Turmeric is popular. The New York Times reported in 2019 that the root was among the world’s fastest-growing dietary supplements and that turmeric products racked up an estimated $328 million in sales in 2018.
A relative of ginger that is native to South Asia, turmeric has the potential to promote post-workout recovery, is full of antioxidants, offers an earthy flavor and makes any dish pop with its vibrant golden-yellow color (which is great for fabric dying as well as beautifying food dishes). It’s easy to see why people are drawn to what is often called “the golden spice.”
In India, turmeric’s popularity stretches back about 4,000 years to the ancient Vedic culture. In Hindu households, turmeric holds religious and cultural significance, and is considered auspicious and sacred by millions. In Sri Lankan homes, it has been a pantry staple stretching back through history that is used both as an everyday culinary spice and as a beneficial herb (turmeric’s cultural significance in Sri Lanka is detailed here).
In addition to India and Sri Lanka, turmeric has been widely enjoyed in China, West Africa, the Caribbean and much of the global East for centuries (and often millennia). But the global West just caught on, en masse, in the last decade or so. Now turmeric is a popular superfood in the U.S. and just about everywhere in the world. The Guardian reported in 2016 about turmeric-based golden milk’s global “cult following.”
Turmeric is a superfood that is also relatively inexpensive, safe and easy to include in many dishes. However, the active ingredient in turmeric, called curcumin, does not absorb into the body easily on its own. So the golden spice is often paired with black pepper in supplements and foods as piperine (pepper’s active compound) is said to increase the absorption of curcumin.
Turmeric is a spice that exists in its own league due to the holistic way it interacts with the body, its gorgeous color and its potential to enhance both sweet and savory flavors. We could go on and on about the potential joys of taking a page from the people of Sri Lanka’s book and making turmeric a pantry staple in your own home. The bottom line is this: We should probably all be eating—and drinking—more turmeric.
With the intention of inspiring your inner culinary artist, we’ve rounded up some simple and delicious ways to start to add more turmeric to your diet—morning, noon and night. Don’t forget to sprinkle in some black pepper whenever possible, too. (Note: Consider using MUD\WTR’s :balance Turmeric blend for any of these recipes. You’ll get your turmeric as well as a blend of balancing spices, mushrooms and mycelium.)
Drink Your Turmeric
Make that cult-classic golden milk.
Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk, is a simple turmeric powder or paste mixed with warm milk and oil.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make golden milk: ground turmeric, filtered water and coconut oil or ghee. Spice it up with additions like black pepper, cinnamon, ginger or other favorites. You’ll also need at least a cup of your milk of choice—and some honey or maple syrup for optional (but recommended) sweetness.
Just boil a cup of filtered water and mix in a quarter cup of ground turmeric. Stir the mixture for about five minutes to create a thick paste. Mix the paste with about a cup of milk and cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes. Stir in coconut oil or ghee, add spices and sweeteners of your choice, let cool and start sipping.
Add to most any juice.
If you love making juice at home, you can easily add turmeric to your diet. Just add turmeric to the ingredients you’re already using to make your juice. Turmeric works well with most fruit juices, but it is especially good with citrus fruits.
Combine the juice of one orange, two small lemons (ideally fresh), a quarter cup fresh turmeric and a quarter cup fresh ginger in a blender, and blend. When finished, top with a quarter teaspoon of the ever-helpful black pepper, so that you can be sure to get all the benefits you’re looking for. If this flavor is too intense for you, feel free to add more fruit juice to mellow it out.
Make turmeric tea.
Tea is maybe the simplest way to enjoy turmeric. It doesn’t involve many ingredients, yet it gives you a super potent drink. Just boil a cup of water and add a quarter teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric or turmeric powder. Let it simmer for 10 minutes before drinking.
You can add a little sweetener to taste (honey or maple syrup are especially good with turmeric), and/or squeeze in some fresh lemon juice for a sour kick. Add a pinch of black pepper for that absorption and to deepen that spice.
Enjoy some MUD\WTR.
Or cut most of the work out and just sip on your favorite MUD\WTR blend, all four of which include turmeric. You didn’t think we forgot, did you? Forever and always, our favorite way to sip on turmeric is to make MUD\WTR part of a daily routine. MUD\WTR’s blends come with the benefits of turmeric plus a whole lot more, thanks to their array of mushrooms and mycelium.
Turmeric for Breakfast
Make turmeric-spiced eggs.
