Turmeric is everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean it’s dominating my Pinterest feed. The distinctly yellow spice is being used from anything as a natural food coloring to a new super food. Turmeric has a slightly bitter and earthy flavor, and you’ll find it in a range of foods from Indian curries to your everyday yellow mustard.
This spice is having a moment in the West, but in actuality, it has been used in Eastern cooking and medicinally for over 2,000 years. The list of health benefits that turmeric may help with is long, but some of the most commonly cited are relieving heartburn, cancer preventative, anti-inflammatory, digestive aid and preventing Alzheimer’s by helping with memory. Even the big food companies are on the turmeric train. Earlier this year Kraft switched to all natural food coloring in its beloved Macaroni and Cheese. To achieve their signature yellow color, they used turmeric and no one noticed a difference in flavor!
The most common way to buy turmeric is ground up and stored in a spice jar. But, you can also purchase it fresh in your grocery store’s produce section. Fresh turmeric looks a lot like ginger root because it’s actually from the ginger family. You can cook with the spice in either form, fresh or ground, but almost all recipes call for ground turmeric since it’s easier to find and requires no prep.
How To Use Turmeric
If you want to experiment with fresh turmeric, just prepare it the same way you would ginger (watch our short how to video for quick tips). Use the back of a spoon to peel the tough outer skin, then mince or grate the root. Now it’s ready to use in stir-frys, salads, and smoothies. Don’t forget to wash your hands right after prepping turmeric, as it can dye your fingers yellow!
Ready to give turmeric a try? Here are four simple ideas to help you get started:
- Cook a pan of shakshuka. You can find our 30-minute recipe for here.
- Add turmeric to your rice pilaf to liven up the color and add an interesting new flavor.
- Blend it into smoothies! If you’re not a fan of turmeric’s flavor, this is a great way to get its health benefits while masking the taste.
- Make turmeric tea. Check out our super basic recipe below!
Easy Turmeric and Ginger Tea Recipe
This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you’d like to make a big batch to last for a few days.
- 2 cups water
- Turmeric — fresh = 1 inch peeled and grated; ground = ½ teaspoon
- Ginger — fresh = 1 inch peeled and grated; ground = ½ teaspoon
- Optional additions: splash of milk (regular, soy or almond), honey or agave syrup to taste
Bring water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, then add the ginger and turmeric. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain to remove any large bits of turmeric or ginger. If desired, add a splash of milk and honey or agave and stir.
Have another idea on how to use turmeric? Going to try it soon? Share your turmeric adventures with us by using #confettikitchen on Instagram!