Turmeric has gained quite the reputation in the world of nutrition and alternative medicine – and rightfully so! This warming spice does not fall short in health benefits that it provides for our bodies. Two of the main health benefits that brought turmeric into the spotlight are its anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to this, turmeric has beneficial effects on gut health, is a powerful antioxidant, may reduce symptoms of depression, combat obesity, fight against type 2 diabetes, boosts the immune system, and assists the liver in its efforts to detoxify the body.
Turmeric can be incorporated into the diet in a variety of ways. In order to help the body reap the most benefits from turmeric, it is recommended to pair turmeric with black pepper. Curcumin is the powerful compound in turmeric and, when paired with black pepper, it is more readily absorbed by the body due to the piperine in the pepper. (Helpful hint: be careful, turmeric stains surfaces and clothing very easily!) Some ways to use turmeric include:
- Stir into eggs then scramble with vegetables
- Golden milk
- Mix into a homemade salad dressing
- Used in a coating for homemade breaded chicken
- Stirred into rice with other other herbs of choice
- Incorporated into a vegetable soup
- Kitchari – a warm rice, bean, and vegetable dish (recipe below)
2 tbs ghee
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbs chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot
2 cups split mung bean dahl (or golden lentils)
1 cup white basmati rice or brown rice
3-5 cups chopped vegetables of choice (we used cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and spinach)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
Toppings: cilantro, lime, and red pepper flakes
- Heat oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Once melted, add spices and stir. Cook spices for 2-3 minutes. Add onion/shallot and garlic. Stir then cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add beans, rice and veggies (if using leafy greens, wait to add those in until later). Stir to coat with the spices. Pour in the liquids and stir in the bay leaves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 1 hour.
- Remove the lid and stir in leafy greens – add in more liquid if desired.
- When ready to serve, portion out into bowls and top with fresh lime juice, cilantro and red pepper flakes (omit if spice is not desired). Enjoy!
Recipe from Simply Quinoa