A Touch of Turmeric
We are constantly coming up against the newest superfood or anti-ageing miracle and many seem to be tasteless, expensive and over in no time. This makes it hard to discern facts from fads and can leave many feeling bitter and cynical towards the ever-changing face of health and beauty. One ingredient has remained steadfast, through the goji berries and wasabi beans, the humble turmeric has been a constant companion to those seeking healthy alternatives.
Turmeric has long been a key ingredient in Eastern cooking, and only now are us westerners truly picking up the benefits of this marvellous root. Attached to the ginger family, turmeric has been used as a dye, a spice and a medicine all over Asia but is mainly found in Indian, Indonesian, Bangladeshi, Iranian and Pakistani cuisine.
Organic Facts recently revealed the 9 best benefits of Turmeric, citing Curcumin as the element behind its varied properties. Though the anti-inflammatory aspect of turmeric has been well heralded, its cancer prevention assets and aid towards cystic fibrosis hindrance is yet to be fully explored. Well–Being Secrets looks at 14 different benefits of the root, focussing on personal wellness and the enhancement the spice can bring.
However incorporating a spice into your everyday life can seem a little daunting, especially as it is so related to very distinct cuisines, and most often curry. If you don’t wish to be eating curry every night, there are other ways to add this incredible spice into everyday life.
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While we often assume the way to make the most out of an ingredient is from the inside out, that is not always the case. Turmeric can be used topically. Whether you want to prolong the glow from your most recent spa break in Yorkshire, or want a natural way to treat dark patches, turmeric is an ingredient to consider.
Green tea and turmeric soap
Soap can sometimes be too harsh on skin, especially on the face and other sensitive areas. Soap Deli news has used all the soothing elements of green tea and combined them with the anti-inflammatory aspect of turmeric to make the dream combination that will be kind to both skin and complexion.
Turmeric face masks
Sometimes our face needs a little more rejuvenation than a cleanser and moisturise can offer, so if you are looking for a face mask that makes an impact, turmeric could be a contender. Bellatory recommend this mask for hyper pigmentation, to blend any darker patches back to your natural skin tone. Turmeric is perfect for this as it impacts the melanin in your skin.
Food - Savoury
When many of us think of turmeric, we often encounter it as a spice to accompany savoury dishes. Whether in a lentil curry or a mild daal, it is often either in or as an accompaniment to curry, however there are many alternative ways to cook and serve turmeric as both sweet and savoury dishes.
Sweet potato and Turmeric Hummus
Hummus has Middle Eastern origins and is an incredibly healthy and flexible dip that can acquire and utilise most flavours in tasty and interesting ways. Teffy from the blog Sprinkle Of Green explores healthy and balanced recipes, and admits to her own sweet potato love affair, however the hummus recipe that can be found here is a great starter, lunch snack or sharing plate. If you are intending to impress your friends or keep your new healthy secret to yourself, it is a great way to incorporate this super spice.
Chowder is strongly associated with North America, often featuring fresh seafood and hearty bread bowls to get them through the vicious winters found in New England and Canada. This recipe warms with more than a stove, with ginger, garlic and cumin to accompany our turmeric star, this is a lovely veggie twist to a classic dish. Found on the blog The Harvest Kitchen, Deborah, the mastermind behind it, creates healthy and delicious dishes that appeal to those following a variety of diets.
Food – Sweet
Image Credit: pixel2013 (Pixabay)
Unfortunately for years we have narrowed our field so that sweet dishes are restricted to cinnamon, maybe nutmeg at a push. In reality we are just held back by our imagination and the ingrained belief that turmeric is destined for curry alone. Now turmeric is cropping up in sweet recipes all over the place.
Coconut and Turmeric Chocolate truffles
While not the healthiest option available, this recipe is fantastic for chocolate lovers who don’t want to be dragged down by complete abstinence. Often we struggle to cut the bad things from our diet completely, and healthier versions of our favourite guilty pleasures help to keep us on the straight and narrow. These truffles are less processed than the shop bought alternatives and are a perfect sweet treat for those who are vegan or gluten free.
Salted Turmeric Caramel Nut tipped pudding
The perfect end to any dinner party, or a sweet treat for a midday break, these puddings are wonderful as individual portions that promise to delight all round. This recipe can be really versatile, being vegan or nut free if necessary.
Image Credit: Shalu Sharma (Flickr)
While ginger beer has long been a staple British beverage, pumpkin spice lattes have become popular over the pond, leading to the rise of the spicy, yet thirst quenching tipple. These are perfect for autumnal evenings or for a summer barbeque, and are healthier alternatives to hot chocolate or milkshakes.
While it may be a far cry from Horlicks, it is a traditional drink (known as haldi doodh) that has taken a seriously modern twist. With secondary flavours of ginger or black pepper (for their own health benefits and to enhance the flavour of the beverage) traditionally Golden milk is made with dairy however enterprising baristas have made vegan alternatives, depending on the audience but it does pack in an awful lot of health benefits. Wholeheartedly healthy may have had their first turmeric latte in New York however they have adapted the recipe to their own tastes.
Orange, Mango and Turmeric Smoothie
People are putting anything and everything into smoothies with kale and quinoa regularly appearing on ingredients lists. In comparison turmeric seems almost restrained, but if this smoothie doesn’t put a smile on your face nothing will. It tastes exotic and invigorating and is the perfect beginning to any day.
Main Image Credit: Simon A Eugster (Wikimedia Commons)