Sunday, August 15, 2021

Healthy Recipes and Techniques to Spice Foods with Healing Turmeric


Turmeric recipes, health research, and food and drink ideas

Did you know that the bright color of curry powder comes from turmeric (curcuma)? This lively, healing spice has a vivid yellow orange cast that almost looks fluorescent.

Turmeric is an extract found in roots of several species of the ginger family (Zingiberacea). The form of turmeric that's sold most often is Curcuma longa. 

Post updated 2/12/2024

Turmeric is native to southern Asia. India is a major grower of this plant, and it has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 4000 years. 

Turmeric is an important element in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of natural healing. 

Healers use this spice to treat or prevent  respiratory conditions, alleviate gas, improve digestion, and relieve arthritis. 

Studies show it may slow the onset of Alzheimer's. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are healing for the heart, and can treat and prevent skin conditions including acne, dry skin, eczema, and wrinkles.

Look for this condiment in your specialty or farmer's market, usually displayed next to the fresh ginger. 

Turmeric recipes, health research, and food and drink ideas

It's the one with light brown rhizome skin (root). When it is peeled, it has blunt orange/golden "fingers/inside." Look for it as a dried spice (ground), or as a nutritional supplement.

The fingers are collected, cleaned, and dried for extraction. The major ingredient of the extract is called curcumin. 

Curcumin is the most active compound in turmeric, and its deep orange/golden color is the result of grinding the dried, peeled fingers of the plant. 

Turmeric is fat-soluble, and does not easily dissolve in water. 

Research indicates black pepper and vegetable oil improves the gut’s absorption of curcumin. A small amount of plant-based fat (2 chopped olives, 1/2 avocado, 2 almonds, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds, or a drop of olive oil) wakes up this spice, both from a nutritional and flavor perspective. 

Although turmeric is traditionally associated with Indian cuisine, there are many foods that adapt well to its pungent flavor. 

Before handling turmeric read this:

Caution: Use gloves when working with turmeric. Those of us who regularly handle it, know this spice can leave behind bright yellow stains on clothes, countertops, dishes, and even your hands. I use a biodegradable spray to clean spills on counter tops (baking soda and vinegar) and wear an apron and gloves when preparing food with it.

👌Consult with your health care provider before ingesting any new food, drink, condiment, or supplement. 

Those in the know suggest you go slow and discontinue using turmeric, if you experience any negative symptoms. 

Taking too much turmeric can result in unwanted side effects for those with diabetes, gallbladder problems, and GERD. 

Pregnant women and people taking anticoagulants should avoid taking large doses of turmeric supplements. 

This post is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only and not to be considered medical advice.

Ways to Use Turmeric 

1. Blend 3 teaspoons of turmeric, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 or 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil, 3 drops water, and 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and store in a clean air tight jar in the refrigerator.  Use a few drops of this mixture during the week to perk up a pot of brown rice, quinoa, or other whole grain.

2. Cook Tofu Scramble, a recipe from Simple Vegan Blog. It's a simple recipe to add to your breakfast, brunch, or lunch food repertoire. Easy to make, nutritious, and so colorful.

3. Include ground turmeric when you steam, sauté, stir-fry, or roast vegetables. Turmeric tastes awesome on hearty vegetables including potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, and cabbage. 

Sprinkle a teaspoonful of turmeric, teaspoon of black pepper, and a teaspoon of olive oil on 2 cups of veggies, when roasting them in the oven. The spice adds bold flavor and its golden color adds eye appeal. 

Turmeric recipes, health research, and food and drink ideas

4. Mix ground turmeric into soups. Turmeric adds extra antioxidants and transforms soups into golden yellow visual treasures. 

See a healing recipe for Flu Fighting Soup and photo from Judee Algazi, the food blogger at Gluten Free A-Z, a whole food plant-based gluten free blog. 

5. Brew a pot of soothing tea. Place 4 cups of boiling water, a thin sliver of turmeric, lemon wedges, and 1 teaspoon ground ginger into a teapot. Let seep for 10 minutes and serve in a cup or mug. Drink a cup of turmeric tea to help raise immunity and comfort a sore throat or sinus infection. 

6. Include in curry dishes and dal.

Tips for Using Lentils

7. Create a golden Turmeric Latte by combining a smidgen of this invigorating spice with other ingredients. Recipe and photo is an original from the Simple Vegan Blog.

8. Increase nutrient count and absorption of curcumin by adding a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and teaspoon of pumpkin seeds to a bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal you enjoy. A pinch of turmeric is good in a breakfast burrito too.

9. Whip up wild blueberry turmeric zinger smoothie. It's a yummy recipe (photo too) from Kara Lydon, RDN at The Foodie Dietitian Blog.

10. Add extra zing to hummus recipes and salad dressing by adding 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to each mix. 

Vegan Hummus Recipes and Serving Ideas

Now that I've presented my favorite turmeric recipes, tips, and food for thought... 

Please comment below.💖

In the past, have you used turmeric in recipes for health benefits and eye candy? Please explain.

If you haven't used it before, did I inspire you? 

Sure hope my post has helped you discover simple, healthy, and healing ways to use turmeric in food and drink prep and recipes. 

I read and appreciate every comment. Just remember, I will not be able to publish your comment, if you put a link in it. Thanks for understanding.

Please spread the good word about turmeric and this blog post by re-sharing on social media. Please credit Nancy Andres at Colors 4 Health with a link back to this post. 
Thanks so much!
           Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life.
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Sunday, August 1, 2021

How to Prepare Tempeh to Make It Vegan Friendly, Flavorful, and Healthful

 Tempeh Recipes and Vegan Food Prep Ideas

Tempeh is a gluten free fermented soy food that’s protein and prebiotic rich. It's less processed than most soymilks and soy burgers, and is the only soy product that is a good source of Vitamin B-12. 

