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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  1. Hi Nan, Thanks for the information on turmeric. It sounds like it has much medicinal value.

  2. Thanks Beth for the comment and visit. Turmeric is a mighty healer and has so many medicinal value. Have a great day and stay safe and well.

  3. I have used turmeric in recipes but only as a ground spice, never as the root. It does add a lovely flavour and it's wonderful it is so good for us as well. Thank you for sharing this great inspiration on how to use this healthy spice and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party Community, Nancy. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  4. Yes this spice is powerful, as its both delicious and so good for us. Can't wait for your party each week and glad to be a part of your Hearth and Soul Party Community. Wish you a beautiful day April.

  5. Nancy,
    Thank you for such a comprehensive and informative post about turmeric and all the recipe suggestions as well. I appreciate that you included my flu fighting soup in your round up. That turmeric latte looks very inviting.

    1. My pleasure Judee. Have a lovely day and stay safe and well!

  6. Great information and yummy ideas! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope to see you there next week!! Have a lovely week.

    1. Thanks so much Helen. Enjoy your blog party and will be back again. Have a wonderful week and stay safe and well.

  7. YUM! Thanks so much for linking up at A Themed Linkup 71 for Healthy Recipes. Pinned!

    1. You're welcome Dee. Thanks for hosting and wishing you a terrific day!

  8. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at A Themed Linkup 72 for Southwestern Crafts and Décor from my previous linkup for Healthy Recipes!

    1. Thanks Dee. Delighted and Excited! Thanks again for this wonderful honor.

  9. We love turmeric -- this is such an informative post. Thanks!

    1. Glad to hear you love turmeric and thank you for the visit and comment. Have a fun weekend!

  10. It sounds like turmeric should be in every spice cabinet. I feel motivated to try it now.

  11. Unfortunately, many of these claims do not hold up to clinical trials. THe New York Times wrote: “there is not enough reliable evidence in humans to recommend turmeric or curcumin for any condition, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if one substance would cure and improve so many conditions and illnesses?

    1. Thanks Mae for your visit and comment. I read that article from the NYT (it hasn't been updated since Oct 2019). I believe the reporter made it sound so negative about turmeric’s possible benefits. Unfortunately for advances in public health, a food source of a healing substance does not get the monetary backing of big pharma to sponsor studies as easily as a study of a new drug. That being said, here are links to studies that show Curcumin’s amazing potential to treat and heal health issues. It’s the golden spice in treating cardiovascular diseases @https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih , Another is from WebMD Another is The newest study done in India shows pain reduction and inflammation reduction using turmeric extract Thanks for your interest in knowing the research too. Warm regards, Nan

  12. That blueberry smoothie with turmeric sounds interesting!! I've never thought to use it in that way!

    1. Just as interested as you to try turmeric in blueberry smoothies. What a cool idea! Thanks for the visit and hosting Weekend Cooking.

  13. Replies
    1. Thanks for the visit, comment and pin love. Warm regards, Nancy Andres

  14. Thanks so much for participating and sharing at SSPS 297. See you again next week!
    Love the many healthy ways to use turmeric.