Eat Well May. 24. 2013

How to Make Turmeric Milk, Plus Health Benefits

May. 24. 2013
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A classic, comforting, warm, boldly spiced turmeric milk recipe with a hint of sweetness.

If you haven’t heard of or tried turmeric milk (haldi doodh) before, you’re in for a treat.

Turmeric contains an array of nutrients. It’s particularly high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It has a warm, slightly spicy, bold, earthy flavor. When mixed with a hint of sweetness you’re left with a delicious combination for a warming drink!

What Is Turmeric Milk?

Traditionally, turmeric milk (haldi doodh) comes from Ayurvedic practices and is prevalent in Indian culture and cuisines.

In its simplest form, it’s a combination of warm milk and turmeric. Most traditional recipes will combine the turmeric with whole cow’s milk, but with our spin on this delicious original, you can substitute with any milk that suits your lifestyle best. Whether that be unsweetened almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk or any other milk you enjoy!

You can also add additional components such as herbs, spices, and sweeteners to enhance the taste as well as the nutrient density after it’s been warmed through.

The Health Benefits of Turmeric Milk

This particular turmeric milk recipe is a good source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, healthy fats, manganese and iron. The ingredients actually work together in a synergistic fashion to help enhance the nutritional value of one another.

Turmeric itself has also been known to be a “healing spice” and has been used to help many ailments.

From sore throats, colds, and the flu to wound healing and the treatment of abrasions (due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties).

Turmeric is such a nutritious spice that I also love using it in all kinds of dishes, such as my One Bowl Skillet Meal, Spicy Coconut Curry with Sweet Jasmine RiceCurry Cauliflower Soup as well as dressings and sauces.

Check out our in-depth article on the nutritional value of turmeric here if you’d like to learn even more.

How To Use Turmeric Milk

Most of us have heard at least one time or another that drinking warm milk before bed will help us fall asleep. Scientifically speaking, this theory stems from the fact that there is tryptophan present in milk (the same theory behind turkey making you sleepy).

Yet, there’s little research that supports this theory (in fact, this research says otherwise). With that being said, the simple warming component of this milk makes it my favorite drink to have before bed! It’s a great way to help unwind after a long day.

But don’t think that it has to be had at night! It can also be used as a great morning latte to jump-start your day with nutrients.

How To Make Turmeric Milk

Don’t be afraid to make this recipe your own! You can have the milk as is, or use one of the subtle adjustments listed below.

Additionally, if you generally find the taste of turmeric to be too overpowering, you can start out by adding more honey or maple syrup to sweeten it a bit. Over time you can gradually decrease the amount of sweetener as you become accustomed to the taste.

It’s also important to note that the longer you simmer the ingredients over low-medium heat, the stronger and more intense the flavor is.

I also have a quick tip for you if you’d like to prepare turmeric milk faster! Add about 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of sea salt into some almond milk. Then just shake it up and you’re good to go!



The compound in turmeric that gives it its yellow hue is called curcumin, and this compound carries high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Powerful antioxidants like this can reduce the risk of diseases, including cancer.


One of turmeric’s most well-known and studied properties is its effects on inflammation. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which could help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases—and these properties also come from the curcumin compound.


Manganese, a mineral that also offers anti-inflammatory benefits, will also help to protect your bones and fight off osteoporosis. It also helps in the formation of connective tissue and metabolization of fat and carbs.

The Recipe

Serves 2



2 cups of homemade almond milk

1 tablespoon local honey, optional

1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger (fresh is best)



Simply pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 10 minutes.

Strain the milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, etc. To serve, add honey or a dash of cinnamon.

Enjoy warm is best!

Make it a latte:

If you love this recipe, try the Turmeric Milk Latte Elevated, Coffee Elevated, and Turmeric Tea!

Ingredients I used to make Turmeric Milk: organic ground turmeric, Vitamix for homemade almond milk, organic coconut oil

Subtle variations:

Add 2-3 whole cardamom pods while boiling
Add 2-3 whole black peppercorns
Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Add more honey or maple syrup to sweeten
Add vanilla extract to taste

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