Superfood Sunday: Turmeric – The Spice of Life
Turmeric is ‘The Spice of Life’ when it comes to herbs and spices. Grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia, turmeric has a long history of use in herbal medicine. Turmeric is hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used by practitioners to relive inflammation caused by arthritis, muscle sprains, swelling and digestive problems including IBS and inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. This is because turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin – an antioxidant which gives turmeric its distinctive yellow-orange brilliance.
Curcumin has so many amazing healing qualities that I actually take a curcumin supplement on a daily basis (in addition to incorporating turmeric into my meals as much as I can)! Curcumin’s natural anti-inflammatory qualities mean it may even work as well as some anti-inflammatory medications, without the awful side effects . Researchers are now even studying curcumin and its anti-inflammatory benefits to determine the extent to which it can be used in cancer prevention or treatment. Several different studies have indicated that curcumin may have an anti-tumour effect. Turmeric has also been applauded for its positive effect on cholesterol as it prevents the build up of LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in the blood vessels and therefore can prevent the blocking of arteries. Yeah it’s pretty amazing alright!!
How to use turmeric
You can buy turmeric in a powdered form (which you can find in your herbs and spices aisle at the supermarket) or you can buy it whole and grate it like ginger. I usually buy mine whole at the farmers market and it lasts a few weeks. Here’s a few ways you can incorporate turmeric into your diet:
- Spice up your curries and soups
- Add to your juices and smoothies
- Sprinkle over your salads
- Mix through quinoa to make ‘curried quinoa’
- Make a delicious tahini turmeric dressing – see recipe below
Anti-Inflammatory Tahini Turmeric Dressing
This dressing is so delicious and versatile! I made a fresh batch this morning and drizzled the dressing over some homemade buckwheat pancakes for a savoury option – topped with lettuce, grated carrot, pepitas and sesame seeds. Delish! Such a perfect meal to heave morning, noon or night! 🙂
See here for my recipe for buckwheat pancakes.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ginger
- spritz of sea salt and pepper
- water, as needed
Blend all ingredients in a stick blender or food processor till smooth. Add more water as needed to make thinner.
This will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Buckwheat pancakes are so good both savoury and sweet!