Turmeric is a really awesome spice. It is often used as a coloring agent in cooking curries and many other dishes. It can even be used as a natural dye, with a red-orange hue. It has an earthy taste and aroma, and a little goes a long way. It has also become popular in recent years due to evidence that curcumin, a nutrient in turmeric, has been found beneficial in reducing inflammation. Turmeric, as a whole ingredient, is in fact anti-inflammatory and also anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and it can help to boost your immune system. I sneak it into many dinners so my family can reap the benefits of this spice.
Aside from curries, one of my favorite ways to consume this wonderful spice is in a simple tea, as a replacement for my morning hot water and lemon. Simply place a pinch of powdered turmeric, a pinch of powdered ginger, a pinch of black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon into a mug. Fill the mug with hot water, stir, and enjoy! You can adjust the lemon and ginger to taste. The black pepper is a must as it helps our bodies assimilate the turmeric.
Another popular turmeric beverage is Golden Milk. Because warm milk can help promote a restful sleep, I recommend this as an evening beverage before bed. here are many variations to this creamy beverage, but the base is simple: milk, turmeric, black pepper. Many recipes call for coconut milk, but you can substitute your favorite non-dairy milk. You can also use cow’s milk, and I recommend whole for the nutrient benefits. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil (helps the body absorb the turmeric, but you can exclude if using whole milk if you’d like). Add additional spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to your liking. You can also add a natural sweetener (if using honey, wait to add until your beverage has cooled to just warmer than body temperature. Ayurveda does not encourage cooking/boiling honey). Simply place the milk and spices in a saucepan, whisk well as you bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then serve.
Both these beverages are delicious, health-promoting, comforting, and warm – perfect as we head into cooler months. I hope they become a pleasant addition to your routine. Here’s to your health: Cheers!