Golden milk, or turmeric milk, is an excellent alternative to tea and coffee, especially in the colder months when you want something soothing, warming and comforting. It’s made from non-dairy milk blended with spices like turmeric, ginger and black pepper. I also add cinnamon and maple syrup for a subtly sweet, spicy, healthy drink. I find all 4 spices are key for the best flavor and health benefits. I love the punch of turmeric, sweetness of the ginger and cinnamon and spicy kick of black pepper.
What is Golden Milk?
Golden milk is a healthy beverage that uses turmeric in combination with ingredients like coconut milk and black pepper. It’s a creamy, warm and healing drink with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits so it’s often used as a natural home remedy for joint pain and other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. The ingredients have also been shown to promote healthy digestion and improved sleep. Golden milk is sometimes called turmeric milk, turmeric tea, turmeric milk tea or golden milk tea. Best of all, it tastes wonderful and it’s easy to make.
Health Benefits of Golden Milk
The star ingredient of golden milk is turmeric. Turmeric has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years and is excellent for arthritis, skin health, heart health, digestion, immune system, and even cancer.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which is responsible for its incredible health benefits. Curcumin is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories and since many chronic diseases have inflammation at their root, turmeric can be beneficial to help treat and prevent a wide range of health issues.
Turmeric may help prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke and studies are also showing curcumins antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens.
Ginger adds it’s own range of benefits such as relief from symptoms of arthritis, digestive issues, immune health and more. Black pepper contains a number of essential nutrients as well, including manganese, iron and vitamin K.
Benefits of Golden Milk
- improved immunity
- soothe a sore throat and cough naturally
- treat indigestion
- reduce inflammation in the body
- detoxify the liver
- blood purification
- prevent chronic disease
- contains potent antioxidants
How to Make Golden Milk
There are a couple different ways you can make turmeric milk, either with a blender or simply heated and whisked together on the stovetop.
My favorite way to make is to heat the milk on the stovetop (you can microwave it if you want) then blending it with the spices and sweetener. This creates a super foamy golden milk latte and it’s so good. Alternatively, you can blend everything first then heat the milk up on the stovetop afterward but I’d recommend heating the milk and then blending it all up.
To make golden milk stovetop without blending it, add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat while whisking until steaming (not boiling) and frothy. You can use a milk frother to help froth it up a bit but I find the blender method is the way to go for the best latte-like foam.
DIY Golden Milk Blend
There are a number of store-bought golden milk blends you can purchase but it’s really easy to make your own blend to keep on hand for quick and easy golden milk. If you love making turmeric milk, pre-mixing the spices just makes it that much easier to make.
To make a jar of DIY golden milk mix, use:
- 4 tbsp ground turmeric
- 3 tsp each ground ginger and cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
To make golden milk proceed with the recipe below using 1-2 tsp of this blend instead of the various spices listed. This can be stored in a cool, dry place for a few months.
Turmeric Paste for Golden Milk
Golden milk can also be prepared by using a turmeric paste made with black pepper and coconut oil. If you find yourself drinking golden milk often, it may be helpful to make a batch of paste.
Taking turmeric daily in this paste is designed to improve absorption of curcumin and as an easy way to reap the benefits of turmerics healing properties. You can also just take 1 tsp of the paste just on its own but I just love warm golden milk as a healing, detoxifying and comforting drink during the colder months.
To make turmeric paste, mix 1/2 cup of turmeric powder with 1 cup of water in a saucepan and heat until it forms a thick paste. This should take 5-10 minutes. You can add a bit of additional water if it’s too thick. Once a thick mixture has formed, stir in 2 tsp of black pepper and 1/3 cup of coconut oil and mix to combine. All the paste to cool then store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
You can take 1 tsp of the paste daily, either on its own or mixed with raw honey or a bit of maple syrup or it can be used in curries, sauces, dressings or even smoothies. It can also be used to make golden milk in the recipe below. Simply replace the turmeric, black pepper and coconut oil with up to 1 tsp of the turmeric paste.
Golden Turmeric Milk FAQ
Should I use turmeric Root or turmeric Powder?
