Tumeric is a well-known medicinal herb that has been used in India for thousands of years. Of its compounds with medicinal properties, curcumin is the main active ingredient and has been shown to be the most significant. Here are the two magic words when it comes to curcumin: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Why should you care about these words? Inflammation is a contributing factor to many ailments, including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers. Just to name a few. And according to www.cancer.gov, “Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage.” And free radicals? They “are highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells” which can lead to the development of cancer.
Put simply, the health benefits of curcumin, contained within turmeric, are huge. One thing to bear in mind is that the percentage of curcumin contained within turmeric varies. You want to find a turmeric with a higher content of this active ingredient so that you are really packing the punch of the magical spice’s benefits.
One of the really great things that makes this spice so easy to use is the fact that it has practically no flavor on its own. You can really add it to just about anything. I am serious. Another awesome factor is the rich golden color that turmeric adds. Here are some of the ways that you can use turmeric in your kitchen.
- Eggs. I add about a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to our scrambled eggs before I add them to the pan.
- Chicken. When we cook chicken breasts or chicken thighs, this is always one of the spices that goes on the meat.
- Rib Dry Rub. For a rack of ribs, I add about 3 tablespoons of turmeric to my dry rub mix. (Anyone want my dry rub recipe? Shoot me an email and I will write a post with the recipe.)
- Cauliflower (or any veg you want to roast). Chop up your cauliflower and put it on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper and about 1 teaspoon of turmeric (for a cookie sheet's worth of vegetable). Mix it all together and roast at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Rice. Stir in about 1 teaspoon of turmeric for each cup of rice to the rice and water mixture before you turn on the heat. I love this because it gives the rice a bright golden saffron-esque color.
- Smoothies. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of turmeric to your smoothie recipes. You won’t taste it but your body will know it is there.
- Taco Meat. Much like my rib dry rub mix, turmeric always makes its way into my taco meat. I add about 1 tablespoon of turmeric for each pound of meat. (Anyone want my taco meat recipe? No pouches used here. Shoot me an email and I’ll put it up.)
- Tea. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to a mug of hot water and stir. Add a slice of lemon for a zing.
- Food coloring. I love this idea but have not tried it yet at home. Food coloring, particularly Yellow #5 and 6 are not very good for you. Google it. This is a great way to make a yellow food coloring that is safe and actually healthy. All you have to do is boil water and whisk in the turmeric. Add enough to get the shade that you want. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store it in a glass jar in the fridge.
- Avocados. Okay, I have an obsession with avocados and I was torn between writing this article or one about avocados first. The avocados one is coming soon. I eat a whole avocado just about every day. One of my favorite ways of eating them is by themselves in flour tortillas. I just sprinkle a bit of salt, you guessed it, turmeric and a squeeze of lemon juice on the avocado, pack it in a container and put a couple of taco-sized flour tortillas in a ziplock bag. A perfect healthy lunch or snack.
- Sautéed Vegetables. Sprinkle a dash of turmeric to your sautéed veggies. Sauté in coconut oil or olive oil and add salt, pepper, garlic and some turmeric. I’ve added it to zucchini, broccoli rabe and spinach. It would also be great in kale.
- Broiled Fish. Sprinkle some turmeric on your filets before placing in the oven with slices of lemon. Perfect for tilapia.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about turmeric and have gotten some ideas for using it in your own kitchen. The health benefits are worth giving it a shot. Be creative, it won’t hurt! Remember to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest and that you can read me in the Apple News format. Thank you so much for stopping by. Until the next time!