Everyone’s talking about turmeric these days, and you have two choices: beat ‘em or join ‘em. Our personal recommendation: get on the bandwagon, because turmeric is not just a fad––it’s a one way ticket to better health.
“Turmeric has been popular in holistic medicine, such as Ayurveda, for centuries,” writes Chef Monisha Bharadwaj, whose soothing turmeric tea is featured in this article. “The active compound curcumin is considered anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, which means that it can help inhibit cell damage to boost a longer, more vibrant life.”
While the bright golden spice, with its musky, earthy fragrance, may seem intimidating at first, it’s actually a breeze to incorporate into your everyday wellness routine. Not only does it add a splash of vibrancy to any dish, but according to Bharadwaj, “It has a quality of enhancing and balancing the flavors of all other ingredients.”
Ready to give this healing root a try? Here are 5 weekday recipes featuring the ultra popular ingredient the health world can’t stop buzzing about right now:
Cauliflower Crispy Shrimp with Turmeric Tahini Lime Dipping Sauce
by Celebrity Chef Paula Hankin
As a celebrity chef, it’s important to my clients that I stay up-to-date on the latest health trends. Their busy schedules require wholesome meals to fuel their day without weighing them down. This crispy shrimp may look and taste like a comfort food, but the secret ingredient of cauliflower breadcrumbs (which I’m borderline obsessed with right now) keeps the dish light and nutrient-packed. The turmeric lime dipping sauce also adds an extra punch of brain-boosting, inflammation-fighting turmeric in a bright and zesty way.
Ingredients for Cauliflower Crispy Shrimp:
- 1 1/2 cups of Cauli Crunch breadcrumbs
- 20 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- olive oil cooking spray
- 2 eggs or egg substitute
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Ingredients for Turmeric Lime Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- Juice of 2 fresh limes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of lime zest (to sprinkle on top)
- Place the cauliflower breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl with salt, pepper, and turmeric.
- In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs (or egg substitute).
- Dip the shrimp into the egg mixture, then the cauliflower breadcrumbs.
- Place the breaded shrimp on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
- Spritz the breaded shrimp with cooking spray.
- Bake at 400° for 8-12 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and the coating is golden brown, turning once.
- Whisk the dipping sauce ingredients together in a bowl and top with lime zest.
- Drizzle the sauce with olive oil over the shrimp, or serve on the side.
HALDI KI CHAI (Turmeric Tea)
I offer a cup of turmeric tea to everyone who attends my cookery courses, because it’s so versatile, and if you find it too spicy, you can easily sweeten it with honey. I’ve been drinking a big cup of this tea first thing every morning for several years now. I even carry a sachet of turmeric and pepper when I travel, so I can follow this routine from any hotel room that has a kettle.
- A pinch of ground turmeric (about ⅕ of a teaspoon)
- A pinch of crushed black pepper
- Honey (optional)
- Boil water in a kettle.
- Put a pinch each of turmeric and pepper in a mug and pour the boiling water over the top. The turmeric will change in colour and turn slightly orange.
- Add honey, if desired.
- Drink hot!
Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad
This delicious kale salad with spicy roasted chickpeas, crunchy sunflower seeds, sharp parmesan, sweet dates, and a zingy lemon vinaigrette is full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and best of all––the holistic benefits of turmeric.
- 1 large bundle dinosaur kale, large stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6-8 dates, sliced
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- Fresh grated parmesan to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Massage the kale in a mixing bowl with 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice and EVOO for 3 minutes.
- Drain the chickpeas, transfer them to a second bowl, and mix them with 1 tablespoon of EVOO, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and turmeric.
- Place the chickpeas onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Make the dressing by combining the remaining EVOO, lemon juice, minced garlic, grated ginger, honey, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the kale, add sunflower seeds, roasted chickpeas, sliced dates, grated parmesan, and toss together.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to preference. Enjoy!
Everyday Golden Milk
I'm an herbalist and run a blog about herbal remedies and reconnecting with nature. This wonderfully simple golden milk recipe is one I personally drink almost daily. It's easy to make and features turmeric, as well as other healing common kitchen spices, in a very nutritive way. It’s a joy to drink each morning and an easy addition to your mindfulness routine.
- 3 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 whole cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp ground
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- A pinch of ground black pepper
- A sprinkle of ground coriander
- Natural Sweetener to taste. I love local honey.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Heat on low for about 4 minutes.
- Serves 2.
*Note: Don’t skip the black pepper or the coconut oil, as these make the curcumin in the turmeric more bioavailable.
Tropical Turmeric-Lemongrass Rice Pilaf
I’m a chef from Oregon with a focus on nutritional eating, and I strongly believe that what we eat plays a critical role in our immune health. I currently live in Thailand, where fresh turmeric is used in so many things, and I’m lucky enough to be growing my own in my outdoor kitchen!
My all time favorite turmeric recipe is this delicious and colorful turmeric-lemongrass rice dish that brightens up the table no matter what it accompanies:
- 2 Tbsp ginger, minced (~ 1 in knob of ginger)
- 2 Tbsp Lemongrass, minced (see note)
- .5 cup onion, yellow, small dice (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Turmeric Powder -or- 1 Tbsp FRESH turmeric root, minced
- 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil or preferred fat/oil
- 2 cups dry rice, jasmine (or other)
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (this may differ depending on your rice, follow instructions for water:rice ratio on the package for more accurate results. Measurements are for Jasmine rice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped roughly
Mince the garlic (set aside), ginger, lemongrass and turmeric (if using fresh), and dice the onion.
*Note: lemongrass can be minced finely by cutting it in half lengthwise, removing the bottom end, pulling out the middle of the shoot, and laying the leaves of the vegetable flat. Cut carefully along the length of the fibers first, 1mm thick cuts, and then cut against the grain to mince the lemongrass and remove all toughness)
- Heat oil in a pot large enough for the finished rice, and on relatively low temperature, sweat the aromatics in the oil. After the onion becomes translucent and the mixture turns fragrant, add the garlic and the turmeric powder (if using) and allow it to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Turn up the heat slightly. Add the dry white rice, and stir to color it yellow and coat it in oil.
- Gently saute, allowing the rice to fry in and absorb some of the oil in the pan. This will keep the grains nice and separated in the final dish.
- When the mixture is thoroughly blended, pour in the stock, bring it to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low, and slowly cook the rice without the lid. (Alternatively, with a lid, you can put the rice in the oven as soon as you add the stock. Just cover it tightly with foil or parchment or both, and place into a preheated 375°F oven. You’ll know the rice is done when shaking the pot does not result in movement).
- If cooking on the stove, when the rice has cooked through and absorbs most (95%) of the liquid, cover tightly with a lid, remove from heat, and allow it to finish.
- Adjust for seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, stir in 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, and use the remaining to garnish the dish.
You don’t need to go along with every wellness fad, but if you’re going to choose one, turmeric is a great place to start. It’s delicious, it’s good for you, and it whips up into simple, gorgeous weekday recipes, like the five featured here.
Don’t have time for cooking? You can still get a quick hit of turmeric from our Vitality shot. Combining fresh Hawaiian turmeric root with black pepper for increased absorption, this adorable dose of nutrients will fill your day with better health and better vibes. Go ahead, and give into it!