Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately you will have heard that turmeric, that yellow spice that goes in your curry, is THE superfood of
2017 all time. According to Dr. Michael Greger (How Not To Die) we only need to consume a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric daily to become completely invincible. Or, more specifically, what it does is help prevent and treat (possibly by reprogramming cancer cell death) certain types of cancer including cancers of the colon, pancreas, skin, mouth and vulva, as well as ulcerating breast cancer. It may also prevent type 2 diabetes, possibly by decreasing fats in the blood. See here for more information.
It even reduces inflammation and is beneficial to our arteries. I could go on about the benefits of turmeric but I’d be here all day. Check out the nutritionfacts.org YouTube channel for informative videos related to the benefits of turmeric.
*Please note: Pregnant women and those susceptible to kidney stones should not take turmeric.
You can buy turmeric in powder form from the spice section from the supermarket, or in its raw form, which looks like a smaller more orange ginger root. Both are just as good as each other so personally, I have no preference. Although, fresh is always just that bit nicer!
Turmeric, every damn day…
Now, the thought of consuming a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric a day may first seem easy because it’s such a small amount, but then you might realise that you don’t want curry-like food every day of your life. So, how do we incorporate turmeric into our daily diet without turning into a red lentil?
I’ve experimented with a whole heap of ways to use this superfood, in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Turns out, my favourite meal to have turmeric with is breakfast! Strange I know…anyway here are 7 different ways for you to incorporate turmeric into your daily diet.
Dahl is a curry based on red lentils that break down when cooked and form a sort of mush…a delicious mush! You can use any veggies you like but I do love the Happy Pear recipe which was demonstrated at one of their Happening gigs. They used leeks instead of onions which I thought was interesting, plus potatoes! However, I couldn’t find that recipe online, so use this one as a guideline. It makes no odds what you put in it – if you just follow the basic recipe you can’t go too far wrong. Don’t forget to sprinkle over some coriander leaves and lime juice at the end! Turmeric is a key ingredient in this smooth and mild curry, so with the lentils, the veggies, and the turmeric – this could be called a super-curry! PS. I served mine on black rice on this occasion – far tastier and healthier than plain old white rice – but again, choose whichever rice is available to you.
SWEET GOLDEN TURMERIC MILK
Now things are getting weird! Turmeric milk is a delicious, warming, sweet alternative to hot chocolate. The turmeric gives it the golden colour, plus the superfood hit. Only 1/4 tsp per person is needed so combined with the right spices and sweeteners, you will not feel like you’re drinking curry – I promise! The spices I like to use are cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla extract and sometimes cardamom. For sweetness you can use coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave, or even dates – which would mean you’ll need to blend! I posted this recipe up last year with a basic – but delicious – turmeric milk recipe. Excuse the bad quality photos – I had no proper camera and it was January, ie. dark.
NUA NATURALS TURMERIC LATTÉ
If you’re not the DIY type you can always go for a product like this, which has the turmeric milk spice mix already prepared for you! I’m a major fan of the cacao flavoured “Turmeric Latte” which, as would suggest, has cacao powder in it, plus maca, another majorly nutritious superfood. This combination of flavours is a match made in food heaven. It’s smooth and luxurious and very moreish. Especially if you make it with a very lightly sweetened dairy-free milk (although they do recommend just using hot water as there is coconut milk powder in the mix). Or, if you only have plain dairy-free milk, you can add your own sweetener if you need to. As of writing this blog post this product may not be on the market just yet but I think it’s coming very very soon so keep an eye out on their website.
When I say a turmeric smoothie, I don’t necessarily mean a turmeric flavoured smoothie. What I mean is: a normal smoothie, with 1/4 tsp of turmeric added in. The image you see here is a warm smoothie, something I like to make in the winter. The ingredients are: oats (a handful), 1 or 2 dates, a dash of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp turmeric, a dash of vanilla extract, hot water and warm soya milk (any plantbased milk will do). It might sound strange to have a warm smoothie, but this is so smooth and sweet with the perfect balance of winter spices and sweetness, it’s nearly caramel-like.
However, we are coming into the summer months so maybe a refreshing tropical smoothie would appeal to you more! When adding turmeric to smoothies I tend to make yellow smoothies…I like things to match. I make an amazing mango lassi smoothie that works a treat with a dash of turmeric. You can find the recipe here.
Another amazing warming breakfast to heat up your loins on a bitterly cold morning! Again, the turmeric just adds a slight tinge of colour and won’t taint the flavour of your porridge too much – as long as you add some other spices and flavours. Like the warm turmeric smoothie recipe, I add cinnamon, maple syrup or coconut sugar, and sometimes vanilla extract to this porridge recipe. These flavours are sensational together and you can enhance this by adding some pomegranate seeds on top, or dried figs too. Check out this blog post for some porridge recipe inspiration.
Yes – we can even supercharge pancakes!! Follow your usual (vegan) pancake recipe but just add some turmeric to the batter. I wouldn’t add more than 1/2 tsp though because you will definitely taste it in the final product. As always, add a touch of cinnamon to balance it out – as well as your sweetener of choice. Top with chopped apple and maple syrup for a sexy sunshine breakfast!
If you’re like my Dad who could be the very opposite of a “foodie” and will horse anything in if he hears something good about it – you might find it easier to just take a shot of turmeric in water! To tell you the truth, it’s definitely the easiest and quickest method to incorporate this super food into your daily diet, although probably the least tasty!
In my home town there is actually a supplier of frozen turmeric shots. In the same way as frozen wheat-grass shots, you store them in the freezer and leave one out overnight the night before and swig it in morning before breakfast.
Either way you do it though, this is quick and handy. Down the hatch in one go!