Got milk? If so, heat it up and spice it up!
Seriously, warm milk? With spices? Isn’t that a little strange?
Ancient wisdom teaches us otherwise. You might have grown up dousing breakfast cereal with the cold stuff or swigging it straight from the fridge. (Or maybe you still do—we won’t tell…)
But that’s not how our ancestors served up the life-giving liquid. Milk contains difficult-to-digest proteins, and cold temperatures weaken that all-important digestion even further.
Warmed and spiced! Proper preparation turns a potential tummy turner into one of the most rejuvenative foods on the planet. Check out the tasty tonic below.
Still not convinced?
Take it from babies: they prefer milk fresh from the breast or, failing that, warm from a bottle. Ice cold? No, thanks, ma!
Speaking of babies…
If you’re a new mother and you’re asking “Got milk?” for a different reason, then please reach out!
Almost half of all new moms fear low milk supply, but truly insufficient production is surprisingly rare. Most women, with the right education and support, can nourish their babies just fine.
Whether you think you’ve got a milk shortage or a milk surplus, we have tips, tricks, and tools that can help you out. There’s no need to suffer through it or give up entirely!
Have we mentioned before how much we enjoy guiding new moms through the postpartum period? Good! And seriously, we’d love to hear from you, so let us know how we can help.
But we digress. (Believe us, that happens often when we get started talking about postpartum care!) Without further ado, here's the recipe.
Spiced Milk Tonic
Spiced milk is particularly tonifying prior to conception, during late pregnancy, and after birth. In fact, ancient Ayurvedic wisdom deems cow’s milk, when properly sourced and prepared, one of the most rejuvenative foods available to humans, especially welcome during times of rebuilding.
Although lactose intolerance, dairy allergies or sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, and more might make avoiding it essential for some, many women find warm spiced milk a staple throughout the perinatal period, especially right after birth and in the weeks—and even months—that follow.
And for all the non-new-moms reading? Feel free to imbibe! (Assuming, of course, you don’t have a condition that warrants abstention.) Once you understand proper sourcing and preparation, spiced milk, like kitchari, can become a versatile go-to recipe with benefits throughout the life cycle.
Choose raw, grass-fed, non-homogenized, organic cream-top milk if you can find it locally. If you can’t, then consider a low-temperature pasteurized (also called batch or vat pasteurized) organic whole milk found in the grocery store or local market. Avoid all homogenized and high-temperature pasteurized milk.
Make sure to serve it warm with digestive spices, as below, and consume it away from meals, although it does pair nicely with a sweet snack like almond date balls. In addition to enhancing a snack, milk tonics can brighten the morning, particularly if you’re accustomed to reaching for a hot beverage. They also make an excellent nightcap, supporting healthy neurotransmitter production and inducing sound sleep.
While nutritive herbs like shatavari, vidari, and anantamula are optional, they’re great adjuncts to a postpartum protocol. Add them 1 week or later after birth and emphasize them especially during baby’s growth spurts, typically occurring around 10 days, 3 weeks, 5 weeks, and 7 weeks. Nutritive herbs can also effectively restore depleted tissue even far beyond the typical postpartum window, but work with a health practitioner to determine your specific nutritional and hormonal needs. Regardless, ensure that they’re accompanied by digestive spices, as below, to enhance their assimilation and efficacy.
While warm milk is the quintessential fertility promoter and peaceful postpartum food, if you truly do not tolerate dairy well, then replace the cow’s milk with a fresh nut or seed milk—either homemade or store-bought but free from unwanted additives, thickeners, and sweeteners to the extent possible.
Adjust the spices below to your liking—remember, it’s a versatile recipe so create the flavor you want! Also adjust the measurements to achieve your desired strength.
If craving more of a chai-type recipe, add 1 tablespoon or more of loose-leaf red rooibos tea and let it steep for a minute or two with the spices before adding the milk. Rooibos is a mineral- and antioxidant-rich herb that heralds from a South African bush, prepared similarly to black tea without any caffeine.
- 1 cup filtered water
- 5 slices fresh ginger root
- 5 whole cloves
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- 2 pinches nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 2 cups organic whole cow’s milk (or nut milk if desired)
- 1 tablespoon organic ghee
- 4 threads saffron (optional)
- 1 teaspoon shatavari, vidari, anantamula, or other nutritive herb (optional)
- 1 scoop hydrolyzed collagen (optional, for extra protein)
- sweetener (like coconut sugar, date sugar, maple syrup, or raw honey) (optional)
- Soak the saffron for about 10 minutes in a small bowl of hot milk or water.
- In a small pot, boil the water with the spices (except saffron) until it is reduced to ½ cup or less.
- Add the milk and bring just to a boil; refrain from overheating if the milk is raw, in order to preserve the enzymes.
- Add saffron and optional nutritive herbs.
- Remove from heat and strain out whole spices.
- Serve milk hot with ghee, at least 1 teaspoon per cup.
- Stir in optional collagen and add sweetener, if using, once the milk has cooled to a palatable temperature.
- Sip and enjoy!
How do you like your milk? Share with us here!
To contented milk mustaches for young and old alike, together we are “Preparing to Parent: Growing Families with Purpose…on Purpose.”