I first tried this new delight at Sweet Bones, a delicous vegan cafe, in Braddon (that's where I took the pic) just a few months ago. Since then I've drunk it several times at Red cafe in Bega which is another favourite vegetarian cafe of mine.
Its also known as Golden Milk because the turmeric gives it that lovely golden colour, and I have to admit that its become a winter favourite of mine. Its loaded with spices (not just turmeric), tastes great and gives me a warm feeling inside. I feel the cold so anything that warms me up is a winner for me.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory which benefits sufferers of chronic pain and arthritis. It reduces skin inflammation, inhibits cancer growth, lowers blood glucose and even improves memory! Wow! I think that's probably enough reasons to consume turmeric.
Professor Andrew Scholey from Swinburne's University of Technology says that "Curcumin has multiple physiological effects. It’s known to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. It influences multiple processes that nudge brain function in a positive direction.” (Curcumin is an important constituent of turmeric). Results from Professor Scholey's study on curcumin was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2015.
Turmeric has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition of healing for centuries (the Indian system of health and wellness). Its been used in teas, tinctures, powder, pastes, creams and ointments to heal wounds, bruises, leech bites and even to relieve scorpion stings! So you see, turmeric is an amazing medicinal root.
I've bought the fresh root from markets in Canberra and grated it into stir fries and curries. It looks a bit like ginger but has a brighter yellow/orange colour.
What about the other spices?
Ginger, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne pepper, star anise, mixed spice, cardamom, allspice, chilli - you might find any of these spices in a golden turmeric latte.
These spices are warming to the body. They warm by stimulating cells to burn more oxygen and by increasing metabolic rate. One study showed "an indication of a higher body temperature overnight" after eating a meal containing chili sauce and mustard (International Journal of Psychophysiology, 1992, vol. 13).
Spices also enhance digestion by increasing the production of digestive enzymes which are needed to break down food. Another good reason to include them in your cooking.
I've looked at several recipes for turmeric tea and gradually made my own mixture to include the spices which I enjoy most, so here's my own take on Turmeric Latte:
1 cup milk - coconut, almond or soy are my choices
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
a shake of black pepper
Through everything into a saucepan and whisk together while warming. Add honey to sweeten.