What is this golden wonder?
The vibrant yellow powder that we see in the (super)markets and spice stores comes from the root of the turmeric plant, a relative of ginger and cardamon. It is a staple in Indian cooking, where it is celebrated as a digestive aid. Recently, researchers have become interested in the therapeutic potential of curcumin and curcuminoids, compounds in turmeric with potent anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What can it do for me?
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric mean that it has potential to positively influence many inflammatory conditions, including colitis, IBS, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, some allergic responses, psoriasis. It has also shown some benefit in regulating blood sugar responses and liver detoxification pathways. Turmeric aids digestion, especially of protein, and improves the metabolism of fats. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine also takes advantage of turmeric’s anti-bacterial properties to combat coughs, colds and acne. As an antioxidant, it protects the cells against damage from oxidative stress due to pollution, poor diet, emotional stress, excessive exercise, inadequate exercise, poor sleep quality, insufficient sleep quantity – ie, Modern Life!
Amazing! Where do I get it?
Supermarkets, spice stores and Indian or Asian grocers usually stock turmeric as a ground, yellow spice. Turmeric is increasingly available at supermarkets (Coles usually has some in the fridge section of the veggie department), and food markets – Prahran, Footscray, Vic Market. Sometimes Asian grocers have frozen turmeric root.
And now I’ve got it, what can I do with it?
There are loads of ways to add turmeric to your day, every day. Try to ingest at least 1tsp of turmeric/day. The body is able to utilise it better if you consume fat & black pepper at the same time so wherever possible, add a few grinds of black pepper to your turmeric creations. Take care – turmeric stains everything bright yellow! Here are some ideas to get you started.
The most obvious way to get some turmeric is to have a curry! Most curry powders will contain turmeric, or make your own by combining 2tsps turmeric, 2tsps ground cumin, 2tsps ground coriander, 1tsp sea salt, 1tsp garam masala, 0.5tsp cardamon, and chilli powder to taste.
2 TURMERIC PASTE
Mix equal parts turmeric (fresh or ground) and coconut oil, and add as much ground black pepper as you can tolerate. This mixture can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week if using fresh, or indefinitely if using powder. Take 1tsp, twice daily, straight up off the spoon! Or spread into a flat dish, freeze, and cut into cubes to make turmeric fudge.
3 CURRY SLURRY
Mix 0.5 cup natural or greek yoghurt with 1tsp turmeric powder, a few grinds of black pepper, and half a green-skinned apple, grated. Eat immediately.
4 GOLDEN MILK
A warming drink that soothes an irritated and inflamed gut.
1 can coconut cream
3 cups water
1 TBSP raw turmeric, grated
2 tsp raw ginger, grated
2 tsp turmeric powder
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp nutmeg
7 whole cloves, crushed
small pinch salt
2-3 TBSP maple syrup
Place all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer gently on a stove for 20 minutes then allow to cool before straining. Store in jars in the fridge for up to 4 days. To consume, gently heat one cup of golden milk in a pot and pour into a mug.
5 TURMERIC JELLIES
The iquitsugar.com website has a fabulous recipe for gut-healing turmeric jellies – a great way to get kids to eat it too!
6 TURMERIC, GOATS CURD + ONION SEEDED LOAF
Another great idea on http://www.iquitsugar.com for a gluten-free loaf – this would be great for breakfast topped with sliced avocado.
7 ADD IT TO EVERYTHING!
Like salad dressings, mayonnaise, smoothies, scrambled eggs, marinades, spice mixes, meat rubs, roasted veggies. Go crazy!