Golden Coconut Milk

TEXT by Celine MacKay | PHOTOGRAPHS by Celine MacKay


IN WINTER, IT'S DIFFICULT TO AVOID A COLD. In particular with children, it seems they are always catching something, and then it makes it's endless rounds within the family. When I catch a cold I load myself up with oregano oil, echinacea, vitamin C and a few other essentials, but for little Charlie, who is but 2, there are definitely fewer options that her delicate immune system can handle. My heart aches everytime I hear that racking cough, and although it doesn't really slow her down (truly I think it bothers me more than her), all I want to do is give her something to make her feel better. There are some good remedies for kids if treating symptoms is what you're after, but I wanted something that would dig a little deeper into the immune function. After asking a few questions, and doing a little more research, I wanted to try a variation of the ancient Ayurvedic recipe for Golden Milk.


The beautiful, yellow hue of the drink comes from turmeric, the essential spice used in this recipe. Turmeric has long been touted as a miracle worker, but it's efficacy is due to a compound called curcumin, which is proven to be anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. The benefits are many but it's also known to work well agains cough and colds. (Read more about it's other benefits here.) It's important to note that curcumin cannot be absorbed into the body on it's own. Black pepper contains a compound that enables that absorption, so be sure to always couple the two spices when using. 


This drink also includes honey, both to sweeten and because it effectively soothes a sore throat and cough (studies show it's as effective as over-the-counter cough syrup). The drink is pleasing, filling and warm, so it's nice at any time during the cold months for overall health and maintenance. I've been told it's really nice at bedtime and might even help you sleep!



  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or several pieces of cinnamon bark
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey, to taste
  • Generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Approximately 1/2 inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger root, grated 
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


In a blender, combine all ingredients until well-blended. Transfer to a saucepan, and simmer over medium heat until hot. Allow to cool and drink immediately. One full can of coconut milk makes several servings—the milk is better served immediately, so cut recipe in half if only making for one.

Note: Turmeric is fat soluble, hence the coconut milk. For a lighter option, use almond milk but add a tablespoon of coconut oil.