Next time you are scrambling, frying or poaching your morning eggs, add a pinch of turmeric to boost your nutrient intake. Turmeric is also a great addition to just about any omelet. It pairs well with onion and garlic, and invites a richer flavor profile to your morning eggs.
Add it to your oatmeal.
You may be used to mixing a little cinnamon into your oatmeal. Why not add some turmeric, too? The two pair well, or you could try oatmeal with just turmeric and a little sweetener (or salt, if savory oatmeal is more your jam). Pro tip: Cook your oatmeal in coconut milk instead of water, and add turmeric and other spices for some golden milk-inspired oats.
For this option, combine the amount of milk that your oatmeal calls for in a saucepan with a teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground turmeric, as well as a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of black pepper. Simmer, and then add your oatmeal. Sweeten to taste.
Blend a super turmeric smoothie.
You can enjoy the powerful benefits of turmeric by blending turmeric powder (or grated raw turmeric) into your smoothie of choice. Turmeric adds a bit of spiciness that balances out the sweetness of fruit in smoothies. One delicious smoothie we like blends a little avocado, spinach leaves, coconut water, berries, ginger and flax oil—plus a pinch of turmeric.
Turmeric for Lunch or Dinner
Stir it into a curry, bone broth or any soup.
If you want turmeric in a more traditional way, you can of course add it to a curry. A basic curry powder combines ground up and dried turmeric, coriander, mustard, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Blend these powdered ingredients together in a small bowl until they’re well combined. You can store the powder in an airtight container for up to three months. Curry powder is the perfect way to flavor curries, stews, soups, and more. You can use the curry powder to make chickpea curry wraps, coconut split pea soup, and in many other recipes.
If all you have is turmeric (or you’re too lazy to whip up a curry blend) just add turmeric to any favorite soup. Just make your soup like you normally would and add turmeric to taste. Be it vegetable broth, chicken bone broth, chicken noodle soup, or egg drop soup, adding turmeric can enhance the flavor and amp up nutrients. (Note: One of our favorites is bone broth and coconut milk with some turmeric sprinkled in.)
Add it to a salad (or salad dressing, condiments, sauces).
You can sprinkle turmeric directly on most salads or whisk the spice into any salad dressing you desire. A simple green salad mixed with the pungent turmeric will not only taste great, it’ll also pack you full of antioxidants.
Once simple dressing that is easy to whip up involves whisking together a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a quarter cup of olive oil, two teaspoons white miso paste, a tablespoon or two of lemon juice, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a tablespoon of raw honey. Add quarter of a teaspoon of black pepper to give this some added spice.
The best thing about adding turmeric to dressings is that you can use it in diverse ways. Maybe you want to deviate from green salads altogether and play with mixing this turmeric dressing in with your favorite pasta salad, egg salad or tuna salad.
Or, try adding turmeric to your favorite condiments and dips. Turmeric mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise “aioli” are all great ways to sneak in some golden spice. Then there’s turmeric hummus, turmeric bean dip... the options are many.
Use it to flavor your favorite staples.
Maybe the simplest way to incorporate turmeric into your diet is to use it to flavor your go-to staples like rice, potatoes, veggie stir-frys or meat dishes. Just cook up a recipe like you normally would, and add turmeric to your butter or oil while flavoring. In addition to flavor, it will add a luscious pop of yellow to your plate.
When you use turmeric to season your veggies, fish or chicken, one seasoning option we recommend is to combine about two tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of lime juice, a tablespoon of fresh ginger, a teaspoon of turmeric and about an eighth teaspoon of black pepper. Then just rub it on, bake or stir-fry and enjoy.
Bake it in or sprinkle it onto snacks and treats.
You can also incorporate turmeric into your favorite baked goods like cookies, cakes—even pies both savory and sweet.
One favorite baked turmeric snack is mixed nuts. Just mix two cups of whole raw nuts with two tablespoons of vegetable oil, a tablespoon cayenne, and two tablespoons ground turmeric. Spread out the nuts on a baking sheet, sprinkle with about a quarter tablespoon salt and black pepper, and bake for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees, or until fragrant..
You can also add turmeric’s wonders to plain popcorn or another savory snack of choice. Mix popcorn, or your crunchy snack of choice, with melted butter or oil (we like to use coconut), then sprinkle on a bit of turmeric, salt and maybe some nutritional yeast to flavor.