Terrific Turmeric

Lyn Jullien

What it Turmeric? Have you ever had yellow rice? Yellow Curry? Mustard? Even Chili? Turmeric is used in all of these dishes! It’s a yellow spice with a mild flavor, and it has some wonderful therapeutic properties.

Turmeric is a spice used in India made from the Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. The rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.

Why Use Turmeric In The Diet?

This lovely little spice has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and stomach soothing properties. It can be used and is often used in India as a digestive aid, as it helps with the digestion of fats by stimulating the flow of bile. Its anti-oxidant properties also help reduce inflammation in the body. It’s used in both Chinese and Indian Herbal medicine.

How To Include Turmeric In The Diet?

Turmeric is generally available in most grocery stores and health food shops in powder form. It is one ingredient in curry, it can be used in chili, and add a bit to boiling rice to turn it a fun shade of yellow! Curry powder itself is usually comprised of cumin, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek and red pepper.

Consider This Simple Recipe:

Simple Curry

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ½ inch size Ginger, chopped finely
  • Coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2.5 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp curry paste

Saute vegetables, garlic and ginger (add other vegetables to taste – red pepper, peas, finely chopped carrots are all lovely). Add the rest, season to taste.

This dish is lovely on its own, with chicken, shrimp, or chickpeas, over rice. Spice it up, turn the rice yellow with a tsp of Turmeric!

For something a bit more simple, try adding some turmeric to cauliflower – Delicious!

Sources for this article include:

  • www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric
  • Staying Healthy with Wholefoods, Paul Pitchford
About the Author: Lyn Jullien (BA, MSc, DipNT, DipNat) is a Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath and an active member of the Association of Registered Complementary Health Therapists. She has taught Nutrition courses and looks for simple life style changes to promote better health.
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