So, maybe you’ve been hearing about turmeric lately. It’s a spice commonly used in Indian cooking — and sometimes as a natural colorant for butter and other foods. Of the many health benefits it’s associated with, the most broadly helpful could be inflammation. (This page from the University of Maryland Medical Center lists the possible health benefits of turmeric, which effects are in question, dosing info, and precautions.)
I discovered this “tea” a few weeks ago, and I’ve been enjoying it frequently since then. And with the cold snaps we’ve been having lately, it’s still seems the right weather for a toasty drink. I think it makes a nice sub for coffee. I’m not saying it tastes anything like coffee, but it has the same combo of exotic flavors mixed with sweetness (if you choose to make it sweet) and creaminess.
I make up the simple mix of spices, and keep them in a spice jar, ready to go. Because it’s just ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon (black pepper is an optional add-on), I call it GTC. You can also sprinkle it on a stir-fry, add it to a soup, or use in any recipe where its exotic flavor will enhance the dish. For example…
I sprinkled a little on this hash of sausage, sweet potato, and sliced Brussels sprouts.
Another day, I took a bit of leftover shrimp and veggie stir-fry, added a bit of broth and coconut milk and GTC, for a yummy shrimp curry-type soup!
Here’s how you make it; it’s pretty complicated…
GTC (Ginger-Turmeric-Cinnamon) Spice Mix Recipe
4 parts ground ginger
4 parts turmeric
1 part cinnamon
optional: a little bit of black pepper
Put them together in a container, and shake till evenly colored.
I added that Pinterest-worthy label (ahem), using small sticky notes. The “4-4-1” label is to remind me of the recipe next time I make it. (Hey, my brain is kinda old and really full of stuff!)
The first time you make it, you may want to just mix up 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and turmeric with 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Try it in the latte — instructions below — and see if you like it. Or maybe you want to adjust the proportions. Once you’re happy with it, scale the proportions up. For example, I usually make up 2 tablespoons each of ginger and turmeric, with 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon.
About the black pepper… The medicinal/health reason for it is that it magically multiplies the body’s ability to uptake and make use of the turmeric.
This video explains why (start at 1:25 in, to skip the unimportant intro):
I’m currently doing a trial diet which excludes pepper, so I haven’t tried it, but I imagine it would just kick the warmth up a notch.
So, to make the latte…
Turmeric Latte Recipe
1/3 to 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk.
1/2 to 2/3 cup water
1 slightly-heaping teaspoon GTC (recipe above)
optional: 2 or 3 drops liquid stevia extract (I use French vanilla)
(or honey or maple syrup to taste)
optional: a splash of coconut oil
About the coconut milk: First of all, if you prefer dairy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, whatever; feel free to substitute that. And if you’re using beverage-style milks, you may just want to use a full cup of that and no water. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is fairly thick (unless you’re using “light”) and will need to be watered down some. I usually use half milk, half water.
Place the milk and water in a microwavable cup and heat to a pleasant drinking temperature. Put the GTC in the mug, and add enough of the warmed milk to about a 1/2″ depth in the cup. (A little over 1 cm, for those outside the States.)
Stir it till there are no lumps, then add in the rest of the milk.
You may drink it as-is, or you may add a little stevia or other natural sweetener. I do!
Another optional addition: add a splash of coconut oil, and find a whisk that will fit in your mug. Place the whisk in the mixture, and holding the handle between your palms, roll your hands back and forth quickly to make the whisk spin. Do this for about half a minute, to emulsify the oil and make a bit of froth on top.
Drink up, and enjoy!