Have you ever wondered what gives mustard its distinctive color? Would you be surprised to know that it’s an ancient spice that is the main ingredient in most curry powders? Turmeric has been used for centuries in many Asian cultures as more than just a food. Turmeric is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties and is said to be chock full of anti-oxidants. It is so widely used that it has even caught the attention of the medical community. At the time of this writing, there are 5,699 published studies on turmeric and its health benefits. That’s right, close to six thousand studies. This spice is a no brainer for anyone looking to superfood his or her pantry.
Turmeric is native to Asia and still thrives today as an ingredient as normal as salt is in America. It loves the wet and hot climate of this area, and grows wild in many countries. You’ll undoubtedly find it often in Indian, Indonesian and other Southern Asian dishes. Its flavor is totally unique – earthy and with a mild peppery flavor. Turmeric is a “rhizome” in the ginger family, which is noticeable when turmeric is in its original root form. The more commonly found powder is made when the root is boiled, dried and then ground.
Turmeric’s beautiful color is remarkable and extremely pleasing to the eye. On top of its great aesthetic, the vibrant reddish orange color is a strong indication that just like our Organic Red Palm Oil, turmeric is rich in beta-carotene, which is what our body uses to make vitamin A. Keep in mind that this bright color may actually temporarily stain. You may not notice it much with the powdered form, but if you use it in its root form you’ll surely see a change in your skin tone. But don’t let this deter you from using this superfood spice! Use a mild soap and scrub to get the color off in no time.
Turmeric in the Kitchen
There are many traditional and not so traditional ways to start including turmeric in your diet. For an authentic Indian detox dish with a Nutiva twist, try Nutiva’s Kichadi Stew. This stew is loaded with minerals and a variety of healing spices that make it great for digestion. It’s also a great motivator to load up your pantry with those healing spices you’ve been eyeing at the market! Want to go another route? Add some color to your salad with this creamy Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Sun-Dressing. Feel like keeping it truly traditional? Make your own curry powder or curry paste!
Turmeric Outside the Kitchen
Foodies, frugal livers and creative DIY-ers alike are all falling in love with turmeric’s many uses outside the kitchen. An ever-growing popular use is as a main ingredient in homemade toothpaste! Former Miss USA Susie Castillo even swears by adding turmeric to her homemade concoction. You can also try this acne fighting Turmeric Face Mask that’s been passed down for many years.
Want to take advantage of that beautiful yellow color? Use turmeric as a dye for an easy DIY tank or on any other fabric like pillowcases. Many parents are now using it as a non-toxic dye for Easter eggs!
Turmeric as a Healing Tea
Turmeric is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries. Ayurvedic medicine, the sister science to yoga, uses turmeric in many of its food and drink recipes. Take advantage of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties by making it into a tea. Turmeric can be used on it’s own mixed with coconut sugar and lemon for more flavor, or blended with ginger for a tummy settling tea.
Whatever way you choose to add turmeric into your life, you can feel proud of including such a potent superfood spice to your routine.
How do you like to use turmeric? Do you use it strictly in the kitchen? Let us know in the comment below.