What We’re Cooking With Now: Turmeric
Looking for adventure in the kitchen? Our monthly What We're Cooking with Now post features a fresh produce ingredient, explains how to find the market's finest, and includes a recipe to try at home.
Why: Turmeric is one of the most effective nutritional supplements, a very strong antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Its main ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer.
Shopping Tip: Turmeric root looks very similar to ginger root except for its bright yellowish orange color. Fresh turmeric root should be firm and its skin should be smooth and not dry. Wrap fresh turmeric root in plastic wrap and store it in your fridge for weeks. Turmeric powder should be purchased fresh, as it does tend to dry out and become slightly more bitter when stale.
Preparation: While it is great in root form, sliced, or boiled with a cup of tea, turmeric powder is more commonly used in Indian food. If using the root, peel the skin with a knife, vegetable peeler, or spoon. Turmeric is what gives curry powder its yellow color. Use the powder in Indian dishes, with eggs, or added to a smoothie. The powder and especially the root can be used as a food dye in mustard, chicken soup, Easter eggs or other items, but be careful because it will make your fingers yellow as well! (Don’t worry, it washes off.)
Recipe: Turmeric Green Tea Latte
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of clove
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. turmeric powder
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper (helps activate turmeric’s medicinal properties)
1 – 2 cups of water
½ tsp. lemon juice
1 tea bag of your favorite green tea
¼ cup almond milk or other dairy milk substitute
½ tsp. raw honey (optional)
Simmer herbs, tea bag, and water for 10 minutes. Strain into a glass and add milk and/or honey. Good for anytime use, this tea is a great homeopathic cold remedy as well.