curcuma_longa_rootsTurmeric is a rhizome, and is a part of the ginger family. It actually resembles ginger to some extent. It is a staple in India and parts of Asia as a spice as well as medicine. Whether it is fresh or in powder form, turmeric is a bright yellow and if you get a turmeric stain on your clothes, it will be difficult to get it off. This staining property of turmeric allows it to be a dye, as well as a natural food colouring. Wherever turmeric is added, the food looks more yellow. Like, for instance, in mustard. Most curries are yellow due to the presence of turmeric.

Studies have shown that the active medicinal ingredient in turmeric, called curcumin, is a promising compound in the fight against inflammatory diseases and cancer. Curcumin is an antioxidant, and can scavenge free radicals. However, more studies need to be done in order to have more solid, conclusive results.

There are many ways to use turmeric in your dishes. Fresh turmeric can be grated. Or you can buy the powdered turmeric, which is cheaper. Add this spice to soups, curries, stir-fry, tofu scrambles, and smoothies. You can also add turmeric to rice, quinoa, millet, or beans. Add some to your roasted vegetables and into savoury sauces.

Turmeric Orange Apple Juice

3 apples, peeled and chopped

4 oranges, peeled

1 lemon, peeled

1 tbsp. fresh ginger, cut up into small pieces

1 tbsp. fresh turmeric, cut up into small pieces

2 cups water

  1. Combine the apples, oranges, and lemon and blend until smooth.
  2. Throw in the ginger and turmeric. Blend. Put in the 2 cups of water and continue blending until you reach the desired texture of juice.

Turmeric Milk

2 cups of non-dairy milk such as almond, coconut, soy, or pecan

1 teaspoon turmeric

a little bit of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon sweetener

Blend together the above ingredients in a blender. You can make ahead of time and keep it chilled in the refrigerator.

In addition to curries, sauces, and soups, turmeric can be placed into beverages such as juices, smoothies, milks, and teas.

Turmeric-Ginger Tea

1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Soy milk
Maple syrup or other sweetener to taste

Boil the water, and then add the turmeric and ginger. Turn the heat down to simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea, and add the milk and sweetener to taste. This tea is wonderful for colder nights.