Turmeric Latte Recipe with Ghee for Sustained Energy
Have you heard of “bulletproof coffee” yet? I’m betting you are familiar with this preparation, codified by David Asprey, the founder of nutritional company Bulletproof 360. The addition of fat to coffee is meant to taper the release of caffeine into the blood, and regulate energy and blood sugar levels through the slow-burning nature of fat.
After experiencing yak butter tea in Tibet, Asprey hatched an entire line of products for making coffee with fat in it. Tibet is cold and at high altitude, and a churned mixture of yak milk, yak butter, fermented tea, and salt has been a mainstay of workers to stay warm and nourished for centuries.
Why yak? Yaks are a regional animal of the Tibetan Plateau. If you’ve ever seen a yak, long-haired and tough-looking, you won’t be surprised that these creatures—and their rich milk products—are a key to human survival in the cold, dry environment of the Himalayan mountains.
A Vata-Balancing Combination
If we look at the qualities of the ancient yak butter tea recipe, we find the warming potency of fermented tea and salt, as well as butterfat’s dense, oily, brmhana qualities—all balancing to vata dosha. Hard labor, high altitude, and freezing temperatures are a cocktail of vata-aggravating factors: dry, cold, rough, and light.
Brmhana qualities, which help to pacify the influence of vata, include things that are moist, dense, smooth, and heavy. We find these attributes in coconut milk and in ghee.
Ghee’s Stress Relief Factor
These days, it is often less likely that humans need the staying power of brmhana qualities for manual labor than for mental activity. A cold winter, high altitude, and stress, all aggravate vata dosha.
While it may be easy to see how vata dries out our skin in cold weather, what about our nerves? The constant friction caused by mental stress can render our nerves a bit touchy, and over time, even vitiate the unctuous and smooth conductivity of nervous tissues.
The answer to this conundrum is ghee! Ghee is butter without the milk solids, which are the hardest part to digest. Removing some of the density of milk solids allows the ghee to break down easier.
According to traditional Ayurveda, ghee has an affinity for our deep tissue layers of the body. Thanks to its digestibility and penetrating nature, it protects and rejuvenates the tissues of the nervous system, found in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
Taking the Benefits Deeper with Ghee and Turmeric Milk
All we need now is the addition of a little digestive heat.
Enter Turmeric Milk! This balanced formula provides the warming energy of turmeric, ginger, ashwagandha, cinnamon, and dates. When we combine warming spices and herbs with the cool potency of milk and ghee, it is indeed golden, with the power to support the digestive fire, strengthen the tissues, and sustain mental acuity.
Ashwagandha, as found in Turmeric Milk, is traditionally mixed with ghee to drive its restorative and stress-relieving properties into the deep tissues. These special properties depend, of course, on good digestion. Ghee drizzled over ice cream after a burger and fries may just turn to fat, while a synergistic use of ghee, warmed and gently spiced, has the capacity to nourish and rejuvenate.
Making a turmeric latte with ghee is my favorite way to receive ghee’s gifts. It works well alone in the morning, as part of a light breakfast, or to tide you over in a mid-morning or afternoon slump—a satisfying alternative to coffee!
My turmeric latte, while free of yak products or coffee, and far lighter than a traditional Tibetan cuppa, is for those of us who may not be headed into the mountains but are still in need of sustained energy and nourishment in the morning—without the drying effects of caffeine.
Turmeric Latte with Ghee (or Coconut Oil)
For those who don’t use ghee, a good quality coconut oil can be subbed in this recipe. I have tested this recipe with all sorts of milk options, and found coconut milk makes the creamiest, tastiest final product, without being too heavy. But feel free to use any milk or milk alternative of your choosing.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk, ghee, and Turmeric Milk on medium high heat until steam rises and small bubbles form on the edges. Remove from heat.
Transfer the hot milk into a 16-ounce mason jar or a tall mug, then submerge an electric milk frother wand in the milk mixture. Once completely submerged, turn on the frother and mix for about 30 seconds. This should emulsify the ghee and completely mix all the ingredients together. You can also use a blender for this step if you prefer.
Dust the top with cinnamon, and enjoy immediately!
*Make your own natural coconut milk by blending 1 cup of dried shredded coconut with 4 cups warm water on high speed for one minute. Strain through a nut-milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh sieve.