Turmeric. It’s delicious, good for you and just generally improves pretty much everything. But it’s hard to get it in anything but curry. Or well, it is if you’re new to the world of alternative health.
Now I’ve been wandering about the annals of the internet for some time, long before I decided to start a blog on the subject. So I’m wiser to the ways to use turmeric in things other than cooking (still love curry though!).
But since I’m writing this post for people who aren’t advanced in this subject, I’ve gathered up all my favorite and most basic recipes so that you can have a cheat sheet to getting all the benefits you can get out of turmeric.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
But before we get to the recipes, there are some pretty nifty health benefits that you should know about.
First off, turmeric in a powerful anti-inflammatory. It’s used as a cure for inflammatory arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It has also been shown to limit damage in cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), turmeric produces no toxicity.
Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are responsible for neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are harmful components your body makes naturally, but in large quantities can be very harmful. It is believed free radicals create much of the damage that causes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia. Free radicals can damage cells, causing them to mutate into cancerous cells.
Because of the antioxidant levels in turmeric are so high, people who have significant amounts of turmeric in their diet are less likely to develop cancerous tumors. Laboratory experiments have shown curcumin can prevent tumors from forming; and research conducted at the University of Texas suggests that even when breast cancer is already present, curcumin can help slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.
All right, you’ve been briefed on the really good bits about turmeric, so here is my collection of recipes for things that are not curry. It’s important to note the fats and/or black pepper can really bring out the benefits of turmeric, so it’s important to include healthy fats when you eat your dose.
2 cups of milk (or substitute coconut milk)
1 teaspoon dried turmeric (or one-half inch fresh turmeric thinly sliced or diced)
1 teaspoon dried ginger (or one-half inch fresh ginger thinly sliced or diced)
A sprinkle of black pepper.
Honey to taste…
Heat the milk gently on the stove, when it starts steaming add you spices. Leave it to simmer (stirring occasionally) for a minute or two. Let it sit for ten minutes (strain if you used fresh ingredients) and then drink at your leisure.
There are so many smoothie recipes out there, but this one is probably my favorite:
1 cup frozen mango
1 half-inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 2 tsp. of powder)
1 tbsp. of coconut oil
1/2 a banana
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
Blend on high until smooth. Have for breakfast, or snack, or whenever.
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh ginger
pinch of clove
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of fresh ground black pepper (optional)
1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. of turmeric
1-2 cups of water
Honey to sweeten (optional)
Boil the water in a saucepan. Add the ingredients, simmer for ten minutes. Strain. Add milk (or black pepper) and honey to your cup to get the crucial fats)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 heaping tablespoon fresh turmeric root, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Raw honey or sweetener of choice to taste
Pinch of black pepper (optional)
Heat your milk/milk substitute in a saucepan. Add everything to the pot except the honey. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand another 5 minutes. Strain into mug, add honey and enjoy!
Turmeric water with black pepper
1 tbsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. (or less depending on your feelings about pepper)
1 tsp. olive oil (optional)
Put them ingredients into a glass of water, stir rapidly, drink quickly. See you on the other side.
Any other favorite turmeric recipes I didn’t mention? Ideas? Put them in the comments? Let me know!