allow to boil. When cool enough to drink, add sweetener to taste.
Top with added sprinkle of cinnamon.
This a wonderfully soothing preparation to have when feeling a little flat in the afternoon or as a gentle unwind in the evening.
Cautions: Do not take large quantities of turmeric (more than 5g daily) if taking anticoagulant or anti platelet medications. Although there is little specific research it is advised to avoid high intake of turmeric during pregnancy or whilst trying to conceive.