Move over coconut oil, turmeric is the superfood du jour.
I thought everyone was on the turmeric train already but I saw a story on the front page of the Irish Independent last Wednesday announcing that turmeric is the new avocado so I guess we’re just catching on to turmeric’s antioxidant powers in Ireland. With this in mind, I just thought I’d share the ways I’ve been sprinkling this fantastically hued spice into my life. If you think turmeric is just for curries, think again. But before we get to that, let’s talk about why turmeric is so good for you.
So what are the benefits of turmeric? This humble spice also known as Indian Saffron fights inflammation so if you’re on the anti-inflammatory diet it’s essential. Turmeric also helps ease joint pain, arthritis and some research suggests the active ingredient curcumin could have cancer-fighting properties.
Other benefits of turmeric include detoxing your liver, brain boosting powers and providing natural pain relief. There are lots of other alleged benefits of eating turmeric including the treatment of depression but I would be here all day if I listed them all – there are seriously that many.
Before we go any further, be warned – turmeric stains really badly (I mean, all is forgiven grass stains) so wash up the minute you finish cooking/eating and don’t wear a white silk top while sipping a turmeric latte (ahem).
So, if you’re wondering how to use turmeric, here’s 5 easy ways to use turmeric every day:
As you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram, my number one way to get my turmeric fix every day is golden milk. I did a whole post here talking about why I had to cut down on coffee so I won’t talk too much here. All I’ll say is I now crave turmeric lattes. They’re that good.
Scrambled egg/tofu scramble
I don’t eat eggs anymore but you can add a sprinkle of turmeric as you scramble eggs or when you’re making tofu scramble. Tofu scramble is the easiest dish to whip up in a hurry and I usually just messily chop up firm tofu and lightly fry it with some red peppers, a bit of onion and then some spinach at the end so I get my iron. As well as smelling aromatic, a light sprinkle of turmeric on the tofu as you fry it gives it an egg-like colour in case you were missing the real thing.
Turmeric has a distinctive taste that some people may not really like so you might find it more palatable if you disguise it. The sharp taste works really well with sweet flavours so I’ve started to add a little turmeric to my smoothies. The smoothie I love best is not particularly original – banana, peanut butter, almond milk and spinach or kale. You won’t even taste the turmeric so this is a good way to get that anti-inflammatory goodness if you’re not keen on that turmeric taste.
Porridge/chia seed pudding
Another simple way to eat turmeric every day is to add it to your porridge or chia seed pudding. I make chia seed pudding the night before by adding turmeric and cinnamon to plant milk and adding the chia seed. The seeds will expand overnight and, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can add honey to the milk if you like. After years of not eating breakfast (I know, I know) I try to eat porridge every day and even at night because it’s just so filling and full of fibre. I pour milk into the oats (lately I’ve been using Alpro’s coconut milk) then turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, stir it up and leave it aside for about 30 minutes until the oats are puffed up and have absorbed the milk. Again, you can add some honey at this stage and all you need to do is heat for a few minutes. This turmeric porridge is delicious served with fresh raspberries or blueberries – or both!
Curry and cauliflower
Well, duh. The most common use of turmeric is in curry. Before I knew any better, I used to buy prepackaged curry in packets (hello MSG) and jars (hello sugar) but now I make it from scratch, or at least a version of it. Once a week I make one of my favourite healthy recipes a coconut chick pea curry with sweet potatoes and it’s a great way to get turmeric. I will definitely post the whole recipe this week but I usually add a mix of spices – turmeric, sweet paprika, cumin and coriander – onto a medley of vegetables (peppers, onions, carrots and cauliflower) on the pan as they simmer and, once you get that gorgeously aroma of spices, add a splash of stock cube (or just plain water) allow to simmer and add coconut milk or cream once the vegetables are softened. With the creamy coconut, you won’t really taste turmeric but you’ll get all its anti-inflammatory goodness.