Vegan Golden Milk - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Vegan Golden Milk

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

My Vegan Golden Milk gets it’s immune-boosting health benefits from turmeric and other spices.  Have you heard of ayurveda? This recipe is inspired by Ayurveda, aka Ayurvedic medicine, and is a traditional Indian drink that is typically served warm. Adding Reishi, a medicinal mushroom will bolster the immune enhancing benefits!

Golden Yellow Turmeric

The luxurious golden color of my Vegan Golden Milk comes from turmeric, a plant that is in the ginger family. Turmeric is native to Southeast Asia, where it is now grown commercially to meet the global demand.  It has a long history of use in Ayurveda and other Indian and Eastern Asian traditional medicines.

Turmeric, the main ingredient in my Vegan Golden Milk is commonly referred to as a “root,” but technically is a rhizome, which is like an underground stem.  It is used widely as a culinary spice and dietary supplement. It is one of the main ingredients in curry powder.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is touted as a super food, having a multitude of health benefits for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, allergies, depression––and the list goes on!  The medicinal properties, which have been known for thousands of years is currently trying to be substantiated by modern scientists via clinical trials.

If you are a turmeric fan, you have probably heard of curcumin, the main bioactive compound that provides turmeric’s health benefits.  Curcumin’s mechanism of action is primarily as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.  The bioavailability, the ease at which your body can absorb the curcumin is low, and it has been shown that adding black pepper can increase the absorption by up to 200%!

The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric may make it effective in managing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  By enjoying my Vegan Golden Milk, the curcumin content may improve insulin sensitivity, reduce blood pressure and elevate the good cholesterol, HDL.

Cinnamon 1,2

Cinnamon, offers a spicy, warming taste to my Vegan Golden Milk, and is a kitchen staple, but did you know that there are many different varieties?  Cinnamon, is tree bark, it is harvested and ground into powder or cut into perfect, little cinnamon sticks.  The two main categories of cinnamon, are cassia and Ceylon.

If you have just one cinnamon on your shelf, it is likely cassia cinnamon.  It has a pungent taste and potent aroma, and only a small amount provides big flavor making it the most widely used cinnamon.  There are three types of cassia cinnamon––Indonesian, Chinese, and Saigon.  Indonesian is the main type found in America, due to its sweet and mild flavor.

Ceylon cinnamon, also referred to as “true” cinnamon is less common, but has a more nuanced and complex flavor.  You can use any cinnamon in my Vegan Golden Milk, but I highly recommend trying out Ceylon cinnamon!  You may need to go to a specialty grocer or purchase from my favorite spice company, Burlap & Barrel.

Reishi Mushrooms 3,4

My Vegan Golden Milk is a straightforward recipe that you have probably seen sold pre-made at coffee shops and grocers.  What sets this recipe apart is the addition of red Reishi mushroom powder.  It mixes well with the rest of the spices and adds a subtle umami flavor that you will hardly notice.

As a Registered Dietitian, I have always been aware of the health benefits of mushrooms, but rarely find them at my grocer, and they have such a short shelf-life.  That was until I found Qi Traditions mushroom powders! All of their products are organic and rigorously researched and tested.

Red Reishi has a long history as a powerful healing agent in China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries.  They are considered the “God of Fungi” for their longevity-promoting power to bolster the immune system and aid in overcoming illnesses.  Reishi has been used as an immunostimulant by patients with HIV and cancer.

Let’s Get Sipping!

Making my Vegan Golden Milk is simple, tasty and has a number of health boosting benefits!  Add the plant-based milks of your choice, spices and maple syrup to a small pot and simmer.  To maximize the health benefits of turmeric, try adding a dash of black pepper.  Even if you want to enjoy it cold, heating the milk will make it easier to incorporate all of the spices.

Do not bring my Vegan Golden Milk to a boil! This can destroy the active health promoting compounds.  If you are not a warm beverage fan you can serve it over ice or chill it in the fridge before drinking. Enjoy!

Similar Pages

Looking for more health promoting drinks? Try my Vegan Hot Chocolate, Ginger Berry Smoothie or Wild Blueberry Winter Warming Smoothie.


  1. Delany A. Did You Know That There Are Different Types of Cinnamon? Bon Appétit. Accessed December 26, 2020.
  2. The Different Types of Cinnamon – The Spice House. Accessed December 26, 2020.
  3. Reishi Mushroom | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Accessed December 26, 2020.
  4. Qi Traditions Ultra Premium Medicinal Mushrooms. Qi Traditions. Accessed October 29, 2020.
Thumbnail, Vertical Abbie, Vegan Golden Milk with Reishi

Vegan Golden Milk

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Reishi mushroom powder
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add coconut milk, almond milk, maple syrup, turmeric, cinnamon, Reishi, ginger, and vanilla.
  • Bring to a simmer, but not boiling, and whisk frequently. Serve immediately.


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