Most people know turmeric as the orange spice powder used in Indian-style dishes and, most recently, in the very hipster craze, golden turmeric lattes. That spice powder comes from fresh turmeric, a gnarly orange root that looks a lot like fresh ginger.
Fresh turmeric is in season right now so look out for it in the supermarket or your local green grocer. Once you have it in your hot little hands, here’s a handy guide on how to cook with it. Plus, find out all about it’s fabulous health benefits. Finally cook with it in our delicious recipes.
How to prepare and cook with fresh turmeric
As turmeric is a close cousin of ginger, you prepare it in the same way. Give the root (or rhizome, if we’re being sticklers) a good scrub then you can either peel or simply grate using a microplane grater. You can also slice or finely chop turmeric. Here are 5 ways to use it.
- Add to smoothies for a healthy boost
- Make golden milk with turmeric, non-dairy milk, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and honey
- Add to rice before cooking for a slightly peppery flavour and vibrant colour
- Use to make curry pastes
- Add chopped to soups for a golden colour and added health benefits
Basically you can use fresh turmeric in the same recipes you would use ground turmeric. As a general rule, a 5cm piece of fresh turmeric is the equivalent of 1 tsp of ground turmeric.
The health benefits of turmeric
It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years but in the past year it’s been rediscovered and hailed a wonder spice. The main benefits come from the curcumin which is an antioxidant that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies also report that curcumin can assist in cognitive brain function and working memory, especially in men and women over 60.
The pain of turmeric stains
Just a final word on turmeric. That gorgeous golden colour will stain, so ensure you use caution when preparing on your kitchen bench. And maybe opt to wear a dark colour, just in case of any colour transfer. Make a quick paste of bicarbonate soda and water to clean any stains straight away.
Now, all that’s left is to try turmeric in these delicious recipes
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