It starts with turmeric and ends with a good night’s sleep.

By Rochelle Bilow
June 06, 2019
POJCHEEWIN YAPRASERT PHOTOGRAPHY/Getty Images

Turmeric lattes, or “golden milk lattes,” aren’t too hard to find these days. Despite being consumed for both culinary and medicinal reasons for thousands of years in Ayurvedic healing practices, turmeric is just now making the rounds in our modern society. Coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, and wellness boutiques are all offering versions of this sunny yellow drink, and with good reason: Turmeric can help reduce inflammation, is relatively tasteless (which means it is culinarily versatile), and makes for a darn good Instagram picture.

But not all turmeric drinks are created equal. First, there’s the question of what type of turmeric you’ll use—fresh or dried and ground? There’s the choice of what milk or alternative milk you make it with. There’s the issue of whether you sweeten it…and how much. And finally (and this is a biggie!), there’s one super important detail many people ignore, or aren’t aware of.

Many turmeric lattes contain an ingredient that’s energizing, which is great when you’re sipping on one in the morning. But if you’re looking for a latte that will lull you to sleep, this ingredient should definitely be left out of the mix. The unsuspecting culprit is ginger! Ginger is naturally stimulating, meaning it gives a boost to your digestion and other bodily systems. This can be a positive thing…unless you’re trying to calm down and get ready to cozy in for the night. Ginger is also naturally spicy, and can be aggravating to those with sensitive tummies.

The key to making a turmeric latte that will help you sleep and won’t break the calorie bank is to keep it very simple. In fact, the easiest version you can make contains just four ingredients.

Here’s the mix: Your milk of choice (such as low-fat dairy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk), turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon. To make one serving, just heat 8 oz. milk in a sauce pot and add either 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or 2 teaspoons freshly grated turmeric root. If using fresh, peel off the skin and use a zester to grate it. Add ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Use a whisk to beat the mixture vigorously until frothy and warm—remove it from the heat just before it begins to boil. Pour into a mug and enjoy.

RELATED: Try Our Golden Milk Tea Recipe

Let’s break down the ingredient list to find out why this drink is so healthy (and tasty, too!)

The Milk

All milks, even alt-milks, contain a natural sweetness. This alleviates the need to load it up with sugar, but be mindful that many alternative milks do contain added sweeteners. Check your labels to make sure you’re buying one that’s unsweetened or low in sugar.

The Turmeric

Which is better: Fresh or ground? The answer is: Whichever you can find! They both have the same anti-inflammatory qualities, and will both dissolve easily in the warm milk. Just be mindful of your fingers, cutting board, and clothing. Turmeric stains everything!

The Black Pepper

Black pepper and turmeric are an inseparable pair. The anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, and it’s been shown to be absorbed by the body better when paired with black pepper.

The Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a warming and comforting spice. It helps soften black pepper’s bite, and adds a “sweet” flavor to the drink without any extra sugar. Use as much as you like, and even sprinkle a little on top of the drink for a pretty presentation.

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