Living in the Arctic Circle is wild and wonderful, and it has surprised me in ways I could not of fathomed before arrival. It is good to be surprised by life, especially your own life. It's good to know you can still be surprised.
The landscape is vast and strange, and I have had to learn the world around me almost like being a child again, learning how to walk and talk and carry myself in this new environment.
With the dark months of no sun, I dive deeper into my inner world and personal spiritual practice. One of the ways I help myself to feel more grounded, bring warmth to the body, and create a heightened sense of light in my life is by preparing a small personal ritual everyday and drinking— Golden Milk— the magic elixir of light.
I share my favorite recipe below and some information on its health benefits.
There are a myriad of variations as to how to make Golden Milk, which is an ancient medicinal drink that has been enjoyed for thousands of years for health and healing, but these are the necessary components you need to have in order to receive the full health benefits of Golden Milk:
Black Pepper (a small amount)
A bit of fat for absorption (in this case coconut oil— a healthy plant based fat)
You must always combine a small amount of black pepper with turmeric in order to receive the health benefits, because black pepper contains the bioactive compound piperine which helps the with the absorption of curcumin (from turmeric) in the body.
I make Golden Milk fresh as part of my grounding and centering self care ritual, and this is my favorite way to serve it with some extra spices added in...
1 1/2 cups- 2 cups Coconut Milk— unsweetened vanilla flavor (in the carton)
1-2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or just a pinch of finely ground black pepper for less spice)
Sweetener of choice to taste : honey, or maple syrup, or coconut sugar *please do yourself a favor and only use natural sweeteners in your Golden Milk, stay away from any kind of processed and refined sugar, or even things like Stevia or Agave that are also highly processed*
1/2- 1 Tbsp coconut oil — adding this extra amount of fat helps with absorption of all the healthy benefits from the spices, plus drinking this in the morning helps to satiate the body's hunger response allowing for proper brain function and helping to curb your appetite first thing upon waking
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2- 1 tsp Vanilla extract — important that it is real vanilla extract (Not necessary if you are using Coconut Milk with Vanilla already included!)
Non-sweetened Vanilla Hemp Milk other non-dairy vegan milk or nut milks can be substituted for Coconut milk *but coconut milk really is the best*
I purchase organic spices and turmeric in bulk at my local co-op because I eat a lot of it because I'm in love with turmeric's natural grounding properties and the way it makes me feel in my body and at a deeper level, my Spirit. When purchasing turmeric, look for a brand that is organic, non-irradiated, and contains curcumin (the brand will often specify a percentage).
I pour my coconut milk into a clear glass two cup measuring container, then whisk in all my measured spices minus the sweetener, before adding it to the saucepan for heating. I find it helpful in making the right measurements and adjustments for liquid and spices. But this does involve an extra step, so you can go straight to the saucepan.
In a small saucepan, add coconut milk, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, & coconut oil
Whisk to combine and warm over medium heat. Heat until hot — but not boiling — I watch for steam to come from the surface of the liquid— less than four minutes. Do not boil the liquid and spices as this will damage the health benefits of the ingredients!
Remove from heat
Before pouring into cups, whisk swiftly until frothy and fully mixed.
After pouring into individual serving cup, add sweetener of choice. (I usually add a teaspoon of honey, and in fall, a tablespoon of maple syrup seems to bring me more enjoyment for the season)... Add more turmeric, cardamom, or ginger for intense spice and flavor.
Serve immediately. Best when fresh, though leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 2—3 days. Reheat on the stovetop *do not microwave*.
This wonderful beverage actually maximizes the natural antioxidant power of turmeric because it is one hot and two combined with other beneficial spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom, and a little bit of healthy plant based fat.
Turmeric’s health benefits such as anti-inflammatory response and aiding in digestion are due to a special compound called curcumin.
Curcumin is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins in to carcinogens in the body. Curcumin also improvse digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system.
According to principles of Ayurveda, indigestion leads to production of “ama” – a sticky toxin which blocks microchannels of the body and slows down metabolism adding to weight gain. Cardamom helps to digest “ama” and clears the blockages. Since it possess the quality “laghu” or lightness, it helps to increase the rate of metabolism just like a supply of air increases intensity of fire.
Golden Milk is a magic elixir of spices that not only aids in digestion, but helps with weight loss & metabolism, reduces inflammation in the intestines and tissues, creating more vibrant and healthy skin, and helps with overall health and wellness on many levels.
For me, it makes me feel grounded in Spirit and good in my body on a daily basis, and this makes me happy.
Please share with me in the comments below, how Golden Milk has helped you in body, mind, health and Spirit. I would love to hear from you!
Bayan Botanticals is a wonderful website full of good information on Ayurvedic principles and also a wonderful source for organic Ayurvedic herbs and supplements.
Research has proven that turmeric and curcumin have the abilities to:
Help improve the memory of individuals in the early stages of diabetes and those at risk for cognitive damage.
Reduce free radical damage to cells and tissues thanks to potent antioxidants.
Reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as well as numerous other inflammatory joint conditions.
Support healthy cholesterol levels and prevent low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol oxidation.
Positively modulate more than 160 different physiological pathways.
Improve liver function.
Protect against heavy metal damage.
Reduce the degenerative symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric is also a source of numerous vitamins and minerals including manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C, E, and K.
Source: Organic Authority