Tempeh contains plant-based calcium, iron, manganese, and other important vitamins and minerals too.

This post has been updated 12/28/2022

Research shows tempeh has antioxidants that may help decrease oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and prevent chronic disease. 

Tempeh is traditionally made from cultured soybeans or soybeans and rice. Because tempeh is fermented, your body digests it easier and is able to absorb more of its nutrients than other soy products. 

Tempeh is vegan (a product made exclusively from plant-based ingredients). Purchase it in health food stores, most specialty markets, and food stores around the world. 

Before you purchase tempeh in the store, read the label carefully. This will assure the product you get has the ingredients you want.

If you're adventurous, you can make homemade tempeh. Tempeh may contain plant based ingredients including barley, wheat, or a mixture of bean varieties and wheat. 

Tempeh tastes nutty, earthy, savory, and more substantial when compared to tofu’s soft and silky texture. 

Like tofu, tempeh adapts well in endless dishes, absorbing accompanying flavors of seasonings, sauces, and veggies cooked with it.
rusted Source

For more about tempeh's health benefits see this from WebMD.

Tempeh Salad

Tempeh Salad Recipe and Vegan Food Prep Ideas

Description: One of the easiest and most delicious ways to prepare tempeh is as a salad. Tempeh salad tastes great in a sandwich or served on a bed of mixed greens, garnished with basil, tomatoes, red pepper, and squash.


8 oz. pack organic tempeh (labeled traditional or original style)
1 Tbsp. mixed salt free spice blend and salt and pepper to taste
1 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup carrot and 1 cup yellow onion chopped fine
1 large bunch Italian Leaf Parsley chopped fine (approx. 1-1/4 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh basil chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning. If this is not available, substitute reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon organic tahini
1 tsp. garlic powder or 3 fresh cloves garlic
1-1 inch knob fresh ginger peeled and chopped
3-4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice or combo apple cider vinegar and lemon juice

Note: I use organic ingredients whenever available. Organic tempeh is made from soybeans that have not been genetically modified.

Note: If you like your food spicy or highly seasoned, you may choose to use one or more of these optional spices and herbs: turmeric, red pepper flakes, chili powder, curry powder, sriracha, or zaatar.


1. Cut tempeh into thirds or quarters, and place in a sauce pan. Although tempeh is fully cooked when you buy it in a shop, open the package, and heat in a saucepan filled with enough water to cover tempeh, cover pot and bring water to a boil. Simmer tempeh for 10 minutes, as this process makes
 tempeh taste mellower.

Tempeh cut into thirds

2. Drain and allow tempeh to cool on a plate, chop veggies, spices, fresh herbs, and other ingredients including tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, Bragg, etc. in a food processor.

3. Add tempeh and combine all ingredients together.

4. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Serve tempeh salad spread on whole grain bread or roll. Tempeh is a powerful vegan source of protein and fiber. It’s satisfyingly in a pita pocket or served as a refreshing wrap with sprouts and tomatoes. Refrigerate leftovers and serve within 4-5 days.

Tempeh Salad on Whole Grain Roll

Here are Additional Ways to Prepare Tempeh

1. Stuff a red pepper or acorn squash with tempeh salad and serve on a bed of mixed greens.

2. Crumble tempeh into pieces and add it to chili beans, sloppy joe mix, bar-b-que flavored beans, or use it to replace meat in recipes including lasagna, moussaka, curry, or veggie loaf. 

You may be surprised to find tempeh has just as much protein and more fiber than animal products. It has 18g of protein  and 6 g of fiber for every 3 oz. serving. 

Tempeh is relatively inexpensive, as a package of original soy tempeh that feeds 2 or 3 people costs approximately $2.50-$4.00. 

Marinating Tempeh in Balsamic Marinade

3. Slice tempeh and refrigerate for at least a few hours or even overnight. A simple to prepare homemade marinade like one of these can add depth to flavor and taste appeal.

4. Cube tempeh and finish by baking on parchment paper, steaming, or sautéing with a medley of colorful veggies until all are golden brown and as crisp or tender as you enjoy.

5. Cut 2 tempeh squares diagonally and get two sets of triangles. Then see this fabulous recipe from Sherri Hall, the Recipe Developer and Photographer at Watch Learn Eat. It's Easy Marinated Tempeh + How to Cook Tempeh 3 Ways 

7. Another fun way to prepare tempeh is to make Tempeh Bacon. The photograph and simple to prepare recipe comes from Losune at Simple Vegan Blog.

Recipe and Photo from Simple vegan Blog

6. Place a cooked block of tempeh on a bed of brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, whole grain pasta, or millet and slice or chunk tempeh as you serve it.

7. Season tempeh with ethnic seasonings and add to your favorite Asian, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, African or Mediterranean inspired dishes.

No matter how you prepare and serve it, tempt your taste buds and satisfy hunger with tempeh. 

Experiment by using this low cost, delicious plant-based protein that's loaded with high nutrition and is fun vegan fare.

Before you go please remember to comment below.

Have you eaten tempeh before and did you enjoy it?

It took me a few tries when I first started to eat tempeh to develop a taste for it. Please give it a chance. Tempeh is very high in nutrients and can add zest to many of your regular recipes. In fact, tempeh has become one of my favorite plant-based ingredients. 👍

What creative ideas do you have for using tempeh in recipes? 

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