I have always been drawn to the bright vibrant colour of turmeric. Although, before my education in nutrition began, turmeric was just another spice to me. All I knew about it was the colour it gave curry!
What is often a spice that tends to sit in cupboards for ages, is actually an incredibly powerful medicine.
Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 6,000 years!! It's proper latin name (for all us naturopathic medical students) is Curcuma longa. The health benefits of turmeric are endless. It is an fascinating herb with hundreds of proven actions. The main active constituents found in turmeric are called curcuminoids, with curcumin being the most powerful.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have the following major actions:
- Anti-inflammatory (shown to be greater than hydrocortisone!!)
- Aids in liver detox
Turmeric on its own is not actually that bioavailable. When using it for cooking it is best to add black pepper to the dish as well. The compound pepperine found in black pepper can increase the absorption immensely! Further, curcumin is a lipophilic compound (absorbed better with fat), so to get the greatest benefit from the plant, it is also a good idea to add some coconut oil (or other healthy fat) to your cooking!
Many supplement companies have capitalized on the health benefits of curcumin and sell it in standardized bioavailable forms.
My favourite way to consume turmeric is by making golden milk!
Continue reading for the full recipe :)
The first step is to make turmeric paste
- 1/4 cup turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
Turmeric will stain clothes, hands and cutting boards, so be careful not to spill!
Add the 3 ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high heat and stir constantly until a paste is formed (about 5ish minutes). Remove from heat and store the turmeric paste in a glass container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
The warm colour, earthy scent and peppery taste make turmeric the perfect base for a creamy warm drink. I love drinking this in the evening while reading a good book!
Ingredients for golden milk:
- 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp turmeric paste (recipe above)
- 1 cup of your favourite milk (I love the almond/coconut milk in the picture below)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp (or more to taste) honey or maple syrup
- Your favourite mug!!
Combine the turmeric paste, coconut oil and milk in a small sauce pan and heat on medium heat until warm (do not let come to a boil). Once the golden milk is heated, transfer to your favourite mug and add honey (or maple syrup). This is also delicious with a pinch of cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! It is soothing, creamy and delicious!!
Have you tried golden milk before? What are your favourite ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet? Let me know in the comments below!!