If you’re a fan of chai lattes and turmeric, you’re going to love this recipe. This ultra creamy golden milk is inspired by traditional Indian turmeric milk (haldi doodh), but it is by no means authentic.
In its most basic form, haldi doodh is made with turmeric (haldi) stirred into milk (doodh) or tea. Typically, households will add more warming spices to the mix, including ginger, cinnamon and cardamom.
Indian mothers prepare turmeric milk for colds, coughs and sore throats, and aches and pains. It’s warming, soothing and supports the immune system, which is exactly what we all need right now.
This recipe uses cashews instead of milk, which makes it lusciously thick, yet dairy free and vegan. Serve it warm in a mug, or cold over ice!
Golden Milk Origins
Haldi doodh is the true origin and has been served in India for centuries. “Golden milk” became a big trend in the United States just a few years ago. Turmeric was gaining traction for its anti-inflammatory properties, and the Western world suddenly couldn’t get enough.
Fast-forward to a few months ago when I was wandering through Whole Foods craving a treat. I grabbed a bottle of golden milk from the chilled beverage section and fell in love. This recipe is a close rendition of Pop & Bottle’s golden milk. Now I can whip some up with pantry ingredients at any time!
How to Make This Golden Milk
Cow’s milk doesn’t agree with me and store-bought alternative milks are often quite watery. I wanted a luxuriously creamy texture, so I decided to use homemade cashew milk instead.
Cashew milk is my favorite homemade nut milk because it’s easy to make and produces a deliciously thick, neutral-flavored milk. I’d say the texture is similar to whole milk, or slightly creamier. Cashews are soft enough to blend completely into the water, so there is no straining required and no waste.
Since we’ve already busted out the blender, we’ll just add a few more ingredients to flavor the milk. Blend it all together and you’re done!
An Important Blender Note
If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, Blendtec (affiliate links) or a good KitchenAid, you can blend the cashews without soaking them first. If you do not have full faith in your blender, you’ll need to soak the cashews for about 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. They soften with time, which makes them easier to blend.
If you have any trouble blending the cashews, you can either let the ingredients rest in the blender for at least 30 minutes and then try again, or pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to catch any tiny cashew bits.
Golden Milk Ingredients
Turmeric shines in this recipe. I added some additional warming spices that make it taste reminiscent of a chai latte. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Here’s what we’ll need:
- Cashews: Raw, unsalted, and soaked if necessary. Cashews make this drink so creamy, and the [healthy] fats found within help increase the bioavailability of turmeric. Check the recipe notes for alternatives.
- Turmeric: I used ground turmeric, but you can also use fresh if you’d like (see recipe notes for quantity). Just know that fresh turmeric will stain your fingers and cutting board yellow.
- Cinnamon: A natural fit with turmeric and ginger.
- Ginger: Again, I used ground ginger, but you can use fresh if desired (see recipe notes).
- Cardamom: A classic Indian spice, cardamom is uniquely aromatic and herbal. However, if you don’t have it at home, you can skip it.
- Black pepper: Helps improve the bioavailability of curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric, and tastes great with the other spices.
- Honey or maple syrup: A little sweetener helps mellow the fiery spices, and makes up for the natural sweetness present in dairy milk. You can add a bit more, to taste, if desired.
- Vanilla extract: A little vanilla makes this drink taste like a treat.
Enjoy Warm or Cold
Once blended, you can warm this golden milk in a saucepan until steaming, while stirring often. Keep an eye on it because the texture can turn gummy if it simmers for too long. You can also heat the mixture in this fun steamer until warm and frothy. Just know that it won’t foam up like a milk-based latte.
This drink is also lovely over ice, which tames the spices somewhat. It’s a cold, creamy treat on a hot day.
Please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Creamy Golden Milk (Hot or Iced)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- Category: Drink
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
This creamy golden milk recipe features turmeric and other warming spices blended with cashews, so it’s dairy free and easily vegan. Enjoy hot or cold! Recipe yields 5 cups, enough for 5 drinks.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked for 4 hours or in the fridge overnight if you are not using a high-powered blender)
- 4 cups water, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper
- Tiny pinch of fine salt
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Whether soaked or not, rinse the cashews until the water runs clear. In your blender, combine the cashews with 2 cups of the water. Add all of the remaining ingredients (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, salt, honey and vanilla).
- Start on a low setting and increase the speed until the cashews are blended into creamy oblivion. This could take 2 minutes in a high-powered blender or longer in a regular blender.
- Blend in 2 cups more water until creamy. Taste, and if the mixture tastes too fiery, you can blend in a bit more sweetener (though the flavors seem to mellow a bit with time).
- To serve cold, fill a drinking glass with ice and pour the golden milk on top. Or to serve warm, gently heat your desired quantity in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat until steaming, stirring often (don’t overdo it, or the texture won’t be as nice). Store leftover golden milk in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Make it vegan: Simply use maple syrup or dates (details below) instead of honey.
Make it nut free: Instead of the cashews and water, whisk or blend the remaining ingredients into coconut milk or whole milk.
Change it up: Instead of honey or maple syrup, you can use 4 Medjool dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and pitted. Instead of dried turmeric and ginger, you can use 3 times the amount of fresh (so 3 tablespoons fresh turmeric and 1 tablespoon fresh ginger). Peel and chop or grate the turmeric and ginger before using.