If you’ve seen pictures of vivid yellow-tinged beverages known as turmeric lattes floating about on Instagram and Pinterest lately, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. I’m here to explain, and provide you with a recipe to try for yourself – with a little twist.
So, exactly what is a turmeric latte? Well, first off, it doesn’t (usually) have anything to do with coffee. It’s milk-based, yes (hence the ‘latte’ part), but said milk has been infused with turmeric – a spice that’s commonplace in eastern cuisine (most notably South Asian).
Related to the ginger family, turmeric is orangey-yellow in colour, due to a substance it contains known as curcumin. It’s most commonly found in powder form, and has a notably warm, slightly ‘woody’ flavour that’s highly versatile; culinary seasoning aside, turmeric has been used for centuries to help ward off certain ailments, and promote health and well-being.
Golden milk – or a turmeric latte – is based on a traditional Ayurvedic (a system of medicine with origins in India) remedy, said to help with the following:
- Aiding a restful sleep.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Assisting digestive function.
- Support of the immune system.
- Enhancing mental clarity/focus.
To name but a few.
Since we’re close to both Halloween and Diwali, I thought it would be nice to turn your usual, ice-cold protein shake into something warming and seasonal, to boot. The spices add a nice touch of autumnal nostalgia; the turmeric will help to keep your immune system ticking over as the weather turns colder, adding a nice ‘kick’ to your recovery drink.
A word of caution: turmeric will turn your drink a beautiful golden-yellow hue (hence, ‘golden milk’)… but it will also turn everything else it touches the same colour – including your skin, clothes, work surfaces, cat – you name it (I know from experience), so just bear that in mind.
Use of a blender is recommended.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Turmeric Latte!
- 200-250ml (approx.) of almond, hemp or coconut milk (adjust quantity if necessary)
- 1-2 scoops (approx. 30-60g) of any vanilla-flavoured whey protein of your choice – try USN Pure Protein GF-1; BSN Syntha-6 Edge in Salted Caramel also works nicely!
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder, depending on how ‘turmeric-y’ you want it
- A touch of freshly ground black pepper* (a grind or two should do it)
- A good pinch (½ teaspoon) of mixed spice
- A small piece (1cm ish) of fresh, grated ginger – optional but recommended!
- The addition of whey should provide enough sweetness, but if you prefer it sweeter, add a touch of raw honey, Sweet Freedom (about ½ - 1 tsp), or a couple of drops of liquid stevia, to taste
*According to studies, piperine, a substance found in black pepper, can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by as much as 2,000%!
- In a small sauce pan, add the coconut oil and spices over a gentle heat. Meanwhile, blitz the whey with cold almond milk in the blender (don’t add whey to hot milk or it will probably curdle).
- Once the coconut oil has melted, carefully whisk in the protein shake until everything has mixed well.
- Bring to a gentle simmer; when you just start to see bubbles around the edges, that’s about right. Do not boil!
- Allow to cool slightly, then transfer back to the blender, blitzing until smooth and ‘frothy’. It goes without saying, be careful here. Add honey (if necessary), and top with extra cinnamon, if wanted.
A hug in a mug, that! :)
Happy Halloween and Diwali,