Have you ever eaten turmeric? Don't know? Well, if you've eaten Indian food, namely curries, then you've eaten turmeric. Most curries include turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili peppers.
|Raw and ground turmeric|
Turmeric, or Indian Saffron, comes from the Curcuma longa plant, and has been used throughout history as a healing remedy, a dye, and as a seasoning. It is a root spice and has a tough brown skin. The flesh is deep orange with a peppery, bitter flavor. It has a fragrance that reminds us of ginger, which it is related to.
No doubt, turmeric is definitely in the class of super foods. Its health benefits would put most others to shame and intimates the prescription medications.
The health benefits include (to name a few):
• Helps prevent and treat cancer
• Reduces side effects of chemotherapy
• Prevents onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
• Relieves muscle and joint pain
• Natural anti-inflammatory
• Antibiotic, antiseptic, analgesic
• Speeds healing of wounds
• Digestive tonic
• Skin tonic, including improvement of psoriasis and eczema
• Slows progression of multiple sclerosis
• Strengthens ligaments
• Blood purifier
• Relieves cough
• Prevents arteries from clogging
• Heals stomach ulcers
• Helps metabolize fats
• Modulates and normalizes the immune system (especially beneficial for those with autoimmunity)
For more details on the benefits of turmeric, I've included a site for you.
It's hard for us to think about cold and flu season. I know, it's still summer and let's not rush through it. However, I'm including a recipe that you can refer back to when the time is right. It's called a Turmeric, Ginger, Honey Bomb! This is what you want on your side when the sniffles and aches and pains start.
|Turmeric Ginger Honey Bomb|
1/2 cup raw honey
2-4 Tablespoons ground ginger (amount depends on your taste preference)
2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Zest from 1 lemon
2 pinches of fresh ground black pepper***
Stir all ingredients together. You want a really strong flavor, so give it a taste and adjust ingredients. Store your Bomb in a glass container and leave in a cool, dry place. When it's time to use the bomb, boil a cup of water and allow it to cool slightly so you don't lose the benefits of the raw honey. Stir in a few teaspoons of the bomb in the water and drink. Don't be afraid to add this elixir to your favorite hot tea, as well.
***As a side note, black pepper should always be taken with turmeric because it enhances the bio-availability of curcuminoids, which simply means the benefits are increased.
If you shy away from over-the-counter remedies for colds and flu, go ahead and make a bomb. You'll feel better for it.
But this blog is not just about the medicinal greatness of turmeric. It is also about how to cook with the wonder spice.
Today's recipe is Turmeric Curry Potatoes:
|Turmeric Curry Potatoes|
What you need:
2-3 lbs red potatoes (get them from the farmers' market)
4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
2 tablespoons turmeric powder (get the good stuff from an Indian grocery store)
1 tablespoon curry marsala (at the same store as the turmeric)
Fresh ground black pepper
What you need to do:
In small sauce pan, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, the turmeric, the curry, and salt and pepper. Heat and stir on low for a minute. (Remember, this is called blooming from a previous blog.)
Peel and cube potatoes. Place potatoes, the rest of the olive oil, and the spice mixture in a large mixing bowl and mix well to coat the potatoes.
Pour potatoes on a prepared baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven about 20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Serve immediately.
When you are reaching for a spice to step up your food and help you feel better from a cold, reach for turmeric. You won't regret it.
Now, go out and make something good.