If you Google turmeric you will get a barrage of eye-opening information about the amazing health benefits. It’s a natural pain killer, a natural liver detoxifier, an anti-inflammatory, it helps fight allergies and nasal congestion and turmeric is a natural cancer fighter. There is so much more about its health properties that it makes it worth the time to Google turmeric to learn more.
For me, the powerful benefits of turmeric gave reason to test ways I could incorporate this praiseworthy food into my daily meals. Medical benefits aside, I want to share how easy it is to add turmeric to the food you are most likely already consuming.
My first test was to make a hot brew. To a cup of boiling water, I added ½ of a fresh squeezed lemon, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, about a ½ teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric and a few fresh ground black peppercorns – for turmeric to properly absorb in your body it needs to be supplemented with black pepper. The results were gratifying and to my surprise the nasal congestion I had and couldn’t get rid of waned and now after a few days of consuming this brew the congestion has gone away.
I discovered turmeric root is surprisingly versatile: it can be used to add a mild flavor to a broad range of dishes including soups, coleslaw, rice dishes, and egg dishes like omelets, scrambled eggs, and Huevos rancheros. Turmeric can be added to bean dishes, leafy green salads, and steamed, sautéed, or roasted vegetables. Add it to savory soups, stews, casseroles, and meat and fish entrees.
The root is simple to prepare and can be sliced for soups and stews or grated using a Microplane fine grater. Using a paring knife, trim each end and remove the skin. Slice or grate the desired amount. Note: Be careful when using fresh turmeric root in your culinary creations – it can stain your hands, cooking utensils, and clothes, even more than turmeric powder!
Turmeric milk, or Golden Milk, is an ancient healing remedy commonly used in India to treat everything from colds to asthma and is one of my favorite beverages. Here’s the concoction I created (there are many variations) for Golden Milk. I prefer it without added sweetener, but that is a matter of preference.
4 black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk (I prefer carrageenan-free almond milk or hazelnut milk)
½-inch piece of fresh turmeric root, grated or ½ teaspoon powdered turmeric
¼-inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated or ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon honey or to taste
Gently crush the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle – fresh ground pepper will also work. In a small pan, heat the milk with the coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric root, and ginger for about 2 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly before consuming. Add honey to taste. Yield: 1 serving.