Aphrodisiac for Wellness: Turmeric Almond Milk Chai Lattes
Turmeric. It's earthy flavor enhances spice blends like garam masala. The rich gold of turmeric, a saffrony yellow, reminds me of Indian silks and golden spices. Turmeric is an aphrodisiac spice for wellness as it contains antioxidants, phytonutrients and a wealth of B vitamins. I've added this spice to soups, curries and rice dishes. Then I discovered turmeric in an almond milk latte.
This turmeric milk tea recipe is a soothing, warm and comforting chai latte made with turmeric, fresh ginger, manuka honey, homemade almond milk and chai spice. It's a healthier version of a latte (rather than the usual milk-based kind) that is nourishing and satisfying to the senses. I crave this tea in the morning and as a bedtime treat. Maybe you will crave it too.
One thing that really makes this latte: make your own almond milk. Rather than buy the processed stuff in the carton at the supermarket, I make my own almond milk. I've used the store-bought almond milk and it tastes blah. The boxed almond milk lacks in the essence of what I enjoy most about fresh nut milks.
I'm sharing a homemade almond milk recipe to use as the base for this turmeric latte. Though it takes some straining with cheesecloth or a fine chinois, it's totally worth it. You can enhance your nut milk (almond, hazelnut, cashew, etc.) by making it with fresh coconut water, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt. This may seem a lot to go through for a turmeric latte. The difference is a nourishing cup of warm spicy tummy-pleasing goodness you can't get from a processed, empty calorie mix. Simply make your own almond milk and froth this up in a blender. You may discover a new way to enjoy turmeric as well as tea.
TURMERIC ALMOND MILK CHAI LATTE
Turmeric has so much goodness. There’s lots of antioxidant power and health benefits in every warm sip of this tea latte.
Fresh turmeric is the best ingredient for this recipe (turmeric root can be found in the produce section next to the fresh ginger). If you can’t find fresh turmeric, ground turmeric from the spice drawer is just fine to use in place of fresh turmeric root. Blend up your own turmeric chai latte spices and save them in a glass jar for making tea.
2 cups of homemade almond milk (see recipe below) --or-- store-bought almond milk
2 Medjool dates
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric (powdered turmeric if not fresh)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2-3 cardamom pods
1 cup of brewed chai tea
1 tbl vanilla extract --or-- 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
honey, to taste
Pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer and whisk to combine ingredients into a froth.
Strain the warm milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom pods, tea leaves. Remove the large pieces from the pot and pour into a blender that can handle hot liquids, such as a Vitamix. Blend for about 1 minute. You can add a little spoonful of coconut oil, maple syrup or honey, and extra turmeric and ginger if you like. This latte gets frothy while blending and smells amazing. Pour the latte mixture into your favorite mug and enjoy!
NOTE: Curcumin is a powerful component in turmeric and is found to help wound healing, improve liver function, and many other benefits according to medicinal research, mainly in cancer prevention. If you are taking medicines, please check with your medical practitioner about the contraindications of using and consuming turmeric, especially if you are taking Coumadin, as turmeric may have an interaction with anticogulant/antiplatlet medicines. Its beneficial nutrients include vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B9 (folate), vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, manganese, as well as curcumin.
HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK
This recipe may be modified according to desired texture and consistency. Just change the ratio of more liquid--- coconut water or filtered water 1:1 with nuts. Use this recipe as a guide.
1 cup almonds (or 1/2 almonds, 1/2 hazelnuts or cashews)
2 cups filtered water
1 whole fresh coconut, water and flesh
pinch of sea salt (pink Himalayan sea salt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Soak the nuts for at least 4 hours in filtered water, rinse.
Blend all the ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender until all of the nuts have been well blended.
Use a nutmilk bag or cheesecloth, strain the milk through a sieve. (I have successfully used a chinois and have been very inventive with various coffee filters, tea strainers and what not.)
Pour your nut milk mixture into the nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Stir the milk through so the pulpy blended nut grains are filtered out and the thinner "milk" is strained.
Store in a pitcher for up to 4 days. You can use this mixture for your lattes, hot tea or serve cold as you would dairy milk in cereals, over granola or in smoothies.