Vegetarian food writer and pastry chef Peta Leith shares her recipe for a warming golden milk and banana bedtime smoothie, guaranteed to help you sleep better tonight…

Traditionally an Indian drink recipe, golden milk has been gaining popularity in Western cultures in recent years. From the Instagrammable bright yellow colouring to the numerous health benefits and delicious taste, there are several things to love when it comes to this bright beverage.

Which spices are used in a golden milk recipe?

Golden milk is usually made with several warming spices. Traditionally, this includes:

  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper

What are the health benefits of golden milk?

Golden milk offers a wide range of health benefits, thanks to its inclusion of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredient. One ingredient, in particular, is well-renowned for its healing qualities: turmeric.

turmeric golden milk recipe

Benefits of turmeric:

Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, which offers a range of benefits for your whole body – from your immune system and respiratory tract to your heart and digestive system. Studies have also shown that turmeric can relieve joint pain and inflammation.

When using turmeric, it’s always best to also add black pepper, as this contains a compound called piperine, which reportedly enhances curcumin absorption in the body by up to 2,000%.

Benefits of ginger:

Alongside turmeric, other key spices found in a golden milk recipe also offer a range of health benefits. For example, ginger is commonly used as a treatment for nausea. Some studies have also suggested that ginger can offer relief from pain and inflammation, while also potentially being useful for healthy weight loss.

Benefits of cinnamon:

Lastly, the inclusion of cinnamon in golden milk provides anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits. Research has also shown that cinnamon can support gut health and help with the management of blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

Can golden milk help you sleep better?

Curcumin in turmeric can help to enhance serotonin and increase the production of dopamine, both of which are helpful in reducing stress, and in turn, combatting insomnia.

In this particular golden milk recipe, Peta has also added bananas. These not only add sweetness but can aid also sleep, thanks to high levels of magnesium and potassium, which act as muscle relaxants. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which helps control melatonin levels – key to making you feel sleepy in the evenings.

Golden milk and banana bedtime smoothie recipe – by Peta Leith

golden milk recipe

Photo: Peta Leith

Serves 2


  • 300ml oat milk
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 overripe banana, peeled and sliced


  1. Whisk together the oat milk and all the spices in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring it to the boil, then as soon as it’s boiled, pour it over the banana in the jug of a liquidiser or blender. Next, blitz the mixture until it’s completely smooth.
  3. Drink it straight away, while still nice and warm, for a soothing bedtime drink.

TIP! The banana is high in pectin, so you do need to drink it immediately after blending, or it can start to set. If your bedtime smoothie does start setting, simply blitz it up again before drinking.

The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith and Peta Leith (£25, Bluebird) is out now.

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