I almost always use turmeric powder to make golden milk. It may not be quite as potent as fresh turmeric root but it’s more practical and easier to find.
To make golden milk with fresh turmeric root, peel and grate an approximately 1-inch piece. If you have a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, you can go ahead and throw the whole piece in, no need to grate it first.
If you do make the milk with fresh ginger or turmeric root, you may, you may want to strain the milk before drinking to remove any small pieces. You can use a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag to strain out the bits of root for smoother milk.
How can I sweeten golden milk?
You can drink golden milk unsweetened but I prefer it lightly sweetened. I usually use 1 medjool date, 1-2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup or a few drops of organic stevia to sweeten my golden milk. Other recommend sweeteners are coconut sugar, raw honey, agave syrup or whole leaf stevia. I would recommend starting with 2 tsp of coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup then adjusting as needed to suit your taste preference.
What spices do I need?
The two essential spices for golden milk are black pepper and turmeric. From there, you can adjust the other spices to suit your preference. I like to add cinnamon and ginger for extra flavor and health benefits.
Do you have to add black pepper?
The black pepper is key to help increase absorption of the curcumin, which is the active compound found in turmeric, so I’d say yes. You won’t taste it once it’s mixed into the milk. Curcumin is a polyphenol with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
What milk should I use?
You can make golden milk with any non-dairy milk. Homemade nut and seed milk are the best options but store-bought works fine too. I’ve made it with homemade hemp milk, homemade oat milk, homemade almond, and cashew milk, as well as store-bought almond milk, store-bought cashew milk, and coconut milk. If you’re using canned coconut milk, you may want to use equal parts coconut milk and water as it will be very thick and quite high in fat if made with just coconut milk.
More Turmeric Recipes
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet, give one of these recipes a try:
Vegan Panang Curry with Tofu // Vegan Turmeric Carrot Oatmeal Cookies // Golden Coconut Apple Oatmeal // Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup // Cauliflower Sweet Potato Turmeric Soup // Turmeric Carrot Butternut Squash Smoothie Bowl
Learn how to make delicious and nourishing turmeric golden milk with just a few simple pantry ingredients plus plant-based milk of your choice. Homemade golden milk has wonderful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and makes a nice alternative to tea and coffee. Enjoy as a warm, cozy drink on a chilly day. It can also be enjoyed cold.
- 1.5 cup non-dairy milk of choice, such as coconut or almond milk
- 1 tsp turmeric powder (or 1 inch piece fresh turmeric root, peeled and grated)
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and ground ginger (optional, can also use peeled and sliced ginger root)
- sweetener to taste such as 1-2 tsp of maple syrup, raw honey, agave or organic stevia, or 1 medjool date if using the blender method (optional, can be enjoyed unsweetened)
- Add the turmeric, black pepper and other optional spices and sweetener to a blender.
- Heat your milk either in a small saucepan stovetop or in the microwave. Once it’s hot, add to the blender with the other ingredients and blend on high for 20-30 seconds until smooth and foamy. Pour into a mug and enjoy. Alternatively, you can blend everything first then heat the golden milk on the stovetop. Both methods work well.
- If you used fresh turmeric root or ginger root, consider straining through a mesh sieve or nut milk bag before drinking.
- To make golden milk on the stovetop, add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat while whisking until steaming and frothy. You can use an electric milk frother for extra froth. If you used fresh turmeric root or ginger root, consider straining through a mesh sieve or nut milk bag before drinking, otherwise, pour into a mug and enjoy.
Iced Golden Milk Method
- To make iced golden milk, either use the blender method but skip the heating or simply add the spices and sweetener to a glass with a splash of water and mix into a paste then stir in cold dairy-free milk of choice and ice cubes, if desired.
- I like my golden turmeric milk thick and creamy but if you prefer it to be more like tea, you can add up to 2 cups of milk, or 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of water and gently simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- To make a golden milk chai tea latte, brew a mug of chai tea then top with blended golden milk. Alternatively, you can add a chai tea bag and some extra water to the golden milk as it heats.
- This recipe can be doubled or tripled as needed. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated as needed.