Turmeric latte or “golden milk” – a combination of nut milk and juiced turmeric root – is the hot beverage of 2016.
Google singled out turmeric’s rise in popularity in a new report on food trends after searches for the spice increased by 56 per cent from November 2015 to January 2016.
The most popular way to consume it in the west is in lattes: “golden milk” is among the top online searches associated with the spice.
Turmeric lattes, a palatable option for health-conscious diners to get a fix of turmeric juice, are now available at cafes spanning the globe, from Sydney to San Francisco, and the drink is also gaining popularity in Britain.
What exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is mostly known as the spice in curry rempahs which leaves bright yellow stains on kitchen utensils and chefs’ fingers.
But it is not the first ingredient from the South Asian pantry to be hijacked by hipsters: ghee, homemade yoghurt and coconut oil have preceded turmeric’s recent meteoric rise in the health food world.
Turmeric and milk is well-known as a restorative in India, and the South Asian recipe website Khana Pakana describes haldi doodh, a turmeric-and-milk concoction as a drink for women who want to lighten their skin.
The spice is also a part of Ayurvedic medicine – the holistic approach to health that has been practised for centuries in India. It is believed to help with everything from cancer to coughs, and is often prescribed to children who have fever. The most commonly used recipe calls for turmeric powder mixed with milk and a dash of black pepper, as well as an optional addition of ghee.
Turmeric’s rise as a food fad is tied to this history as a health remedy as it is promoted as an anti-inflammatory and an alternative to a caffeinated drink. Ms Arango told the Guardian the turmeric latte is particularly popular with customers in the mornings.
Other variations of the turmeric latte are made with an espresso shot, and as an iced drink. The health hipster twists on the age-old haldi doodh beverage also include using cold-pressed turmeric juice, and adding steamed almond milk or coconut milk instead of regular cow’s milk.
Market research firm Mintel previously named turmeric as one of its foods to watch in 2016. It has done the rounds of wellness blogs, websites and Instagram accounts for several months, and recipes for the drink abound on Pinterest.
How to make turmeric latte
– 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
– 1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric root
– 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ground)
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Gently warm the almond or coconut milk (don’t bring it to a boil) and add the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.
note: You can also swap the fresh turmeric out with turmeric paste – combined 2 parts turmeric powder with 1 part boiling water.
2. Stir until frothy or heated through.
3. Stir in honey or sweetener of choice to taste, and sprinkle with more cinnamon powder.
From The Straits Times, 12 May 2016
Additional reporting by Pinky Chng