Fall is here! And you know what that means...Temperatures drop. Colorful leaves fall from the trees. And Starbucks rolls out its pumpkin spice latte.

But, if you’re a health enthusiast and avid yoga practitioner like I am, sugary and expensive drinks from Starbucks might not be your thing. At the same time, you probably love cozying up to your computer or a good book, with a steaming drink in hand. So, what’s a health discerning yogi to do?

Ayurvedic Golden Milk

The answer is simple. It comes from the ancient tradition of Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science. The yogi’s version of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is called "golden milk." It’s a warming and super healthy blend of milk, turmeric powder and earthy spices. Golden milk is a beloved beverage within the Ayurvedic tradition because of its many medicinal properties. What’s more, depending upon how you make it, it’s every bit as delicious as its unhealthier counterparts.

Many yogis love to drink golden milk before bedtime because it’s believed to have soothing, sleep-promoting effects. It also bolsters your immune system, making it the ideal autumn beverage. Yet another one of this creamy, comforting drink’s important health benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties. Golden milk fights inflammation, which wards off disease.

Turmeric & Other Ingredients

You probably know that turmeric powder has a treasure trove of health benefits. But, what you might not realize is that by combining turmeric with the typical spices found in golden milk, you’re actually boosting its antioxidant level, making it a truly potent little potion. These earthy spices include: cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Some blends also have vanilla bean, date paste, and ashwagandha root. In every recipe, turmeric is always the main ingredient. Then you mix it all with hot water or even bone broth if you want to avoid milk.

(If you need even more convincing about this super spice, here's 5 Reasons Why Yogis Love Turmeric.)

Traditionally, cow’s milk is the base liquid. However, you can substitute with a nut, seed, or rice milk. Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, pecan milk, and hemp milk are all options. If you have access to a local goat farm, raw goat’s milk is a delicious treat! A sweetener is also involved. Again, you can choose the one that fits your particular diet. Date paste, maple syrup, and honey are all popular. But if you don’t like any of those options, you can add stevia powder, which won’t raise your blood sugar level. Blackstrap molasses is a good bet, too, as it’s full of healthy nutrients.

Golden Milk Recipes

There are so many fun variations of the beloved yogic golden milk! Within the following handful of recipes, I’m sure you’ll find one to inspire the makings of your own golden milk mustache!

Vegan Golden Milk

If your body dislikes animal products, then you won’t be drinking cow’s milk. Here’s a vegan alternative for those of you who fall into the vegan yogi category.

What you need:

¾ cup almond milk
¾ cup coconut milk (the kind that comes in a carton, not a can)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
⅛ tsp. ginger powder
⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. Grade B maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut oil (optional)

What to do:

Place almond milk, coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, maple syrup and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Heat stove to medium and whisk the cozy mixture for a few minutes. Serve in your favorite mug and sip mindfully.

Classic Golden Milk

This recipe might appeal to the foodies out there who are more apt to eat from the recipes that appear on the pages of "Bon Appetit" rather than "Yoga Journal."

What you need:

1 ½ cups organic cow’s milk
1 tbsp. fresh turmeric root (grated)
1 tsp. fresh ginger root (grated)
2 black peppercorns
1 tsp. honey

What to do:

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir for a couple of minutes, turn off the heat, and pour into a cozy mug. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and sip with pleasure.

Sweet and Spicy Golden Milk

This recipe integrates some of the more exotic spices like vanilla and cardamom, while raw goat’s milk acts as the base.

What you need:

1 ½ cups raw goat’s milk
1 tsp. turmeric powder
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger powder
¼ tsp. cardamom powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch ground black pepper
1 tsp. raw honey, grade B maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice

What to do:

Again, place all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk all everything together until well combined. Turn off heat and pour into your favorite mug to sip while comfy and cozy.

Namaste and Cheers!

May you enjoy the yogi’s healthier alternative to Starbucks’ "PSL" this fall. Not only will your body and mind thank you for it, so will your friends and family, as you’ll be a healthier, happier person to be around this season!

(For more great Ayurvedic recipes, read 5 Ayurvedic Recipes to Stoke Your Inner Fire.)