Fall is finally here! So many of us are excited to wear our oversized knit sweaters, watch the leaves change color, bake some good ol’ apple pie, and most importantly, sip on our beloved pumpkin spice lattes. Though we wouldn’t dare suggest changing these comforting fall traditions, there is a new beverage trending that is mixing things up- the turmeric spice latte. Often called “golden milk”, this beverage is bursting with spices that will make your body feel good and your soul feel festive.
What is Turmeric?
We’ve been reading about turmeric in health magazines and see it in spice bottles and the botanical supplements section at the grocery store, but what is this popular spice?
Turmeric comes from South Asia, predominantly India and China.1-2 As such, it is a popular component of South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Overtime, turmeric has found its way into East Africa, and has become quite popular as a component in Ethiopian cuisine.1
Turmeric is a triple treat in the kitchen. It’s beautifully aromatic, contributes a deep golden hue to foods, and boasts a bittersweet flavor profile with notes of ginger and orange.2
Don’t get it twisted though. This eye-catching spice is not only known for its use in food preparation. It has also made a name for itself in the medical field.1-2 Emerging research about turmeric's therapeutic properties has even made it a popular herbal supplement in the United States.1, 3
Is Turmeric a Spice?
Yes, but it doesn’t start out that way. Turmeric comes from a perennial plant of South Asia called Curcuma longa; a member of the ginger family. 1-2 This plant grows several feet high, boasts large oval shaped leaves, and thrives in tropical environments.1-2 The tuberous yellow root of the plant is dried and ground into the bittersweet golden powder we all know as turmeric.
Is Turmeric an Antioxidant?
Turmeric is considered an antioxidant. The yellow pigment within the root of the turmeric plant, called curcumin, is thought to contribute to protective and health-promoting properties.1-3
The first research study regarding curcumin was conducted in 1937 by Albert Oppenheimer, M.D.3 In that article, Oppenheimer notes that the use of turmeric in medical therapies can be traced all the way back to the mid-sixteenth century. Research today continues to demonstrate that turmeric may play a role in reducing inflammation, blood sugar levels, oxidative-stress, undesirable bacterial growth in the body, and promoting the healing of wounds.1-3 No wonder it is a highly sought after spice!
Try whipping out some of these turmeric facts with your friends the next time you hang. To be even cooler, try preparing Turmeric Spice Lattes for them. Your foodie status will skyrocket, and your squad will so appreciate the royal treatment. It’s the “gold standard” of lattes after all. Checkout the extremely simple recipe below. Happy Fall!
Turmeric Spice Latte Recipe:
(Makes 2 servings)
- 2 cups cow’s milk
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp honey
- 8 fl oz dark roast drip coffee
- Heat milk in a small sauce pan on low-medium heat stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Once milk has started to heat up (about 2 minutes) add turmeric, cinnamon stick, cinnamon and honey.
- Continue stirring, allowing ingredients to be incorporated into the milk.
- Brew a strong 8 fl oz cup of coffee and add to the milk.
- Stir and pour into two mugs.
- Prasad S., & Aggarwal B. (2011). Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/
- Vyas, K. (2015). The cure is in the roots: turmeric. Journal of Nutrition Disorders and Therapy, 5(3), 1-6. doi: 10.4172/2161- 0509.1000163
- Gupta S., Patchva S., & Aggarwal B. (2013). Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Journal, 15(1), 195-218. doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8