T’is the Season for Some Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte!

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Symbolic for the fall harvest, the pumpkin has become an icon for food during this time of the year and can be found almost everywhere you look.

The pumpkin and its well-associated spices are both extremely healthy in composition and their uses since the early times. Pumpkins, and their sister fruit, the squash, are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas with the Native Indians. Archeologists have found evidence that variations of the two were used along with sunflowers and beans as a staple food in their diets. They too, cooked and ate them in a variety of ways; dried, in soups, drinks and baked in underground ovens over burning coals. However, they weren’t as lucky back then to have these delicious pumpkin spice turmeric lattes we’re about to show you! Pumpkins have a fantastic range of health benefits and are considered one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. This gives the pumpkin and carrot their vibrant orange color. Beta-carotene has been proven to reduce the risks of developing certain types of cancers, protecting against the development of asthma and heart disease, and aids in anti-aging and the degeneration of cells. In general, the pumpkin is a highly nutrient-rich food filled with vitamins and minerals, and low in calories. It makes for an excellent choice in food and drinks, especially when in season.

Why a Latte?
We all know about the popularity of coffee. It has been brewed as a drink for hundreds of years and is now one of the most common drinks in the world. Coffee has now evolved into a drink that comes in a stunning number of varieties, including the latte. Latte is the Italian word for milk coffee and refers to the method in which the milk is prepared, which in this case happens to be steamed. It adds a creaminess and froth to the drink that many people crave.

The Benefits of Drinking the Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte
This pumpkin spice turmeric latte not only tastes good but like all of our recipes, it too has amazing health benefits. In this beverage, you will find turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper and a source of milk, all of which provide you with something your body can take and use for good purposes. Take a look at the reasons why we love this beverage:

Turmeric. If you can incorporate one spice into your cooking, it should be turmeric. Popularly known for its anti-inflammatory properties, research has also shown it can be helpful in the treatment of many additional health conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin is the active component in Turmeric and is often used interchangeably in dialect. Studies have also shown that curcumin may be useful in fighting against obesity as it reduces leptin resistance, lowers insulin resistance, reverses hyperglycemia, reduces inflammation, and activates fat burning gene signals.

Black Pepper. Aside from its own benefits, it has been proven that consuming black pepper with curcumin increases the bioavailability of the turmeric. This fruit that comes from the black pepper plant is used as both a food and a medicine. Although most commonly known for adding a small kick to your favorite meals, medically speaking it can help promote weight loss by boosting metabolism, improve digestion, relieve a cough and cold symptoms and treat skin problems.

Cinnamon. To put this spice into better perspective, because of its amazing qualities, cinnamon was once worth more than gold, and it truly is nothing short of miraculous. With its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties cinnamon is a great spice to add to your meals. It’s been known to lower cholesterol, fight diabetes, alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and have anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. How does cinnamon help those who suffer from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome? With its high concentration of antioxidants, cinnamon can help protect the body from potential damage from free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Ginger. For over 2000 years, the Chinese have used ginger to help cure and prevent several health problems. Most commonly used to relieve nausea and stomach discomfort, the ginger root can also promote energy circulation, increase the body’s metabolic rate, fight against colds, flu, and respiratory infections, as well as assist the body in absorbing the essential nutrients that it needs. This is particularly great for people whose body is in need of recovery from stress and stress-induced illnesses that often leave the body fragile and in need of a major health boost.

Nutmeg. Known as brain tonic, this spice was used during ancient times by the Roman and Greek civilizations to effectively stimulate the brain. It helps eliminate fatigue and stress, great for those with Adrenal issues. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, nutmeg is also a good spice to include in your cooking regime.

Milk. Although the milk choices are abundant and extremely controversial, there are many sources of milk that can be used for preparing the pumpkin spice turmeric latte that is extremely healthy. Consumers can now have personal preferences as to which type of milk they prefer, each with their own pro’s and con’s; dairy, almond, rice, soy, pea, and hemp are some of the more popular. It is best to choose the type that best suits your body’s needs for calcium, protein, and digestion.

It is very important that you check all ingredients prior to trying a new recipe, although every ingredient in the pumpkin spice turmeric latte is beneficial, they also have side effects to be cautious of, especially if you suffer from preexisting conditions such as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome where the body is super sensitive to food and environmental stimulants. For example, with all the amazing wonders that cinnamon possesses, it is definitely not recommended in large quantities as it has been found to be toxic and an anticoagulant; turmeric powder is only safe when added in correct dosages in recipes. Never take supplements of it without investigation as high dosages have been known to cause stomach ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. If you question how anything may affect you, it is always best to consult with your primary healthcare provider.

Ingredients A
You will always want to choose organic products when cooking as they offer the most natural, health beneficial nutrients available. They are more likely not to contain artificial preservatives, flavorings or chemicals.

¼ to ½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp or more of pumpkin pie spice (or to make your own version use ⅓ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ginger, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of allspice)
a pinch of black pepper
Ingredients B
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1.5 cups of the milk of your choice, we prefer non-dairy.
1.5 tbsp or more sweetener of choice, honey is a magnificent choice!
¼ cup water
Turmeric, pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon for taste as garnish
Whipped nondairy cream
Bring the water and Ingredients A to a boil and let the mixture simmer for a minute.
Blend Ingredients B together until frothy.
Add this combination to the Ingredients A water mixture and bring it to just a bit a boil.
Pour the pumpkin spice latte into mugs, and if you choose, go to add Optional items!
Add whipped nondairy on top
Sprinkle pinches of turmeric and pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!
Now you can enjoy a fancy coffee shop quality beverage with all the flavors of the season in the comfort of your very own home!

 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.