A typically yellow-orange colored herb that can boost your immunity but also dye your clothes. Turmeric works on such a wide range of uses!
It is a great companion for better and healthier cooking.
In this article, all the advantages and disadvantages of this root are described, at the same time we bring you a wide range of recipes and uses that will certainly come in handy.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Although native to India and Southeast Asia, its roots are used both fresh and dried in cuisines around the world.
Its characteristic marigold orange-yellow color is used to flavor or color curries, mustards, butter, cheeses, tonic drinks and baked goods, but it can also be used as a clothing dye.
Fresh turmeric root and dried turmeric powder are easy to find in health food stores, specialty spice shops, Asian grocers, and supermarkets.
How does turmeric taste?
Turmeric powder, which is the result of cooking, drying and grinding the root, has a musky aroma, an earthy and mustardy taste infused with the subtle heat of pepper.
Raw turmeric is slightly milder due to the water content still held in the root.
Health benefits of turmeric
The health benefits of turmeric and curcumin (the active ingredient found in turmeric) are widely accepted as a cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine. Containing more than 300 nutrients such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, plus potassium, zinc and a host of others, turmeric supplements are commonly prescribed by many Western health professionals for a variety of ailments and overall health.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, curcumin has proven itself in the treatment and prevention of inflammatory bowel disease. Turmeric, especially in combination with black pepper, is used in capsule form to relieve muscle tension.
Joint, heart and skin health
Using turmeric has been shown to reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, regulate blood pressure and blood clotting, help prevent inflammation leading to heart disease, and maintain glowing skin.
Prevention of brain diseases
Curcumin stimulates a specific protein in the brain. This protein has been shown to make new connections in the brain, strengthening the neuro-connections used to transport serotonin and dopamine in your system, which helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
It helps in losing weight
Turmeric has been shown to reduce the rate of fat cell growth and generally slow weight gain due to stress-induced cortisol.
Reduces allergy symptoms
Taking turmeric reduces the symptoms of hay fever such as sneezing, itching and runny nose.
What is the best way to use turmeric?
- as cancer prevention
- has anti-inflammatory effects
- lowers insulin and cholesterol levels
- supports the immune system
- effective disinfectant
- improves and supports digestion
- prevents liver disease
What to use turmeric for?
Fresh turmeric root, like pieces of fresh ginger, is characterized by a thin, inedible skin that easily peels off to reveal an orange-colored flesh with a soft, pliable consistency.
- Cooking with fresh turmeric gives you more of its vibrant, peppery essence. This is the best way to use turmeric in juices, smoothies and broths.
- Dried turmeric is a great way to instantly add color and a bold earthy flavor to dishes like roast beef, rice or scrambled eggs.
- Some studies have found that the health benefits of turmeric are most effective when combined with a fat such as olive oil or coconut oil or milk, so add a pinch to your next coconut curry or salad dressing to get the most out of it.
Uses of turmeric in the kitchen
|Chicken with turmeric – rub ground turmeric on skin-on chicken thighs or chicken breasts before seasoning with salt and pepper and frying. Turmeric can also add a subtle aroma to your chicken noodle soup. Or enjoy it inour recipes for spicy Tikka Masala .|
|Turmeric smoothie – in a blender with 120 ml of almond milk, add ½ teaspoon of ground or fresh turmeric, 60 g of frozen mango, 60 g of frozen pineapple, 1 frozen banana and 1 teaspoon of hemp seeds. Blend until smooth. Get inspired by other mango smoothie recipes .|
|Roasted Turmeric Root Vegetables – add vegetables such as diced sweet potatoes or carrots to ½ tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp cumin seeds and a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven at 180°C until the vegetables are cooked and crispy. Serve with creamy tahini sauce.|
|You can also add fresh or dried turmeric to scrambled eggs, stir-fries, soups, juices, or these millet dumplings . Just combine it with fat and black pepper and you have a healthy goldmine.|
Tips for recipes with turmeric
- Add it to stir-fried vegetables and fried vegetable patties
- Use a pinch of turmeric in scrambled eggs or tofu mixture
- Mix with roasted vegetables
- Add it to the rice
- Use it in soups
- Blend into a smoothie
- Make tea
Another easy way to take turmeric powder is to mix it into your favorite hot drink. The flavor goes especially well with chai tea, but you can certainly mix it into coffee as well.
- Add ½ teaspoon to hot water. Just be aware that turmeric doesn’t mix very well with liquid because it’s fat soluble.
- Place ½ teaspoon of powdered turmeric (or 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated turmeric) into the bowl of a French press. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water. Leave to soak for 5 minutes and push the pump down. This will remove a lot of the turmeric particles so you won’t have that sediment at the bottom of the cup.
Side effects of turmeric
Turmeric contains about 2% oxalate. At high doses, it can contribute to kidney stones.
Additionally, not all commercial turmeric powders are pure. This means that cheaper and potentially toxic ingredients that are not listed on the label have been added. Studies have revealed that turmeric powder may contain fillers such as cassava starch or barley and wheat or rye flour.
Eating turmeric that contains wheat, barley, or rye flour may cause adverse symptoms in people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Some turmeric powders can also be high in lead, a heavy metal that is particularly toxic to the nervous system.