If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know two things. I like spices and I’m usually talking about the benefits of turmeric.
Any chance that I can slip turmeric into the conversation, I will. If you’re sore from a really tough lifting session, I’ll probably tell you to use some turmeric in your next meal because it has anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re at a high risk for heart disease, I might mention that turmeric can help lower your risk. If you’re feeling depressed, worried about Alzheimers or cancer, I’m going to tell you that turmeric can help with all of those things.
I’m like the annoying friend who goes on a juice cleanse and it fixes everything from her weight to her crippling debt and she just won’t shut up about it. You’re welcome.
But seriously, turmeric is SO good for you and you should really start including it in your diet. It isn’t that expensive and you can find it in most grocery stores (if you shop at Whole Foods you can get it in their bulk spice section). It’s also really easy to use and slip into a bunch of different meals. But there are a few things you should know to get the most out of your turmeric:
- Take it with black pepper
- Take it with a fat
Why do you need to add these two things to your turmeric? Turmeric’s main component is curcumin (this is what makes it so potent and beneficial) and curcumin is fat soluble. In simple terms, in order for your body to absorb and use any turmeric you ingest it needs fat to break it down.
Black pepper enhances turmeric’s bioavailability which means it makes it easier for your body to use and distribute. This is a good thing and what you want your body to do with anything that enters your digestive system.
You can use turmeric in so many different things like soups, curries, stir fry, smoothies, and sprinkled over vegetables or meat. One of my favorite ways to use it is to toss some broccoli with a little coconut oil (fat), and then sprinkle garlic powder, turmeric, pepper, and a little sea salt over the broccoli and roast at 400 for 20 minutes.
Another great way to enjoy turmeric is to make Golden Milk which sounds expensive and fancy, but it’s really simple and easy to make yourself. I like to make a turmeric paste and keep it in a jar in my fridge and then scoop out what I need to make the milk.
A few pointers when you’re making your turmeric paste: Don’t use any utensils, pots, or jars that stain easily. Turmeric is amazing for your health but can stain plastic bowls, containers, or utensils. Glass and stainless steel work best and keep your kitchen tools looking nice. Also, turmeric does have a very earthy smell and taste so it might be off-putting at first. Use it in ways that you can sort of mask the taste at first and then start to slowly use it more prominently.
Ok, enough talking about turmeric and how good it is for you, time to actually use it!
- 1/2 cup turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper (fresh ground if possible)
- 5 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup water
- Place everything in a pot and whisk until it is completely combined. Heat over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until you have a thick paste. Make sure you keep stirring and don’t let it scald.
- Pour your paste into a glass jar or container and let it cool completely. You can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- 1 cup coconut milk (or any other non-dairy milk you like)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric paste
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- honey or maple syrup, optional
- Place the coconut milk and turmeric paste into a saucepan and heat over low heat, whisking to combine.
- Heat until it is just warm and then remove from oven. Add the cinnamon and honey or maple syrup if you would like it a little sweeter and whisk to combine.
- Pour into a mug and let it cool a little before drinking.
You can also use the turmeric paste in other things like soup or curries. It adds a nice shot of turmeric along with the fat and pepper it needs so you can get the most out of it. Along with my jar of roasted garlic, I’ve started keeping this paste on hand for whenever I need it!