The best anti-inflammatory Turmeric Smoothie is made with golden milk, a variety of tropical fruit like pineapple, papaya, or mango, and fun mix-ins. This Turmeric Smoothie is packed with fiber, healthy fats, and a whole lot of nourishment for a paleo and vegan-friendly option to keep your immune system strong and gut health thriving. Toss the ingredients in a blender for a quick breakfast or healthy snack!
In recent years, turmeric has been a huge trend in the health and wellness space and for good reason! While it’s not a magic cure-all like some celebrities and influencers would like you to believe, it is filled with incredible health benefits. Plus, it’s an easy ingredient to add into your daily routine with quick recipes like the golden milk smoothie featured in this post, turmeric tea, vegetable stir-frys, breakfast recipes and more. Personally, I’ve been using this spice for years. With recipes like Turmeric Ginger Lemonade and smoothies such as this Chai Spiced Turmeric Smoothie Bowl, it has been an incredible aid in my husband’s recovery from hard runs and intense physical exercise.
However, I can’t take credit for discovering the amazing benefits of this spice. Originating from the turmeric plant in India and Southeast Asia, the use of turmeric dates back centuries. Today, it is a common ingredient in most curry recipes and is used to improve a wide variety of conditions. Don’t worry, we’ll get into those details more a bit later.
Are you ready to get blending this turmeric smoothie recipe? I thought so. Take a look at this video to see just how quick it is, and keep reading to find the best tips and tricks, nutrition benefits, and more!
What is Vegan Golden Milk & How to Make It (with Video)
Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk, is a combination of dairy-free milk, turmeric, pepper, ginger or cinnamon, and a sweetener of maple syrup or honey. Once mixed, the milk takes on a bright golden color and adopts a sweet and spicy flavor. This drink is traditionally served warm and used almost as a tea to comfort and relieve illnesses. While there are health benefits associated with all of the ingredients in golden milk, the true star of the show is the turmeric.
What is Turmeric Good for?
Turmeric is widely regarded as one of the most beneficial natural supplements available and is used in everything from recipes to medicines. The secret to turmeric’s effectiveness is the curcumin found in the plant which has extreme anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help fight against oxidative stress in the body. As a result, turmeric contains a wide variety of health benefits including:
- Improved brain function – Curcumin is believed to boost levels of the brain hormone BDNF. This hormone helps decrease age-related brain function and brain degenerative diseases. (source)
- Lowered risk of heart disease – Curcumin assists in the functioning of the endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels) which helps regulate blood pressure and blood clotting.
- Alzheimer’s disease prevention – Curcumin has been shown to be able to cross the blood/brain barrier and aid in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain as well as the body.
- Regulated blood sugar -- Curcumin reduces the activity of certain liver enzymes that release sugar into the bloodstream. But at the same time curcumin also will activate enzymes that store sugar as glycogen (source). So really, it’s all about improving the insulin receptor when sugar is released.
- Reduced risk of cancer – While it is not conclusive, studies are showing that curcumin may aid in reducing the growth of cancerous cells and preventing the growth of existing tumors.
Nutrition Tip: To get the most “bang for your buck” out of turmeric, the curcumin needs to be extracted. This is why we make a “tea” using milk rather than just adding a dash of turmeric to this tropical golden vegan smoothie. Plus, the dash of pepper used in the golden milk helps you really absorb the nutrients from the curcumin.
Fresh vs. Dried Turmeric: Is There a Difference?
Before we decide which is better to use, let’s first clarify the difference between fresh and dried turmeric. Found in the produce section of grocery stores, fresh turmeric looks very similar to ginger. Meanwhile, dried or ground turmeric is a powder commonly found in the spice section.
To make the powder, the turmeric plant is peeled, boiled, dried, and ground. In the process, it loses some of its essential oils and flavor. As a result, it is best to buy turmeric fresh. However, for convenience’s sake, ground turmeric will work just fine.
Tropical Smoothie Add-Ins
I’m all about using fresh ingredients to make tropical smoothies, and this recipe is no different! While it’s already loaded with good-for-you ingredients and delicious all on its own, the best smoothies are customizable to your tropical taste buds! Due to the high content of fruit in this golden milk smoothie, it tends to have a higher carb content. So, to create a more balanced meal, I like to add in ingredients such as chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, protein powder, or even collagen for added nutrients and fiber to help keep me full. When deciding on the best fruit pairing for your smoothie consider these fruits and their health benefits:
- Pineapple – Pineapples are high in vitamins such as vitamin C and manganese. They are also high in antioxidants and contains enzymes that promote healthy digestion.
- Mango – Mangos are high in vitamin C, copper, and folate. They can help improve skin health, boost immunity, and support healthy heart function.
- Banana – Bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C. As a result, they can help moderate blood sugars, improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease the occurrence of cramps.
- Papaya – Papayas are great for aiding in digestion as well! They contain key vitamins and minerals; such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and magnesium that support immunity and bone health.
- Ginger – Ginger can be used to combat nausea, lower blood sugar, treat chronic indigestion, improve brain function, reduce the effects of osteoarthritis, and more.
- Coconut – Coconuts are high in B vitamins, manganese, copper, and iron. They’re a great source of electrolytes, can help promote blood sugar control, and manage cholesterol levels.
Make Ahead Smoothie Tips + Storage
I would not recommend making a full smoothie ahead of time as it would become soggy. However, you can prep the ingredients beforehand! Feel free to make the golden milk up to 5 days in advance. Just be sure to store it in the fridge.
To make life even easier, you can also prep the rest of the smoothie ingredients and keep them in baggies. To do this, just chop all your fruit, and store them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 6-9 months.
Then, when you’re ready to make your smoothie, all you have to do is toss the ingredients in a blender, and blend away!
If you’re looking for more healthy smoothies or snacks that happen to also taste incredible, or more anti-inflammatory recipes I’ve got you covered. Of course, if you make this turmeric smoothie or any of my other recipes, I’d love it if you let me know in the comments below.Print
Don’t forget to stay tuned for new recipes every week!
This recipe was originally posted in May 2016 and was updated with new photos and instructions in May 2021.