Turmeric is an age-old ayurvedic spice that has many anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can even stop the growth of cancer cells! Here are 15 ways to spice up your life with turmeric and get healthier.
1. Turmeric Tea
Just bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then stir in ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric or fresh grated turmeric.
Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes and strain before drinking. You can stir in honey or fresh lemon juice for added flavour. Full recipe by Dr. Andrew Weil here.
2. Curry Powder
A basic curry powder can be made with 8 parts ground coriander, 4 parts ground cumin and 1 part each of turmeric and cayenne or paprika.
You can decrease the cayenne and use paprika instead if you don’t want it spicy, and store this in a glass container in your pantry for up to 6 months.
Mix some black pepper to increase the bioavailability of curcumin so that your body can use it.
3. Juice It
Or you can spice up your smoothie with some turmeric!
You can add a pinch or two of ground turmeric or one to two inches of raw fresh turmeric to a flavorful smoothie, like this Sunrise Green Smoothie. You won’t even taste it although the colour of your smoothie will change.
To increase the bioavailability, dissolve the turmeric in a bit of warm coconut oil before blending it in, or blend in ½ an avocado for some fat.
4. Season Roasted Vegetables
Toss some fresh vegetables (like diced potatoes, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts) with a dash of olive oil and turmeric, along with any other seasonings you like.
Roast at 400 degrees, tossing once until done, usually about 30-40 minutes.
5. Brush Your Teeth With It
As odd as this sounds, turmeric actually whitens your teeth. Check out the entire process here.
6. Add Colour To Anything
Stir a dash of turmeric into plain basmati rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or eggs for added color. It doesn’t add much flavor, and changes things up a bit.
Check out this recipe for Mixed Bean Masala with Fragrant Yellow Rice.
7. Golden Milk
This is an ancient Ayurvedic recipe that can be made a number of ways. It is essentially just a turmeric paste mixed with warm milk and oil or ghee. You can use any kind of milk for this recipe (dairy, goat, nut, oat).
To make the paste, simply bring ½ cup filtered water to a low simmer and then mix in ¼ cup of ground turmeric, stirring constantly until it makes a thick paste (this can take 5-10 minutes) adding more water as needed.
To make the golden milk, mix 1/2 teaspoon of paste with 1 cup of milk in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
Stir in about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee before drinking (you can also add other spices like cinnamon, ginger, or black pepper, and honey or maple syrup for some sweetness).
Store the remaining turmeric paste in your fridge for 2 weeks.
8. Homemade Mustard
You can mix up a basic mustard with ½ cup ground mustard, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon each of turmeric and salt. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.
A few dashes of turmeric can be added to most soups without changing the flavor, it adds a nice color to brothy soups and may help you fight a cold.
Here is a recipe for a roasted carrot turmeric soup that has anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Cold Remedy
Since turmeric has been shown to boost immunity and fight viruses like the common cold, it can be used to make a variety of home remedies.
Golden Honey: One way to do it is by mixing 1 tablespoon of powdered turmeric with 7 tablespoons of raw honey. Full recipe here.
Whenever you want to boost your immunity or are fighting a cold, dissolve a 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture in your mouth every couple hours.
11. Saute a Healthy Side Dish
For a quick side dish, saute some fresh greens (kale, spinach, etc) in some olive oil and turmeric. I like to add fresh garlic and a dash of sea salt too.
12. Sprinkle On An Avocado
This is an awesome snack, full of fiber and just enough fat to keep you from indulging in unhealthy processed snacks from the vending machine.
Another variation is to mash the avocado, mix in some ground turmeric, a dash of sea salt, a dash of black pepper, and spread it on sprouted bread or brown rice crackers or cakes.
13. Natural Food Colouring
There’s no reason to ever bake with artificial dyes like Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, when it’s so easy to make with turmeric.
Just boil some water, whisk in enough turmeric to create the yellow shade you want, and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
Allow it to cool and store it in a glass jar in the fridge – and that’s it! If you want to use it to dye Easter eggs, simply add some vinegar to the dye.
14. Salad Topping
You can sprinkle a pinch of turmeric directly on your salad or blend it into about any salad dressing, and the flavor will go largely unnoticed.
Make a quick turmeric salad dressing by whisking together 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons miso paste, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon raw honey and the juice from 1/2 a lemon.
15. On Your Skin
Turmeric has been known to reduce the inflammation and itching caused by eczema when applied directly to the skin.
Just mix some ground turmeric with a little water (you can also use coconut oil, almond oil, or sesame oil), apply it on the affected areas, and wash off after about 15 minutes.
Turmeric is also used to relieve the pain and swelling of sprained joints.
One popular sprain remedy is a mixture of 2 tablespoons turmeric, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and a few drops of water until it makes a thick paste.
Carefully rub it on the sprain and wrap it in a cheesecloth or a cloth bandage. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes.
Beware, that turmeric will temporarily stain your skin, so this works best on body parts that you can cover easily or don’t mind being orange for a little while!