Watch the video HERE.
After falling in love with Turmeric last week, I decided I absolutely had to do a 101 so I could share with you all of the delicious super powers of this tasty root.
If you want to skip all of the text be sure to watch the video here, but if you prefer to read, do that.
Turmeric is a super powerful herb that is closely related to ginger and has been used for over 5000 years and is well respected for its immune boosting, body healing properties.
Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, which is highly anti inflammatory and known to relieve the body of joint and muscle pain, stabilize blood sugar levels, cleanse the arteries, and naturally detox the body (just to name a few of perks!).
It is also rich in antioxidants and is antimicrobial.
Technically there are two types of turmeric; white turmeric and orange turmeric. Personally, I have never seen the white turmeric at the store, so for the sake of this 101, I am sticking to the orange turmeric.
Turmeric has a mild, earthy, a little peppery, slightly bitter, flavor but is also bright. Think ginger, with a lot less kick.
If you think you’ve never tried turmeric you may be mistaken because it’s the ingredient that gives yellow mustard its bright yellow color (and yes! fresh turmeric will stain your skin and your cutting board as well).
You can but your turmeric fresh or dried. If you are buying it dried you should be able to find it at any grocery store right in the spice section. When you bring it home simply store it in a cool dry space with your other spices. I like to keep mine in my spice drawer.
Fresh turmeric on the hand can be a little trickier to find. Speciality markets and Whole Foods usually carry it and it will be found in the produce section, it’s usually by the ginger and/or by the spicy peppers.
You want your turmeric to be nice and firm, avoiding any soft, bruised roots. Once you get it home, keep it right in the plastic bag from the grocery store and keep it in your veggie drawer. IT should let you 1-2 weeks this way but if you really want your turmeric to last, store it in the freezer and you can get 6 months out of it.
Once you’re ready to work with your fresh turmeric, it’s a lot like ginger, all you have to do is peel off the thin layer of skin and then grate it on a microplane and its ready to go.
For every 1 teaspoon of fresh turmeric used you can sub in 1/2 a teaspoon of dried.
You can use this in soups, salad dressings, smoothies, tea, stir-fries, burgers, and even hummus. Turmeric especially loves to be paired with cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and ginger.
One thing to keep in mind is that many of the healthy compounds in turmeric are fat soluble which means if you want to absorb the full potency of turmeric be sure to add a little healthy fat to the mix. Black pepper is also said to help activate turmeric, so a kiss of pepper is a great idea.
Here is a recipe for a delicious, healing turmeric tea that I have been drinking ever since I’ve discovered it.
Combine 1 tsp. fresh ground turmeric, 1 tsp. grated ginger, the juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp. coconut oil and dash of cayenne pepper in your favorite mug and then fill with boiling water.
I drank this tea last week when I had a bit of a cold coming in and it made me feel so much better. But don’t wait until you are not feeling well to enjoy this, drink one everyday to help keep your immunity strong and avoid any bugs that may be trying to wiggle in this time of the year.
Oh! And if you want another delicious warm drink featuring turmeric, be sure to try my Immunity Boosting Hot Chocolate.
So now lets hear from you! Do you like turmeric? Do you cook with it often? And if so, what are some of your favorite ways to use it?