“Decaf’s for babies!” I used to scoff, as I sipped my fifth coffee a day. Just call me the Gordon Gekko of caffeine. After all, you can’t be a cynical hack without being caffeinated, right?
After daily bouts of ‘am I dying?’ palpitations, crippling anxiety and severe nausea around 4 months ago, my love affair with the coffee bean came to a soggy, anticlimactic end. Well, I still indulge in a cup of joe first thing in the morning (ok, and an occasional Starbucks when I’ve had a long day) but otherwise I’m happy with that one kickstarter cup and plan on going caffeine-free completely. Eventually.
Has it been hard to quit coffee? You have no idea. Especially when my tepid cup of coffee is my regular writing companion at the desk or running out to Starbucks is my version of a cigarette break at work. I really miss the ritual more than the actual taste. But, those pesky about-to-pass-out feelings disappeared as my coffee intake plummeted so really, me and coffee are just no longer compatible.
To combat the separation anxiety, I had to find an equally tasty but caffeine-free alternative to slurp on and regularly spill all over my computer. Enter Golden Milk or, the less tantalising, Turmeric Lattes. You may have seen these golden beverages in perfectly staged Instagrams, including my own – and let me tell you, they’re as good as they look. Unlike most healthy alternatives, golden milk is actually tastier (to me at least) than regular lattes, it’s sugarfree, lower in calories than your Venti Soy Latte and, if we’re to believe the wellness community, turmeric is a superfood bandaid to cure all evils.
What are the benefits of turmeric? As far as wellness is concerned, anti-inflammatory is where it’s at and, whaddya know, turmeric is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, as well as boasting anti-cancer compounds, it’s a natural antiseptic so it can prevent infection and – good news for drinkers – it can detox your liver. Plus, it really makes a curry.
There are loads of videos online about how to make turmeric lattes including this one from Goop but here’s my quick and easy recipe for making golden milk at home:
- Put a spoonful of turmeric, a sprinkle of ginger and half a spoonful of cinnamon into a saucepan. The actual plants are of course the best taste-wise but I’ve used the dry spices from jars and they work perfectly fine. You can add more ginger for a spicier drink but I prefer to let the turmeric play centerstage.
- Add your milk of choice. I prefer soya milk (which I’ve started making from scratch – do I have too much time on my hands?!) but almond, cashew or coconut are also great.
- Throw in a spoonful of raw extra virgin coconut oil and a teaspoon of honey. Vegans can sweeten with half a bourbon vanilla pod or some desiccated coconut. I think turmeric is an..er..acquired taste so the coconut oil and another flavour like the honey or your coconut milk really helps make it more palatable (and not like you’re drinking curry).
- Stir up your spices in the milk and put the saucepan on a high heat. Stir occasionally, bring to the boil, take off the heat, give it another stir for luck and pour. Now say hello to your new favourite Instagram-worthy drink!
(Now, anyone know how to remove turmeric stains from laptops?)