This flavorful and aromatic spiced milk recipe is as nutritious as it is delicious. Herbs like fresh mint leaves, ginger, lemon grass, saffron and cinnamon infused in a warm milk blended with soaked cashew nuts makes for a nourishing and satisfying drink. This is a great drink for kids in lieu of the store-bought powders that are predominantly made of sugar these days!
Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
- Organic Milk (2 cups)
- Cashews (8-10)
- Mint leaves (5-6)
- Ginger (1/2 inch piece)
- Lemon grass (5-6 1 inch stalks)
- Cinnamon or cardamom powder (freshly ground) (a pinch)
- Saffron (a few strands)
- Sweetener like jaggery, date syrup, brown sugar or honey (per taste)
- Soak the cashews in water for a few hours (even 30 minutes is beneficial, 1-2 hours is ideal), if possible.
- Warm milk on low to medium heat and add the chopped leaves, grated ginger, lemon grass, saffron and cinnamon or cardamom powder. You may also add turmeric powder. Let the milk simmer for a few minutes so that the herbs get well infused into the milk. Ensure that the milk doesn’t boil over.
- Add brown sugar or date syrup or jaggery or honey as sweetener if you are serving this to younger kids.
Sweet (milk, sugar, cashews, cinnamon), sour (none), salty (none), bitter (saffron, mint leaves), pungent (ginger, mint, cinnamon), astringent (cinnamon, saffron).
Milk with its sweet, cold and heavy properties tends to be kapha aggravating. But warming the milk and infusing it with digestive spices and herbs reduces the kaphagenic properties of milk and also makes it more digestible. Mint is a cooling herb and is good for indigestion, flatulence, respiratory problems, and pitta reduction in general. Cinnamon is heating and is good for digestion, blood sugar regulation, and kapha reduction in general. Saffron is great for summer. It is a cooling blood purifier, pitta pacifier, is great for the skin and is a reproductive tonic. Ginger is heating, sharp, pungent and digestive – a good balancing effect for the qualities of milk. It is good for deepana (igniting the digestive fire) and pachana (helping with the actual process of digestion). Include a little less ginger for pitta types and during summer. Alternatively, dry ginger may also be used. Brown sugar or date syrup is a good sweetener for summer. Jaggery and honey are both slightly heating.
This herb-infused spiced milk is a very sattvic drink with its sweet, mild, satisfying and nourishing properties.