September first has come and gone, school is back in session, and the skies in Los Angeles have decided to go a bit grey. For this I am overjoyed, while summer is busy and frolicking about half naked is fun, the truth summer is just…okay. With Fall around the corner we can cozy up, hunker down, and borrow ourselves back at home, where we likely should be anyway as this pandemic rages on. All of this makes me long for sweater weather and warm beverages. Steaming in mugs that could also pass as soup bowls. Though I haven’t sat in a coffee house in quite some time I still taste the warmth of these drinks as I write.
Wanna know a secret? I can’t drink coffee. I know. Don’t gasp, even though it sounds like a minor tragedy. Caffeine and I are not on one accord and haven’t ever been really. As a kid the scent of coffee was one of my favorite things. Writing this I think back on the mornings sitting my grandmother’s when she would sneak me a small nip of the elixir during my visits. At the table with her as the sky was just beginning to brighten, in the quiet as the rest of family was asleep, fog cloaking the bay of Oakland were some of my favorite moments. I still love that smell, even if I can’t stomach a cup. That in turn made me a heavy tea drinker; matcha, earl gray, black tea. Unfortunately even the caffeine from those sometimes proven to be too much. But what is a morning without a steamy, creamy beverage to help wake you up? Nothing! So I needed to find a way to get that jolt without the actual…jolt. So I’m back with delicious alternative – a turmeric latte!
When I first tried a turmeric latte I was sitting in a healthy juice spot that didn’t have chai on the menu. Yes I was distraught, but I soon got over it after reading the description for a turmeric spice latte. Also called golden milk, turmeric spiced lattes are a mixture of warming spices with turmeric as its star. There are variety of golden milk recipes depending on where you look. After trying a few I finally came up with a blend that I’ve returned to time and time again. I can’t say exactly when this drink became popular but I can say I’ve been enjoying it for about two years. And, yes I’m aware that this it’s pumpkin season, but you all know how I feel about that. *insert eye roll*.
The best part about turmeric lattes isn’t just their delicious taste but the benefits they have as well…
As you may know I have really jumped into wellness and healthy eating over the past year. Being stuck at home during a pandemic made it abundantly clear that I needed to really start to take my health more seriously. Usually I opt for a Daily Harvest smoothie in the morning but with the weather shifting I’m feeling the need to switch out frozen drinks to something more warm. Turmeric is great for anti-inflammatory purposes it helps with your digestion and bloating. Which is something I’ve battled with.
It’s also excellent when you’re experiencing cold symptoms. At a time when keeping your immune system in tact is high priority this is a great option to add to your repertoire. Turmeric spiced lattes or golden milk has also provided me relief from a sore throat, cough, or when I’m just feeling terrible. The combination of spices makes this drink soothing when you’re feeling under the weather like a warm hug in a cup. The warming spices found in turmeric lattes are also in the pumpkin spiced latte so I’ve found it to be a great replacement for the seasonal treat. The ginger, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove are the base in each. But this one won’t make you look as basic as everyone else. In full transparency perhaps it’s the fact that I’m Black, grew up eating sweet potato pie and not pumpkin which makes me not as inclined to opt for PSL. I will say this, a chai with pumpkin foam is delicious but otherwise ya’ll got it.
Now if you’ve been wondering how to make turmeric lattes that will replace your pumpkin spiced go to, here you go! For my turmeric lattes I like to sweeten them with agave but I also use honey when that isn’t available. You obviously should use what you enjoy; white or brown sugar, another alternative sweetener or whatever floats your boat.
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When the weather begins to finally cool off here in LA, I am always excited. One of the things I miss most about living in D.C. was the long strolls I would take around the city with a cup of something warm in my hands. It gave very main character energy. As I begin working for myself exclusively years ago coffee shops were some of the places I hung out most. I think it was being surrounded by other people working or meeting that would inspire me to write. The habit continued for me and now even ten years after that I still love the atmosphere of coffee shop strangers who I call my co-workers. Covid certainly changed a lot of that but I found that trying to maintain a little bit of routine and normalcy has helped me cope. I may not have my co-workers across from me tapping away on their laptops but I’ve still got my mug to keep me company. I hope this a little cup of gold can bring you some happiness too.