It’s an exotic rhizome, or root, herb with a bright yellow hue – have you used it before? Turmeric’s bright yellow color comes from phytochemicals that also contribute to its intense flavor and distinct fragrance. Turmeric belongs to the ginger root family. Its roots and leaves have been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. It is grown widely in tropical and subtropical regions.

Turmeric root features dark brown skin on the exterior and deep orange-yellow flesh inside. Some describe the taste as mild peppery to warm and bitter, with a sweet fragrance. It pairs beautifully with any vegetable and/or meat dishes, complementing other spicy flavors well.

Fresh roots can be kept in the refrigerator for about a month. Powdered turmeric may be stored longer – for best results, in the fridge. Fresh roots should be rinsed before use.

Turmeric powder has been in use as a food colorant, preservative, and flavor base since ancient times. Because of its strong color, take care not to stain any favorite clothing!

Health Benefits:

· Curcumin is the prinicipal pigment in turmeric, and studies are suggesting that it may have anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being an antioxidant.

· It’s rich in vitamin B6, choline, niacin, and riboflavin, as well as good levels of vitamin-C.

· Minerals may be found in this herb as well – calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium are all present

To use turmeric, try curries, soups, salad dressings, or on any meat dish. You can use it as a paste to marinate fish, chicken, and meat – this not only adds great flavor, it acts as a natural preservative for your leftovers! You can do as they do in India, adding dried turmeric with curry, pepper, and other spices to make an amazing spice blend.

Not so much a spicy person? Turmeric can be used to flavor sweet dishes, rice, or dairy-based dishes.

Want to drink your turmeric? Turmeric-tea is a popular drink in many Asian countries. Another popular drink featuring tumeric is Golden Milk, traditionally known as Haldi Doodh. Making Golden Milk is even easier with this easy make ahead spice mix:

Golden Milk Spice Mix
Makes about 1/3 cup mix

3 Tablespoons ground Turmeric
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Mix spices together and store in a small airtight container.

Simple Spiced Golden Milk 
Makes 1 serving

1 cup coconut milk, almond milk, or milk of choice
1 teaspoon Golden Milk Spice Mix
1 teaspoon. honey, agave syrup or sugar, to taste
In a small saucepan, heat milk and spice mix over medium heat to desired temperature. Carefully pour into a cup; sweeten to taste and enjoy!

Another great tea recipe using health promoting spices is our delicious Chai Tea. Click here for the recipe and a video demonstration on one of our popular posts called Black Tea, Green Tea? How to Make Chai Tea.

Click HERE for some more great recipe ideas featuring turmeric!