24 Karat Golden Milk

The spicy, sweet fragrance of the daffodils blooming right now makes me suspect they may secretly  have golden milk running through their veins.  They bring such vibrant warmth to still-damp days … if you want to capture some daffodil energy for yourself, read on…

There is certainly no shortage of recipes for golden milk floating around out there in cyberspace, but I’m adding my own today especially for my brother.  He recently had surgery for a bum knee that has troubled him since high school.  With my neophyte’s grasp of Chinese medical theory, I’m just beginning to understand the concept of prior environmental factors becoming lodged in the body and influencing symptoms years later that on the surface seem totally disconnected from that long-ago experience.  I’ve recently been prescribed an herbal formula I suspect Rick might benefit from too — its focus is deeply warming, returning the light to the core.  We had the good fortune to grow up immersed in the natural world.  But in Maine without central heat or perfect insulation, this also meant months of freezing floors — in addition to unheated bedrooms, days spent swimming in cold lake water, and the countless hours we spent outdoors in the most bitter weather.

Is it time to go swimming yet??  Yes, that is a giant chunk of ice behind us!

Oh yes, and all those days on the mountain without the benefit of down jackets or high tech gear.  Rick was a talented and truly mad skier.  I tried my best to follow him on icy (and closed) trails, bushwhacking through obstacle-strewn woods detours, and onto more than one perilous brink of harrowing steepness.  Often he would be yelling at me to hurry up from far down the slope as I attempted to extricate myself from a pine tree.  When things got hairy, I slowed down; he sped up — sailing off jumps without knowing what was on the other side.  Fearless.

This golden milk gets more super-power (not to mention beauty) with the added sweet nourishment of dried Goji berries or Gou Qi Ze.  The Chinese physician who got me started on my current path swore by daily goji berries’ ability to even build tissue and bone.

Which led to the inevitable injuries and then early arthritis, and a continual miserable spiral of pain, stiffness and swelling.  He’s now courageously working his way through another round of rehab.  This brew will support those efforts.  It brings supple warmth back in — to the body’s core and to the joints, themselves.  I first learned about the pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory  properties of turmeric from a patient with arthritis, who had gotten off Ibuprofen completely with it.  This recipe uses a substantial dose while still tasting good, and includes other deeply warming spices, which are also natural anti-inflammatories.  Interesting how from one perspective a spice can be warming, from another, anti-inflammatory — they sound as if they might be at odds but in fact are describing the same end.

… plus the minerals, enzymes and anti-inflammatory properties of magical bee pollen.

24 KARAT GOLDEN MILK:  (This recipe fits into a pint size mason jar and is my typical morning serving.)

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or 1 1/2 cups raw milk)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or 1 tablespoon ghee)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (2 if you can take it!)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • Dash chili powder (optional — if you really love heat!)
  • Raw honey to taste (I usually use none — it’s gently sweet on its own.)
  • Handful of goji berries
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen
The coconut oil will froth nicely into the milk with just a whisk.  You could also use an immersion blender if you’re making a bigger batch.

Put the milk, oil and spices into a pot, and warm until the coconut oil or ghee has melted, gently whisking spices in with a fork or small whisk.  Remove from heat, and add the honey.  If you are serving at home, this looks beautiful in pretty mugs with the goji berries and bee pollen sprinkled on top.  If you’re taking with you on the go, just throw everything in a jar or travel mug and head out.  Give it all a few shakes to remix when you reach your desk or wherever you’re headed, and start your day off with this energizing yet soothing elixir!

If you’re looking for alternatives to coffee in the morning, this is a good one… it warms and invigorates without over-drawing the body’s reserves, bringing in true energy.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Michelle Van Bogart says:

    I tried something not too dissimilar from this on a recommendation from a friend. I found that the richness of the coconut milk was way crazy on my guts. I wonder if there’s something lighter I could substitute?


    1. You can use any kind of milk that you regularly use … I usually make it with a combination of unsweetened almond milk and regular old cow’s milk — but you could use just plain almond milk if you can tolerate that. Also, did you use canned coconut milk or the kind that comes in a carton that’s much less fatty? The canned variety would definitely be too much for me as well 🙂


  2. Michelle Van Bogart says:

    I definitely did the canned kind, which was over the top ridiculous. I’m now switching to the “reduced fat” version for certain recipes, but I dig the idea of just using almond milk for this one. Thanks!


    1. For things like curries and soups the canned kind is best, either regular or low-fat. For beverages you can also try the coconut milk that now comes in cartons like almond or soy milk. There are also coconut-almond blends that are nice. Just make sure to get the unsweetened variety 🙂


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