So, you’ve been reading all about those health benefits of turmeric—the pungent, yellow-tinged spice that is so instrumental in Indian cuisine—but you’re thinking, “There is only so much curry one person can eat.” Although we here at Paste do love a good curry, we get it, and we’re here to help. With a wealth of history behind it, ground turmeric deserves a front row seat in your spice cabinet, so here are five ways to sneak this warming spice into other foods.
All of these contain some sort of fat, which helps aid in the absorption of curcumin, the ingredient in turmeric with all the “magic,” and all have been tested in our unofficial Paste test kitchen—which is to say, we tried these and responded, “Hmm, that’s pretty good.” Sprinkle away!
Blitz it with your morning smoothie
Hey, you’re probably already throwing things like chia seeds and wheat germ in there, right? So sprinkle in at least a teaspoon of turmeric along with a dollop of raw honey, which also has powerful health benefits, especially during fall allergy season. My favorite smoothies include this combo along with half an avocado, a banana, frozen spinach, ginger and raw milk (yes, I love milk), and I promise it doesn’t taste like anything offered on an Indian lunch buffet.
Bake it into banana or zucchini bread
Turmeric plays well with cinnamon, which is often in both of these breads, and adding 1 teaspoon of turmeric will make your bread a little more healthy and a lot more exotic for the PTA bake sale.
Mix it into your steak rub
When it’s time to grill, add turmeric to your steak rub. Most steak rubs include black pepper, and black pepper also aids the body in the absorption of curcumin.
Up the ante on your grilled cheese
Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric with a healthy dollop of Dijon mustard, spread on the bread, add at least two types of meltable cheese, and grill with real butter. Real butter is delicious, not as bad as many people think, and hey, it helps with the curcumin absorption, too. If you want to traverse even closer to the experimental sandwich-making edge, smear a very light layer of jelly in between two slices of the cheese.
Add to your chai tea latte, or gasp pumpkin spice latte
While I am not advocating the consumption of the beverage of eternal internet fame, I am saying that adding turmeric to it would be a great way to sneak some healthy vibes into an otherwise sugar-laden concoction. You could probably go with at least 1 teaspoon without any major noticeable change, that is, unless you are part of the taste testing focus group or something. In my chai tea, I add ½ teaspoon. Hey, experiment, which means you have to drink more lattes!
And before undertaking your turmeric odyssey, as with any food you’re consuming in part for its medicinal benefits, consider first reading up on recommended daily intake and possible side effects.
Stephanie Burt has been writing about food, art and travel long enough to have an annoying one-up story for most cocktail parties. And she talks a lot, so don’t get her started.
Photo by Darya Pino CC BY