I have been impatiently waiting all week to collect enough lotus in payouts to be able to enter this great challenge that @naturalmedicine is hosting! The concept is the 12 spices of Christmas, where we share an idea about one of the delicious and medicinal herbs/spices on the list. You can read more about the challenge here: https://steempeak.com/hive-120078/@naturalmedicine/6rgmx5-and
Now that I have sent 50 lotus to @null and posted a screenshot in the discord server, I am ready to share a bit of gold with you all on this particularly gray day here in the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee! While the weather outside kept me inside, the thought of a delicious warm drink to ease the aches and pains of the wintry mix is plenty of inspiration for a Steem post and Steem challenge entry!
One of the most lovely parts of the globalization of humans is the access to knowledge and resources from around the globe. Several years ago a friend showed me about a delicious medicine known as *golden milk*. Known in the eastern areas such as India for centuries, the combination of turmeric and black pepper is used to alleviate issues such as inflammation as well as digestive issues. When the two are combined in milk with honey, cinnamon and ginger, the results are delicious and effective.
I used to wonder why you need to mix the black pepper in with the turmeric in order to get the best effects when using turmeric as a medicine. The chemistry comes down to the combination of curcumin and piperine. In order to best share this medicine with you, I found a fairly informative article that explains it easily:
*“Both black pepper and turmeric are healthy spices, which are used to enhance the flavour and colour of food. Turmeric has been used as a medicine to treat a variety of problems like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and dementia . So why add black pepper to an already medicinal food? Curcumin is an ingredient present in turmeric is what is responsible for giving it its medicinal properties. The problem is that curcumin is not absorbed well in the body. This is where black pepper comes in. It contains a compound called piperine, which when combined with turmeric, increases the absorption of curcumin by up to an astonishing 2000%."
"There are two theories to explain how piperine helps in increasing the absorption of curcumin. Firstly, piperine slows the breakdown of curcumin by the liver, increasing its blood levels. Secondly, piperine makes it easier for curcumin to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. As a result of the combination, the health effects of turmeric get enhanced, making it a more beneficial spice altogether.”*Here’s the link to the article ~ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/what-happens-when-you-mix-black-pepper-and-turmeric/articleshow/70977129.cms
I have on occasion had the pleasure of using fresh turmeric, and it’s a delicious root vegetable! I love to throw it in when I am doing a nice pan of roasted root veggies in the oven, such as parsnips, potatoes, onions, turnips, etc. While I haven’t grown it myself, I have a good friend in Florida who grows it well there outdoors, and I believe it is pretty easy to grow in pots as well. Due to how the root systems work, once you get it established it will produce well and you can make it a regular part of your diet!
Now, let’s get on to making some golden milk together!!
Some of you already know that I work largely on *intuition* in the kitchen. While I do my best to offer exact measurements, when working with herbs and spices I encourage you to enlist your taste buds in the process. For golden milk in particular, I know that I can always add milk and/or honey to taste. I usually make it a bit strong so make sure you have a bit more milk than the "recipe" calls for in case you decide you need to adjust it. This is the opposite of a lot of herb/spice work where you can add more but can't take it out. Due to the creation of golden milk, you can't really add more spices after but you can "thin" it with the milk.
The ingredients for golden milk are pretty simple:
4 cups milk
¼ cup honey
2 Tablespoons turmeric
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 Tablespoon ginger
1 ½ Tablespoons cinnamon
I use ground spices for this colorful concoction. However, I would imagine you could make it with fresh turmeric and ginger, peppercorns and cinnamon sticks! This particular batch is special since the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are all from my Moroccan spice treasure trove, brought across the sea for me by my dear soul sister from her African adventures. The honey is sourwood honey, a local variety that has a strong and lovely flavor. I did use whole cow's milk, but I would expect you can use any type of milk you prefer.
Get your pan on the stove and pour your milk in.
I always add the turmeric first to see the color change for fun! This is literally after me simply dropping the first tablespoon of turmeric to the pan.
I just put everything in the milk and then start whisking it together. You want to bring it just to a boil, and then let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. I don't stir it constantly once the spices are all blended in, but I do stir it fairly often.
Once it's all done simmering, you really can finally see why they call it golden milk. The color is rich!
The next step is to taste your golden milk. It hasn't been strained so it won't be perfect just yet, but you will be able to see if you want to add any more milk or honey to it to alter the spice strength or the sweetness. I think it's part of the magic.
Once you are happy with the last step, it's time to strain the milk. I don't have the greatest setup, but it works for me. I use a reusable coffee basket inside of a funnel. Since spices tend to get a little gummy when cooked, I use a stir stick to help move the muck around that easily clogs the fine mesh screen.
Congratulations are in order at this stage of our alchemical adventures. Golden milk has been created and imbued with the power to heal, to warm, to comfort, and to satisfy! Remember you can put what you didn't drink in the refrigerator for later and just heat it up to get another dose of ***Natural Medicine***!!!
Thanks for reading!