Turmeric is a potent spice with a gorgeous yellow color (it’s what makes yellow curry such a pretty hue), a bright flavor, and an assortment of potential health benefits. The main active ingredient in turmeric is an antioxidant called curcumin. Curcumin is being studied for a wide variety of potential health benefits from decreasing inflammation related to arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease to potential relationships with cholesterol, liver function, and cancer growth. While we need a lot more data to make any conclusions on the specific benefits of turmeric and curcumin, you can reap anti-inflammatory benefit from eating turmeric – especially if you pair it with black pepper, which has a component that helps to improve how our body uses the curcumin in turmeric.
You’ll often see turmeric sold dried, as a powder. If you ever see it fresh, it will come as no surprise it’s in the same family as ginger — it looks just like a tiny orange ginger root! We use the powdered form most often, because it’s easier to find and convenient to store. It’s also perfect for these tasty turmeric milk drinks. We’ve included the basic recipe, as well as three of our favorite variations below.
Recipe: Basic Turmeric Milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 crushed black peppercorns
- 3/4 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2-3 teaspoons honey (adjust for your sweetness preferences)
- 1 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened non-dairy)
- Whisk together water, peppercorns, turmeric, ginger, vanilla, coconut oil, and honey in a saucepan over low heat.
- Step two: When the mixture simmers, turn the heat off, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes (or longer — overnight works well, if you have time).
- Add the milk and turn the heat back on low. Whisk the mixture until it’s steaming hot and frothy. Strain into a mug and enjoy.
Chai Spiced Turmeric Milk
Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a large pinch of ground nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves, along with 4 crush fennel seeds to the initial step.
Cocoa Turmeric Milk
Whisk in 2 teaspoons cocoa powder and increase honey to 1 tablespoon in step one.
Matcha Turmeric Milk
Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder in step one.