The Golden Goodness
It seems everyone under the sweet, golden sun is making some variation of Golden Milk — a sacred, splendid alchemy of turmeric, spices, and milk.
I cannot recall exactly when I became obsessed with golden milk myself but it happened. It was more than likely after I came down with a cold and then began frantically searching for Ayurvedic ways to help “cure a cold.” The mystery and phenomenon of this elixir struck me, and I was hooked.
Ayurveda, the practice of looking at healing through a holistic lens, is Indian in origin. I first learned about Ayurveda while in a yoga teacher training and continued to sort of teach myself about the practice through various readings and research. I won’t delve too much into Ayurveda itself here but if you’re curious, I will gladly point you in the direction of some dependable resources.
I don’t consider myself a devout Ayurvedic practitioner in the sense that I don’t live by its’ principles to a T. However, it is certainly the one practice that I return to consistently. Whenever I feel an imbalance in my physical or emotional well-being or if I am knocked out with a cold, I look to Ayurveda to help heal. It is definitely a reactionary impulse. I mean, I could certainly make a more concerted effort to not overdo it on spicy food and coffee and then I probably won’t wonder why my digestive tract is a hot mess express. I could also, for example, be more consistent in applying sesame oil every day instead of waking up one winter morning and wondering when and how I turned into a reptile. Alas, I am imperfect and inconsistency keeps things interesting.
That all being said, Ayurveda is a wonderful road map to get back on track when things in my system seem to go awry. And our bodies are always going awry, no matter what and how we care for it. Especially living in New York City, I find it impossible to be unsusceptible to some environmental element that throws off a sense of balance. Enter Golden Milk stage right…
Turmeric (pictured above) is the main ingredient in golden milk. Turmeric alone is apparently able to aid in balancing all three doshas. (At this point in the post, I trust that you are all Ayurvedic experts after having done extensive research and understand what a dosha is.) Turmeric also contains a component that makes it a great anti-inflammatory spice which is exactly what ya want when the system is overloaded.
Then, there is, of course, milk. I recommend whole milk (that’s right, whole fat). However, I have made this with homemade walnut milk or homemade almond milk and both are pretty tasty. I have just found that whole milk gives it the body that I’m going for. Although this recipe can be consumed chilled, I recommend drinking while the milk is warm and preferably enjoyed around bedtime. This version gives you that warm-from-the-insides feeling that makes one feel so nourished and relaxed when the rest of the bodily systems may be on the fritz. Also, in Ayurvedic terms, warm milk is extremely pacifying to the doshas and is more easily digestible.
Finally, the spices that I’ve added - cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger - are pretty common in golden milks. However, I decided to kick up its’ healing properties a notch by adding lucuma. Lucuma (pictured above) is a fruit that can be found in ground powder form, which is what I use. It has a subtly sweet and almost caramel flavor with a fine texture. Aside from many amazing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, I choose lucuma because it is said to reduce inflammation and support the immune system. So, basically turmeric + lucuma = peace out, inflammation.
I hope you enjoy golden milk as much as I do. It might just be your winter-time BFF.
Making golden goodness milk
1-1 1/2 cup of whole milk, walnut, or almond milk
3-5 pieces of fresh turmeric (thinly sliced) OR 1 tsp ground turmeric
3-5 pieces of fresh ginger (thinly sliced) OR 1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp lucuma powder
cinnamon (a couple of dashes)
freshly ground coarse black pepper (a smidge)
honey or agave (a dash, optional)
Combine milk, turmeric, ginger, lucuma, cinnamon, and black pepper in a saucepan. Let it simmer on low-medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring gently occasionally. Let it cool slightly. If using fresh turmeric and ginger, either spoon them out or strain the mix. Add honey or agave, if you’d like. Sip slowly, breathe, enjoy, and rest.
Additional sources used for this post: