When I was a kid salt, pepper, garlic powder and cinnamon were the only bottles on our spice rack. My family’s meals were, as the saying goes, “meat and potatoes.” Plain potatoes.
Fortunately for me, my wife convinced me to expand my palate. As a result I’ve tried a lot of different foods over the years.
We enjoy experimenting with flavors and recipes from different areas of the world. One of my favorite “exotic” ingredients is turmeric. This bright yellow spice tastes amazing. And be sure not to overlook the health benefits.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, turmeric is a root that comes from the ginger family. It reminds me of a skinny yam. Native to tropical South Asia, nearly all the world’s turmeric is produced in India.
Turmeric gives curry its distinctive yellow color and flavor. It’s also used as a coloring agent in cheese, butter, and other foods. But turmeric goes beyond cooking.
For almost 4,000 years people have used turmeric as a medicinal herb. There are records dating back to 250 BC describing an ointment containing turmeric. It was applied to treat the effects of poisoned food.
More recently modern medicine has recognized the importance of turmeric. Turmeric is a superfood that fights oxidation and inflammation. Medical articles praise its benefits for joint comfort as well as digestion, brain and heart health.
Now for even better news. It is incredibly easy to add turmeric to your diet. Here are my favorite foods that get a shot of flavor when I put in some turmeric:
Smoothie: Add a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to your smoothie. I think it tastes best when added to anything orange. Spice up your smoothies that contain carrots, pumpkin or butternut squash. Or, for a tropical treat, blend in turmeric with pineapple and mango.
Hummus: For a quick taste boost, stir a little turmeric into your hummus. Dip in some vegetables or pita bread and enjoy!
Eggs: Whether you like them scrambled or as part of an omelet, eggs are a breakfast staple. Why not add some turmeric? The color is beautiful and you’ll love the taste.
Tuna Salad: Mixing turmeric into your tuna salad transforms a plain sandwich into something restaurant-worthy!
Roasted Veggies: Before putting veggies in the oven, try tossing them with some turmeric and olive oil. All of your favorites will work—cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, potatoes and more!
Soups: Any soup – from creamy to broth – is a great place to add a dash or two of turmeric. The flavor complements chicken, beans and vegetables.
These suggestions are the tip of the iceberg. Explore recipes and I am sure you’ll find endless possibilities for adding turmeric to your food.
Best of all, you’ll be sure to find turmeric in your local grocery store. So taking advantage of the big health and flavor benefits of turmeric has never been easier. Bon appétit!