Hot (!) Spiced Milk

hot spiced milk

I started making this milk within the last few weeks, inspired by the tumeric milk posted over at the beautiful Journey Kitchen. Similar to a hot chocolate my friend Carrie makes (milk + cocoa powder + sweetener + heat = bam!), it’s nothing complicated or confusing. It’s hot and soothing—pure comfort when paired with a big down comforter and some online TV, especially when it’s as cold as it has been around here lately. And, because of the powerful spices, spiced milk is actually really beneficial for your health, too:


First, there’s tumeric, the bright yellow spice that colors mustard and flavors curry. Commonly used in both Chinese and Indian ancient systems of medicine, tumeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices out there, the same ingredient I heard physicians wax eloquent about at a CCFA symposium I attended with my friend Alicia a few years ago. Because inflammation is connected to so many physical ailments, from Crohn’s to eczema to heart disease, foods that work against inflammation are like nutritional powerhouses, ingredients I want to work into my diet as much as possible.

There are also ginger and cardamom, long considered beneficial for digestion; cinnamon, which helps regulate blood sugar; cayenne, aid to the circulatory system, among other things; and cloves, another anti-inflammatory and also anti-bacterial spice. I add raw honey for taste, but I could just as easily be adding that for the nutritional benefits as well, as raw honey has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.

hot spiced milk for two

But all that aside, trust me when I say the health benefits are just icing on the cake for this drink, which is at once soothing and stimulating, spicy and sweet. Going down your throat, it burns just slightly (and of course, you could adjust the spices to your liking if you’re less tolerant of the kick of cayenne) and feels like a kicked-up version of chai tea or some really amazing steamed milk.

More than anything though, to me, it’s been one of a hundred comforts I’ve been tasting over the last few days, I really believe brought to me by the Great Comforter, the one to whom I could barely hang on at the beginning of this month. There have been long talks with Tim, encouraging Bible studies with friends, peaceful nights of sleep, random free tickets to the symphony, the ability to think clearly enough to remember how many blessings I’ve been given. My friend Joanna, in a recent email, told me that the darkest times in our lives are also times covered by God’s love and grace to pull us out of them, and she’s right. I’m tasting that these days, and it is good.

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
(Job 10:12 NIV)

Hot (!) Spiced Milk
Makes three cups or, two generous servings.

Totally adjust the spices to your liking. This is just our way.

3 cups whole milk (we use raw)
1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoons of cardamom powder, cayenne powder, coriander powder, ground cloves
1 whole stick of cinnamon
Plus: Raw honey (or other sweetener), to taste

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and slowly heat, not quite bringing it to a boil, whisking frequently. (I like doing this slowly so the cinnamon stick has more time to enhance the flavors.) Add honey or other sweetener to taste. Pour into mugs and enjoy!

23 Comment

  1. Lan says: Reply

    So, I was reading this post & turned to dw, asking him if he would have an interest in something like this. He’s not sold on all the random spices. However, since I am dairy free, I mentioned maybe coconut milk + chocolate/cocoa too. That sparked an interest. We’ll see how this turns out…

  2. That sounds great—coconut would only enhance this, I think. On a related note, did you see this coconut hot chocolate post at Deliciously Organic recently? Carrie comes up with such good recipes! You might like:

  3. oh, this sounds DELICIOUS! making, today! thank you,shannalee

    1. I hope you enjoyed it! : )

  4. Joanna says: Reply

    It makes me glad that you’re feeling stronger, both physically and spiritually! And this milk just made my short list for things to do tonight. Mmmm.

    1. Thanks again for your e-mail. It really did encourage me so much!

  5. This looks amazing. Totally on a chai kick and this might take it to a whole new level for me!!

    1. It is really reminiscent of chai! Hope you enjoy!

  6. Stacy says: Reply

    How funny: I received a free ticket to the symphony in the past few days as well! And as it goes, it was grace and comfort to me also. I’m glad you’re being reminded of God’s goodness. (And–this milk looks delicious!)

    1. Small world, Stacy! I love how little surprises like that can be such specific reminders of God’s goodness and love and I’m glad you’re tasting that, too.

  7. Ohhhh this sounds delicious! I don’t care for milk and hot chocolate is usually too sugary sweet, but this sounds just right. I think I might try it with coconut or almond milk. Yum!

    1. I think coconut milk or almond milk would be really good in this. I’d love to hear how you like that!

  8. Sounds very interesting…I a coffee-with-cream-and-raw-sugar girl through & through but I’ve been thinking that I should find another hot drink that I can hold in my cold hands that has a little less sugar…this sounds like it could be the drink!
    So very glad to hear you are feeling better…keep it up 🙂

    1. I totally understand! Tea is my usual standby for warmth, but this milk is a much more delicious treat. : )

  9. Christine says: Reply

    Wow! This looks exotic and delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hope you enjoy, Christine!

    1. I really love it, so thank YOU for posting your tumeric milk! Last night, I was watching “Downton Abbey,” and they referenced cinnamon milk as a tonic, and I thought, aha! spiced milk really has been a healing beverage for centuries! and in so many cultures. Thanks for turning me on to it!

  10. […] This looks so appealing now that Fall is moving in. I bookmarked it in the summer and will be making it soon. […]

  11. […] I went for a run in the January cold today. Believe me when I say it was very atypical for me. I’m the world’s biggest cold weather wuss. Normally, if the temperature is south of 55 degrees, I’m inside with my SmartWools on and a cup of my newest obsession–and it is an obsession–Shanna’s Hot Spiced Milk. […]

  12. Mirk Watkins says: Reply

    “…the darkest times in our lives are also times covered by God’s love and grace to pull us out of them…”

    How incredibly lack witted. Every day is filled with things we positively perceive, every day is really quite good, but we’re extremely self-involved creatures during a generational pandemic of apathy and depression and any funk we get in blinds us to the treasures available. We constantly wrap our personal worlds with personally appealing patterns. They don’t just disappear because we’ve been blind sided by life.

    Well, that is for those of us who aren’t living in third world countries. Do you think any of the hundreds of thousands, if not MILLIONS, of yearly rape victims in Africa would agree with that bit of sentiment? Mothers losing pre-teen children to starvation and easily cured / prevented diseases, sons to gang life, daughters to prostitution, rape, murder, kidnapping, or husbands to misogynistic cruelties and inebriation, etc…

    That said, I love the recipe 😛 I’ll be gleefully experimenting with it, so cheers <3

    1. Tim says: Reply

      Hi Mirk,
      You simply don’t get it and therefore your comment and thought process is “lack witted”. The sentiment is exactly and especially for those in third world countries. We have been to third world countries and helped such individuals as you describe. It is only by the pure grace of God that anyone has any chance in this world–regardless of the level of the perceived positive or negative experience.

      You do not know the things we or others have gone through and even if you did, I would suggest not thinking so arrogantly as if you are qualified to compare them to other horrific tragedies.

  13. […] recipe for hot spiced milk has been my go-to winter drink as of […]

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