turmeric - a spice rack essential

spices

a blog by chloe

Turmeric is a fairly well known spice commonly used in curries. It has a signature yellow colour which tends to make everything it touches yellow too! Technically, it’s a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant in other words, it’s related to ginger. While it’s mostly associated with its taste, turmeric also has a number of surprising health benefits. In Ayurvedic medicine it’s thought to treat various diseases and although there isn’t much empirical evidence to support its medicinal properties, it has many soothing effects.

The turmeric product widely used for colds and flus is Turmeric Milk (also known as Golden Milk!). Turmeric milk is high in anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, manganese and iron. The recipe includes cinnamon and honey and tastes really sweet and comforting and all the while it helps soothe sore throats! It’s especially nice to drink just before bed as the warmth can be very relaxing.

There are a range of recipes for this and it can be made vegan by substituting dairy milk for any other type, such as almond or coconut. The method that I know (thanks to my mother-in-law who makes this for me when I feel unwell!) is to make a paste out of the turmeric first and then add this to milk along with honey and cinnamon. This means that you can put as much or as little paste in as you like and you can store any excess in the fridge (although not for too long).

a recipe for health

In a pot on the hob, mix turmeric with coconut oil on a low heat to create a paste. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn! You can also add black pepper to the paste to increase its healing effect, however be mindful of the taste! Once you have made your paste, put it aside and warm some milk. To this, you can add cinnamon and honey to taste and then stir in the paste a teaspoon at a time. You don’t need very much, just enough to give the milk a yellowish hue. The longer you allow the golden milk to simmer, the more flavourful it will be! Once you are happy with it, let cool to a drinkable temperature and feel your throat begin to heal!

Turmeric milk can be consumed at any time and even if you’re not unwell, it can make a lovely soothing drink. You can also benefit from adding turmeric to your food or using the turmeric paste in other recipes. Yum!

a fun turmeric fact

Interestingly, not only can turmeric have beneficial effects on humans, but many animals experience pain reduction following consumption of turmeric too. So if you have a poorly pet, it’s worth researching – turmeric paste might help them too!

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