Turmeric is finally receiving the recognition it deserves in the west. This spice, a relative of ginger, has a very long history of medicinal, culinary and religious use. Turmeric is a staple spice in India which is made from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It is commonly sold as powder or as root. Increasingly more, we are seeing a long list of health benefits making their way to the forefront of research headlines about this golden spice. Turmeric’s many health benefits include: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticancer, antitumor, antiviral and antiseptic properties. In addition, it’s know to prevent cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and improves gastrointestinal disorders.
As a culinary spice, it has an intense yellow-orange color which can stain your hands, counter tops and cooking tools. It has a slightly bitter, warm, peppery and earthy flavor and when it’s used, it adds a completely different dimension to your dishes.
These are some quick tips for you to use this vibrant and golden spice with many health benefits:
- Add 1 teaspoon to your favorite steamed milk; mix with ½ teaspoon coconut oil, ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper and some honey.
- Boil two cups of water; add 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground turmeric root and simmer for about 7 minutes; strain the mixture into a cup and add honey to taste.
- Sprinkle it on your favorite soup, roasted seasonal vegetables and cooked legumes for a distinct earthy flavor and a beautiful color.
- Combine turmeric with fresh ground pepper and mix with your poultry, beef or lamb marinates.
- Grate some fresh turmeric root and blend it with your favorite salad dressing.
- Add the powder or grated fresh root to your favorite smoothie recipe.
- For optimal absorption, it’s best to take turmeric with small amounts of black pepper and fat (coconut oil, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or ghee)
- When using turmeric, be aware of it’s color. Consider wearing gloves to prevent staining your hands and immediately wash any area turmeric touches.