Turmeric is one of my absolute favorite spices I use in cooking because of it’s amazing health benefits and flavour. Who cares if you stain your clothing, hands, countertops or new kitchen linens, while using turmeric in the kitchen, it’s all in the good of health and vitality, right? So let’s explore this gem of a spice!
Did you also know the rich golden yellow color of turmeric is also responsible and is often used in standard mustards to “color” the mustard yellow?
Throughout history turmeric has been used in several fields from a healing remedy for a variety of ailments to a textile dye. The flavor profile of turmeric is earthy, warm, slightly peppery, and sometimes a bit bitter. It has also been called “Indian saffron” due to it’s deep yellow-golden color, which is similar to saffron red.
How To Use Turmeric
- Season meat/poultry/fish/beans/tofu/tempeh, etc.
- Season roasted vegetables
- Season rice, quinoa, other grains/legumes
- Use a dash in hummus
- Use in broth like soups/stews
- Sneak it into your smoothies (why not?)
- Turmeric Milk
- Curried Nutty Cauliflower Soup – coming soon
- Roasted Ginger and Turmeric Cauliflower Steaks
- Natural food colouring
Why Turmeric Rocks?
Turmeric has powerful medicinal properties due to it’s high content of nutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and phytonutrients that have been studied in depth especially for cancer prevention. The attention should be on curcumin. Curcumin is the main component found in turmeric that is responsible for its medicinal benefits and properties. Turmeric and curcumin have been used in studies: improving IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Crohn’s disease, immune health, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, cancer prevention / inhibits cancer cell growth, prevention of colon cancer , pancreatic cancer/tumor growth, prevention of prostate cancer, reducing risk of childhood leukemia, improve liver function, diabetes, cardiovascular benefits/protection, cholesterol, wound healing, and Alzhiemer’s. Now that’s some valuable information on how awesome turmeric is.
As with most studies, active compounds and components of food are studied in large doses, so how do we make this applicable to daily life? Most of the research studies use anywhere from 2-7g of curcumin to test, this would be a lot of turmeric to eat, especially when pure turmeric is comprised of about 3.14% by weight of curcumin. I recommend using it daily if you like and checking with your physician in case you’re on certain medications, but again, I understand this is may be a new spice to use in your cooking so use as you see fit.
My Breakdown of Turmeric
*based on 100g
- Vitamin B| B6 (pyridoxine), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B9 (folate )
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Note: Turmeric may have an interaction with anticogulant/antiplatlet drugs (i.e. Plavix, Coumadin, etc.) which may increase the risk of bleeding in some people; turmeric is in the group of herbs that may interact with these types of medications: garlic, ginseng, ginger, willow, red clover, clove, and others. Just a heads up, speak with you physician if you think this may impact your lifestyle or if you plan to consume loads of it.