Photography and content by Jacqui Gabel, CARE Nutrition Intern
If You Like Chai, Try This
You’ve probably heard of turmeric and all of its amazing therapeutic properties, most notably to help manage inflammation. But have you found a way to incorporate this spice into your diet more regularly? This is a valuable role of turmeric milk.
Maybe you’re still unsure if you like the taste. By itself, turmeric is astringent, woody, and bitter, and it will stain your favorite wooden spoon an unappetizing shade of dark yellow. When combined with other warming spices, though, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, turmeric blooms and deepens the overall taste of whatever recipe it touches.
Turmeric is commonly used in curries, but I wanted to share this easy turmeric milk recipe with you first, to emphasize the power and function of mingling spices you likely already have in your pantry.
If you like chai, try this. Each component has its own set of benefits and reasons for being here, working together to comfort us and make us feel really good. Ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and turmeric are all warming spices.
I like to make this as a light snack at night about an hour before going to bed. Simply combine all spices with honey and milk in a pot, just bring to a simmer and whisk to mix everything together. Then reduce to heat to low and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain out peppercorns and ginger and sip warm.
*To peel ginger, the easiest way is to use a spoon. Holding the piece of ginger in one hand, scrape towards you with a spoon to remove the skin. Peel only the amount of ginger that you need, and store the rest in the fridge, unpeeled.
*If you’re buying turmeric in bulk, buy it in small quantities at a time, as it tends to lose flavor quickly.
CARE Recipe: Turmeric Milk (If You Like Chai, Try This) (1C 1F 1P)
In my post “Turmeric Update” I recommended trying to get 1/2 to 2 teaspoon of turmeric daily or at least for as many days as possible per week (remember to have with a dash of black pepper and a little fat to help it absorb even more). A delicious way to do this? Enjoy a cup of Turmeric Milk as a snack, especially before bed. Warm milk before bed provide a ratio of carbohydrate to tryptophan that can help with sleep. Each cup as prepared contains 1 teaspoon of turmeric. The recipe calls for 2% milk, if you prefer to use an alternative milk (like coconut) that’s fine. This recipe is from former CARE Culinary Intern, Jacqui Gabel.
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- pinch of cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch ground black pepper1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, (or pinch powdered ginger)
- Combine all spices with honey and milk in a small saucepan
- Whisk to mix everything together and slowly start bringing up to a simmer (watch closely to avoid scalding the milk)
- Warm just to the point of simmer and immediately reduce heat to low; do not bring to a boil
- Strain out peppercorns and ginger when pouring into your favorite mug
To peel ginger, the easiest way is to use a spoon. Holding the piece of ginger in one hand, scrape towards you with a spoon to remove the skin. Peel only the amount of ginger that you need, and store the rest in the fridge, unpeeled. To grate peeled ginger, a micro-plane, zester, or small herb grater work perfectly.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Snack
- Diet: Vegetarian
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 135
- Sugar: 19g
- Sodium: 109mg
- Fat: 3g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 9g
- Cholesterol: 12mg
Keywords: nutrient-rich substitute for chocolate milk