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Soothing Bedtime Golden Milk

An easy anti-inflammatory, cold-fighting recipe for a warm, vegan turmeric latte that'll help you sleep.

Well Plated

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Ever since adding “Be Rested” to my list of Intentions, I’ve been putting more thought into how I spend the last 90 minutes before I climb into bed. And by “more,” I mean that I’ve actually been thinking about it, period. If you are looking for ways to relax, unwind, and improve your sleep—or if you simply like the idea of a warm, tasty beverage adding a little cozy to your evening—this Soothing Bedtime Golden Milk recipe has been a wonderful addition to my nighttime routine, and I can see it having a welcome spot in yours too!

I’ve heard a lot about “golden milk” over the years, but I didn’t fully understand or appreciate its benefits. I’d seen enough recipes for it floating around the web to know it contained turmeric and ginger (the sources of its signature golden hue), but I didn’t connect it with sleep until I decided to get more serious about my zzzzzzzzzs.

For most of my life, I’ve ignored sleep as a critical component of health. Diet and exercise? Absolutely. But sleep? I reasoned that was why God gave us coffee.

After all, surely whatever I was doing in that last 90 minutes before bed was more important than sleeping.

Or so I thought.

Actual final 90 minutes before bed from a typical weeknight:

  • 9:38 p.m. Finish watching show and eating ice cream on the couch with Ben (for the curious, we just started The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and it was Halo Top Peanut Butter Cup with a sprinkle of chocolate chips).
  • 9:39 p.m. Begin posting a photo from a video shoot to Facebook.
  • 9:40 p.m. Tell self that as soon as I post this photo, I’ll head upstairs to bed. Actually become excited at the prospect of being in bed by 10 p.m.!
  • 9:49 p.m. Finish posting photo. I don’t know why this took so long.
  • 9:50 p.m. Scroll Facebook while checking how many likes my photo is getting.
  • 9:53 p.m. Realize I have a typo in my photo caption. Fix immediately.
  • 10:08 p.m. Silently chastise myself for being on Facebook so long.
  • 10:09 p.m. Close Facebook. Open Instagram.
  • 10:29 p.m. OMG IT’S BEEN 20 MINUTES.
  • 10:31 p.m. Haul self off couch. Walk into kitchen to start the dishwasher. Realize dishwasher is already clean. Decide to empty and reload it.
  • 10:46 p.m. Finish cleaning kitchen and head upstairs to bed. For real this time.
  • 10:47 p.m. Start brushing teeth. Refresh email on phone. See an email that will need a response first thing in the morning.
  • 10:48 p.m. Mentally draft email response. Revise mental draft several times.
  • 10:58 p.m. Make it to edge of bed and sit down. Check email one more time.
  • 10:59 p.m. Begin discussing client email/generally chatting with Ben.
  • 11:07 p.m. FINALLY get under the covers. Try to relax, while still thinking about email…and tomorrow’s to-do list.

No wonder I don’t feel rested!

I’ve always thought the idea of a “nighttime routine” or “bedtime rituals” sounded either silly or reserved for someone far more in touch with their inner juju than me. Now that I’m paying more attention to how I spend my pre-bedtime hours, however, I realize that I DO have a bedtime routine: checking my phone, finishing miscellaneous household tasks, and thinking about my to-do list for the next day.

As a part of my goal to be more rested, I decided to set my own nighttime schedule instead of letting notifications on my phone set it for me.

I’m still testing out different bedtime activities, but one I’ve been LOVING is making myself a cup of this easy Bedtime Cinnamon Golden Milk about an hour before bed.

In addition to soothing me to sleep, this soothing bedtime golden milk has also helped me appease my nightly craving for something sweet before bed. I’ve been replacing my ritual bowl of ice cream with a steaming cup of it and find myself feeling completely satisfied.

How to Make This Soothing Bedtime Milk

About the Ingredients

  • Almonds: Rich in magnesium, which promotes both sleeping and muscle relaxation. This golden milk recipes uses them in the form of almond butter and almond milk.
  • Honey: Allows tryptophan (of Thanksgiving turkey fame) to enter the brain more easily.
  • Ginger: Calms the stomach and promotes relaxation. Some studies suggest ginger can help reduce anxiety.
  • Turmeric: Aids digestion and has calming properties, which lead to sounder sleep. If you have aches and pains, golden milk for joints is a popular remedy, as it is anti-inflammatory too.
  • Cinnamon: Similar to turmeric and ginger, cinnamon also helps with digestion (and it’s a delicious pairing with the other ingredients).

How to Store and Reheat

  • To Store. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container such as a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, so I like to make a double or triple batch, then enjoy it several nights in a row.
  • To Reheat. Reheat on the stove, stirring to recombine the spices and almond butter.
two richly colored mugs of golden milk garnished with almonds and cinnamon sticks on a wood table

Golden Milk Recipe


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons honey plus additional to taste (to make vegan, swap maple syrup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon plus additional for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • Optional additions: tiny pinch ground black pepper ground cardamom, or ground cloves


  • Combine the milk, honey, almond butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and any optional spices in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over medium until warmed through, whisking briskly so that the almond butter does not stick to the bottom and the spices incorporate. Do not let boil. Pour into a mug and sip deeply.


Serving: 1 drink | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g Fat: 5g | Sodium: 181mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g

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This post originally appeared on Well Plated and was published September 26, 2020. This article is republished here with permission.

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