If you’re health conscious or a foodie, you’ve just got to know these 5 Smart Ways To Use Turmeric In Your Meals! if you’re into wellbeing, chances are turmeric has been on your radar. Its slightly perfumed and bitter earthy taste is a unique and delicious enhancement to almost any dish. Turmeric’s use in history dates back over 4000 years when unsurprisingly, its impressive repertoire of medicinal properties rendered it sacred. In southern parts of India, some even wore a part of the rhizome (underground stem) around their neck for protection against evil spirits.
Curcumin is the healing substance in turmeric whose properties span from being a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, to prevention against cancer causing agents and heart disease. Incorporating turmeric into your diet will strengthen your immune system and protect against viral infections as well as diseases that could affect you in later life. Many studies have supported evidence that turmeric is effective in preventing Alzheimer’s and in treating diabetes.
Below we’ve put together some imaginative ways in which to use turmeric as well as spicing up everyday meals, so without further ado!
1) Vegan Lentil Cauliflower Tacos
This inspired taco filling combines turmeric with fragrant tones of cumin and cinnamon, creating a magnificent depth of flavour to rival any meat filling.
65g dried lentils (or substitute 1 cup cooked or canned drained lentils)
45ml + 2 tsp grapeseed oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 – 2 1/4lbs cauliflower florets, cut into small bite-sized pieces
3 tbsp water
Corn tortillas or taco shells
Sliced jalapeño peppers
Sour cream or Greek yogurt (use vegan sour cream for vegan)
1. To prepare dried lentils: In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tsp grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the lentils and toss to coat.
2. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
3. Add the water and bring to a boil.
4. Cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
5. If using canned or precooked lentils, do not prepare them, simply reserve them and the minced garlic.
6. To make the taco filling: Heat the grapeseed oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cumin, turmeric, salt and cinnamon and heat until fragrant. If you’re using canned or cooked lentils, go ahead and heat up the minced garlic here along with the spices.
7. Add the cauliflower and sauté until lightly coloured.
8. Add the cooked lentils and 3 tbsp water. Stir to combine, then cover and cook until tender for about 5-10 minutes.
9. Serve the warm vegetable mixture in warm corn tortillas or taco shells and top with your favourite taco toppings.
Credit: Tori Avey
2) Quick Spiced-Up Roasted Veg
Turmeric doesn’t have to be reserved for spicy curry dishes; surprise your Sunday dinner guests by giving your roast a spicy twist, try this combination!
2 carrots, peeled
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
1lb of Brussels sprouts
35g of cumin powder
1 tbsp of turmeric powder
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ tablespoon of sea salt (or to taste)
45ml coconut oil melted
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Chop up the peeled carrots and sweet potatoes into large chunks.
3. Boil the carrots, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes.
4. Strain out the vegetables and place on a baking tray.
5. Sprinkle with the spices and melted coconut oil and rub everything together.
6. Roast in oven for 30 minutes until soft.
Credit: Paleo Magazine
3) Turmeric Tahini Dressing
This simple dressing from nutrition blog The Full Helping, will add zest and flavour to grains, veggies and salads. Not only that but the powerful, health boosting combination of turmeric, apple cider vinegar, ginger and garlic should see you vitalised through the winter months!
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated finely or ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 small clove garlic, grated or finely minced (optional)
½ tsp maple syrup
Simply whisk or blend all ingredients together. (Dressing will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.)
4) Sunshine Smoothie
This bright, healthy, wholesome smoothie from thektchn.com certainly lives up to its name! Its use of fresh turmeric and clementine oranges not only gives it a sunshiney glow, but provides a vitamin C packed punch, while the oats and coconut milk add the creaminess.
20g rolled oats
235ml chilled unsweetened coconut water
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
Fresh or frozen segments from 2 clementines (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon ground), more if desired
1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar (optional)
1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)
1. Place the oats in a blender and process until finely ground.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and process until smooth. (For a thicker smoothie, let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving.)
5) Tofu Scramble
What better use for the widely revered root than in a tofu scramble? Turmeric when combined with black pepper and olive oil is purported to be more effective. Piperine, the active compound in black pepper aids absorption, while olive oil carries the fat soluble curcumin to the intestine, this makes this recipe even more appealing!
2 x 250g packages extra firm tofu
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
80g baby spinach leaves
1 medium tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 whole wheat or gluten free tortillas (optional)
1. Use your clean hands to crumble the tofu into a large bowl.
2. Combine tofu with the nutritional yeast, salt, cumin, turmeric, and black pepper, and set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add the onion and red pepper, and sauté until the onion has just become translucent (about 5 minutes).
5. Add the tofu mixture to the onions and peppers, and continue to sauté for 5-10 minutes more until the tofu is heated through and beginning to brown.
6. Remove from the heat.
7. To serve, layer spinach, then scrambled tofu, then diced tomato, avocado, and scallions over the top. (Alternately, start the layering with a whole wheat tortilla and wrap the fillings up like a burrito.)
9. Serve immediately, or cover wraps with tinfoil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Credit: The Muffin Myth
If you haven’t already, we suggest you get yourselves a turmeric stash ASAP and start experimenting with this ancient healer! If you’re short of time or ingredients, you can always treat turmeric as a condiment for your veggies and salads; just don’t forget the black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil!