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Turmeric Latte – My Adrenal Enhancing Coffee Alternative (AIP/Paleo)

Turmeric Latte
Once you have your ingredients ready, it's easy!
This turmeric latte number is one of the most popular on my site. It’s the little recipe that could…

First published back in mid-2016 when I was in the midst of dealing with a severe adrenal crash, this baby is not only a good way to increase your intake of that very nutrient-dense ingredient that is turmeric, but also a sneaky hot-drink alternative when you are working to reduce your caffeine intake…

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee

So, I’m waiting for an updated diagnosis on the state of my adrenals.

You already know that I’m a worrier of EPIC proportions.

Recently, I hit a bit of a wall. Well, to be honest, it was a pretty scary BIG wall. And, despite already understanding that my adrenals need some TLC, I’m on a bit of a mission to actually do something about it now. Sometimes, even health coaches can be a bit slow about these things.

Not sure what your adrenals actually do?

Your adrenal function plays an important role in moderating the inflammatory processes characteristic of autoimmune reactions. Adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol, which is the most powerful anti-inflammatory substance in your body. In autoimmune disease, cortisol levels are inadequate for the degree of reaction taking place in the tissues being attacked.

Cortisol not only affects the the visible swelling of inflammation, it also influences the activity of the white blood cells that actually cause the inflammation and help keep immune reactions in balance. Cortisol activates existing immune defense mechanisms when they are needed, and it dampens them down to prevent them from overshooting and causing damage or cell death. Through this ‘damping down’ action, cortisol modulates the immune response. Healthy adrenal function and cortisol output is pretty important for optimal health.

During adrenal fatigue, it is less likely that your adrenal glands can produce enough cortisol to adequately fight autoimmune inflammatory reactions.

The very first thing I’ve done to help my poor wee adrenals is give up coffee. (Sniff.)

Constant stimulation weakens your adrenals. And, coffee is a stimulant.

Kind of a no brainer, really.

Every time you drink a cup of coffee, your brain sends a message to your pituitary gland, which releases a hormone to tell your adrenals to produce stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. Our brain can’t differentiate between a stimulant like coffee and say, spotting a poisonous spider. That means we’re triggering the same kind of stress response that our body uses when it thinks it’s in imminent physical danger. Sad but true.

Giving up my morning cup of coffee might sound daunting – and, it’s fair to say I miss it dreadfully – but it’s an important part of recovering from adrenal fatigue.

So instead, I’m experimenting with alternatives. There’s only so much water a girl can drink!

Of course, there’s always that trusty AIP stalwart – bone broth; but, honestly? – I’d be lying if I said the idea of a cup of this filled me with excitement. I’m quite partial to a peppermint tea, especially made with fresh mint.

But, with winter coming, I’ve been turning to my turmeric latte…

It makes me feel like I’m indulging. The ginger is warming in the cooler weather. And, that turmeric is so good for me.

Don’t believe me? – look at all the good stuff turmeric can do for you…

Turmeric Latte

Here it is. My turmeric latte.

Turmeric Latte
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is AIP friendly
Author: Joanna Frankham
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 1 serve
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric (or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Raw honey to taste
  • 250 mls coconut milk
  1. Combine the turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and coconut oil in your favourite mug. Add enough hot water to cover and stir well to combine.
  2. Warm the coconut milk to a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Carefully pour over the spices and stir well to combine.
  3. Alternatively, if you have one, use a coffee machine to heat and froth the coconut milk, then pour over the spice mix. It’s what I do.
  4. Add honey to taste and stir to combine.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

E N J O Y ! 

This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable

First published 4 May, 2016

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Comments (14)

The recipe looks yum! I used to make something similar but with almond milk.

Actually, half and half, for those who tolerate almond milk, would be delish!

Am having trouble with both almond and coconut, so am going to try tigernut milk instead. Thanks for the recipe.

Oh, Joanna, I use to drink coffee (French roast, black and strong, please), by the Then in January my adrenals shut down – yes, I now have Addison’s disease. If I had only known I would have quit coffee cold turkey (well, I did, actually) and never looked back. Hoping that following AIP will ‘re-boot’ my adrenals, along with help from my NP. But whether that is 9 months, or a lifetime, AIP is here to stay in my life. For the best! This turmeric tonic will definitely be my go-to for those mornings that the bone broth didn’t hit the spot. The turmeric supplement I take is very good, but there is only so much herbal tea a girl can drink (and due to Addison’s I’m only allowed 60 oz. of water per day due to a low sodium level – have to supplement with kosher salt several days a week – salt lick anyone? yuck). How do you ever come up with these delish recipes?!! You are such a dream to share them with those of us that are ‘palate-challenged’. You have no idea what your blog means to me, and thereby to my family. Please, keep writing – and what about that book?! You have a gift!!:)

Hi lovely Marla – how did I overlook your gorgeous comment? So sorry, Possum!

I’m taking a wee ‘Adrenal Cocktail’ of an afternoon – 2 x oranges, freshly squeezed + 1/2 teaspoon (or more if tolerated) best quality sea salt + 1 x tablespoon raw cream/coconut cream + 1 x tablespoon collagen (optional). Whizz in blender and down the hatch. Great for moderating blood sugar and naturally supporting your adrenals.

Sending adrenally charged vibes!

My adrenals need love! Thank you for the excellent recipe, Jo~.

Love this drink Jo? Just a small tip, add a pinch of pepper – apparently makes the curcumin more bioavailable.

Actually ignore this if you are strictly AIP!

You are right on BOTH counts, lovely Gita

Recently on a trip from Vancouver BC I stopped at a co-op in Ashland Oregon where they made an amazing “golden milk” with turmeric, cinnamon and some non-AIP seed spices like coriander. I decided to try and adapt this for an AIP diet but you’ve beaten me to the punch. Thanks for a great latte recipe!

Hi Margaret – I hope it’s a close approximation to your Ashland experience… 🙂

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