Photo: Shutterstock / Anna_Pustynnikova
The golden spice, turmeric, has gained popularity as a pain-fighting wonder spice and super food over the years, but it’s long been found in Indian cooking and ayurvedic medicine. The health benefits of this earthy root range from anti-arthritic to anti-microbial to brain boosting, and the list continues to grow. Turmeric gains its antioxidant strength from curcumin, a photochemical shown to be an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. But, curcumin on its own is not as effective as the whole root, making food a perfect way to ingest the benefits of turmeric. If aches and pains plague you on a daily basis, then turmeric may become your new favorite spice.
Unsure how to incorporate this spice? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with eight clever ways to sneak more turmeric into your daily routine!
1. Milk the Benefits
Whip up a batch of golden milk made from 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 cups coconut milk, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Then shake it up with enough honey to suit the sippers. Golden milk is best consumed within 24 hours for maximum antioxidant benefits. Craving something warm? Try adding one bag of your favorite chai tea with 1-1/2 cups of heated golden milk for a chai and golden milk latte.
2. Juice or Blend
Whether you’re using the whole root or breaking out your spice jar, adding turmeric to your favorite juice or smoothie recipe will brighten the nutritional notes of any orange juice, carrot juice or ginger-kale smoothie.
3. Drizzle It On
Toss in a pinch of turmeric to your favorite salad dressing, whether it’s a creamy ranch dressing to serve with a crunchy vegetable tray, or a classic vinaigrette like this Citrus Vinaigrette recipe to spice up your favorite dinner salad.
4. Stir It into Soups
Soups—from lentil to creamy cauliflower—are a delectable way to sneak in turmeric. Build up any soup base by adding it to the spice list. Give these soups a whirl: Caribbean Potato Soup, Creamy Cauliflower Pakora and Red Curry Carrot Soup.
5. Roast Veggies
Transform both the flavor and color of vegetables by making a curry spice mix and tossing it with potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, carrots or sweet potatoes. Give these curry roasted potatoes or smoky cauliflower bites a try!
6. Do a Dollop
Stir turmeric into any condiment for a nutrition boost. Toppers like these Bread and Butter Pickles, Peppered Squash Relish and Mrs. Ina’s Corn Relish will elevate any barbecue with a pinch of health. Smear turmeric-spiced hummus onto your favorite bagel or turmeric-infused ketchup onto your burger, or have fun and toss a bit on your popcorn for a savory snack!
7. Sweetening Things Up
Turmeric doesn’t need to be reserved just for savory foods. Consider adding it into frosting for a bit of bold color. Start with a pinch until you get just the right color without altering the flavor. Craving something creamy and sweet? Try this Chia Orange Yogurt with a dash of turmeric added in, which will brighten this breakfast, lunch or dinner treat!
8. Spice Up Grains
Rice, quinoa, bulgur and couscous all mingle well with turmeric. Popular rice pilafs like this Texas Spanish Rice get their golden hue from turmeric. Adding cracked pepper significantly increases the effectiveness of turmeric, so be sure to add a dash of black pepper to the mix! For something unique, consider spicing up your morning oats with a dash of turmeric. Just a pinch would blend well with the other spices in this Oatmeal Brulee recipe.
If you haven’t played around with turmeric much, start off slowly. Sprinkle it over your oats, your juice or a bowl of soup; get familiar with the flavor profile before adding it into a full recipe. Keep in mind that turmeric can leave a yellow hue on your kitchen equipment. It’s fat soluble, so simply put some olive or coconut oil on a towel and wipe your tools clean.
There is a good chance this golden spice—filled with antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory benefits—will be a new permanent fixture in your spice drawer.