Unlocking Turmeric’s Health Benefits with Recipes
Have you heard the buzz?
Have you heard the buzz about Turmeric? It’s an amazing spice you can use in cook and self-care to improve your health. Originally from India, and turmeric is from the ginger family, and can even be grown here in west central Florida. It’s been used in many countries for thousands of years as a healing food, one we can use too.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Turmeric is knows as Jiang Huang, or Yellow Ginger, and is used to promote blood circulation. Turmeric is known to be beneficial to various organs (including our stomach, liver, colon, and gallbladder) as well as our spine and joints. It has been proven to have significant anti-inflammatory functions. This substance is also used topically (that’s on the outside of our bodies), and incorporated in body & face treatments. And it’s even used to slow the effects of aging!
What’s the Research Say?
Turmeric has been the focus of thousands of scientific studies, and can help fight more than 70 different conditions, including cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s a link to current research cited in Pubmed, the research database of the US National Library of Medicine.
Turmeric is a strong pain fighter, making it an important addition to the diet of people with arthritis and fibromyalgia.
It helps soothe muscles and the burn of inflammation and can be used by athletes, weekend warriors, and folks who need to work extra hard to fight muscle pain and fatigue.
Take note: One thing research has shown is that when not prepared correctly — or combined with appropriate ingredients — people don’t absorb turmeric’s active ingredient, Curcumin. We need to add healthy oils and ingredients like black pepper to effectively metabolize Curcumin.
An easy and effective way to add turmeric to your diet is with Golden Milk, an Ayurvedic drink that has been around for centuries. I recommend you start your journey by making a paste.
1/4 cup powdered turmeric (organic)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup pure water
Stir constantly while you bring the mixture to a slow simmer, cook until it forms a paste. Once it starts to thicken slightly, you must stir it constantly to prevent scorching. This should take about 8 minutes. Store in a glass container once it’s cooled enough to handle.
This paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
There are two ways to make Golden Milk, cold or hot.
1 cup of milk*
1 tablespoon oil**
Honey to taste
Cold Version: Combine milk, almond oil, honey, and 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric paste in a blender or shaker cup.
Hot Version: In a saucepan warm milk and turmeric paste to a temperature just below simmering (stop heating right before it begins to bubble). Stir regularly. Add oil and honey, stirring until well mixed. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to heat it too quickly, as you could scorch the milk.
How to Use Golden Milk
Drink a cup of Golden Milk at least 3 times per week, or up to 3 times per day. Hot Golden Milk is good at night before bed because the combination of the turmeric and warm milk can help you sleep better.
*In this recipe use real milk, preferably organic whole milk or fresh, raw milk. You can use almond or hemp milk if you do not drink animal milk. Do not use skim, 2%, or soy milk.
**You can use either almond or coconut oil when making Golden Milk — or my favorite Flora Udo’s Choice® Udo’s Oil™ 3-6-9 Blend. If you’re aiming for a cold Golden Milk, and want to use coconut oil, use refined coconut oil, as the unrefined version will be lumpy in your cold drink.
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen pineapple or mango chunks
1 fresh banana 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon dry powdered turmeric (or ~1/2 inch peeled fresh turmeric root)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!