Elysian Eats: Botanica’s Turmeric Ginger Black Pepper Latte

Written by Emily Fiffer Photography by Heather Sperling

We’re damn excited for the holidays; we’re oh-so ready to hang with family, decompress, reflect, get revved up for the New Year and, last but not least, to feast. Indulging is part of life, and we’re all for enjoying ourselves to the fullest. But balance is the name of the game, and this is where our Turmeric Ginger Black Pepper Latte comes in.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties are touted everywhere you turn (who knew a root could be a trend?), as is ginger’s power as a digestive aid. Together, the two are a double-whammy for your insides, warming you up and setting you on track. Dates pack a nutritional energy punch, too; they’re our favorite natural sweetener to use in smoothies, nut milks and baking.

This drink makes mornings feel extra-luxurious; it’s an elegant stand-in for hot chocolate, too. Creamy cashew milk balances the pungent spices, dates and vanilla make things sweet, and black pepper perks your senses right up (that’s why we call it a latte). It’s comfort in a cup – just add a fireplace, a blanket and a good book.

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Turmeric Ginger Black Pepper Latte

1 cup fresh nut milk (preferably cashew!)

One 1-inch knob fresh turmeric, peeled*
One ½-inch knob ginger, peeled*

Seeds scraped from a 2-inch portion of vanilla bean

1 date**

Finely ground black pepper


Combine everything but the black pepper in a blender and blend until completely pureed. (We recommend making your own vanilla date cashew milk — so easy and so good!) Transfer to a small pitcher and steam using the steam attachment on an espresso machine or transfer to a pot and heat gently, over medium-low heat, until warm. Pour into a mug and top with a few grinds of black pepper. (If your pepper grinder doesn’t grind very finely, throw two or three peppercorns into the blender with the rest of the ingredients, instead.)

*Try peeling your ginger and turmeric with a spoon, we find it easier than a peeler!
**If you’ve made your nut milk without dates, add 2-3 here to give this some nice sweetness. Honey dates are our favorites to use for sweetening (and if you don’t have dates, plain ol’ honey will do, too – but use the mildest-flavored one you have).

Editor’s Note: Did you love this recipe? It comes from our friends and contributors, Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling, the talented duo behind BotanicaMag.com, where you can find many more delicious recipes like this one. They’re currently in their final push to fund the opening of Botanica Restaurant and Market here in Los Angeles, and could use your help this holiday season. Visit their Kickstarter to lend your support, and even if you’re not in LA to enjoy their cooking in person, all of their recipes from the Botanica kitchen will be available on BotanicaMag.com for everyone to enjoy.


Botanica is a restaurant and market opening in Silver Lake, LA next spring, and a cooking website, BotanicaMag.com, packed with healthful recipes and more. They see the future of food as delicious, balanced and fulfilling, emphasizing vegetables, fruit and grains. They’re big into color and flavor; not into rules. Their goal on the plate is simple: to create food that is colorful, fresh, fulfilling and healthful — food that makes you feel good.

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