Turmeric Chai – the perfect winter pick-me-up!


A bottle of organic turmeric powder in your pantry is a must!

I use this milk at the first sign of malaise heralding a winter chill and cold.

1/2 – 1 level teaspoon turmeric powder

1 spoon green cardamom pods, finely pounded in a mortar and pestle

1 cup of almond milk – I like the Califia* brand because their unsweetened version does not have anything but almonds and water (not a big fan of fortified milks).  Cow’s milk or any other milk you like to use are great options too.

In a heavy bottom pan, boil and whisk together the almond milk, turmeric, and cardamom for about 8 minutes.  Shut off the heat.  Filter off the grit if you are sensitive to that.  Sweeten with a natural sweetener like honey or agave.  Just don’t heat the sweetener with the drink – mix it in after you take the mixture off the heat.

Drink this warm milk as a pick-me-up preferably away from meals.  It works as a soothing night-time tonic.

* http://www.califiafarms.com

Home-made Almond Milk

Hydrated almondsIn Ayurvedic cuisine, almond milk is not only a good dairy-free beverage option, it is a valuable food in and of itself. It is cooling to the body and adds nourishing fats to the diet in an easily digestible manner. It is usually consumed freshly prepared and combined with flavorings like saffron and cardamom and sweetened with a natural sweetener like raw sugar.  It is a popular beverage in the warm months.

Commercial almond milk has too many unnecessary additives like added vitamins and preservatives that take away the nourishing properties of this beverage.

It is easy to prepare at home, only requiring that the almonds be soaked ahead of time. Here is how –

Soak one cup of raw almonds in hot water, over night. In the morning, rinse the almonds. Using the thumb and forefingers of both hands, the skins of the almonds can be squeezed off easily. Rinse the peeled almonds one more time.

Almond milkA blend of hydrated almonds and water in a ratio of 1 : 1 and 1/2 cups yields a delicious light milk, not too thin or thick. This can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days and used as a drink or add-in for oatmeal and smoothies.

Note: How smooth and grit-free the milk is depends on your blender. If you find it gritty, you can sieve the milk through several layers of cheese cloth or a coffee filter.