#TurmericTuesday

Jessica Grosman is a Registered Dietitian, recipe developer, and culinary nutrition educator. Her goal is to excite people and get them into the kitchen to cook their own food and find better health through the food they prepare for themselves. She earned both a BS and MS in Nutrition, prior to completing a dietetic internship in 2001. Additionally, she graduated with honors from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition’s Culinary Nutrition Expert (CNE) program. Jessica’s passion is sharing her knowledge and education with others; she is experienced in teaching cooking & nutrition classes to a wide variety of audiences. She currently is working as a recipe developer, cookbook recipe tester, and teaches boutique cooking classes. When not in the kitchen creating deliciously nourishing recipes, Jessica enjoys reading, exercising, and traveling with her family.

I’ve been using turmeric in my kitchen for many years - I put it into my recipes as often as I can - and not just because turmeric tastes great.  I recently kicked-off a #turmerictuesday campaign, I hope you will join me after learning about the amazing properties of this beneficial food.

Turmeric is delicious and also has numerous health benefits:

Turmeric is extremely anti-inflammatory.  What does that mean?  When a foreign substance invades the body, or a substance that the body believes is disadvantageous, it causes an inflammatory response within the body.  Most of the time, we cannot see the inflammation within our body, but we can feel its presence; digestive complications, fatigue, and joint pain are all results of internal inflammation.  Rather than taking a drug to relieve the symptoms of inflammation, consider this:  curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been shown to be just as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs!

Turmeric has anti-microbial properties.  While cold and flu season is nearly over, there’s still reason to maintain vigilance to keep from picking-up a virus.  Curcumin is the compound which gives turmeric its bright yellow color, and is also the source of its anti-microbial effects.  It has been shown to kill bacteria on contact, without the harmful effects of commercial anti-bacterial products.  Right now, turmeric “shots” are popular, and for good reason - they contain concentrated turmeric, as well as other beneficial ingredients such as honey, garlic, and ginger, which provide a powerful anti-microbial punch to keep the body strong against viruses and other unwanted pathogens.  

Turmeric is full of antioxidants - the scavengers which help to repair the body from environmental damage.  Furthermore, the strong antioxidant power in turmeric helps keep skin glowing from the inside-out!  Once again, curcumin is a super-star; it has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of dermatological diseases when consumed, as well as when applied topically to the skin.

Turmeric can boost brain power.  Curcumin has been shown to boost memory by stimulating the production of new brain cells.  When our body produces new brain cells, it increases the capacity to store information.  Curcumin is also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, thus proving its neuro-protective effect in the prevention of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Diseases.  

Turmeric can elevate mood.  It is considered one of the natural remedies for depression, due to curcumin’s ability to enhance nerve growth within the areas of the brain responsible for mood function.  In addition, the bright yellow color of turmeric always puts me in a happier place!

Whenever eating turmeric, consider its source and it’s accompanying ingredients.  In order to get the greatest health benefit from turmeric, it needs to be properly absorbed by the GI tract.  The absorption of curcumin is greatly enhanced by the presence of a fat source, such as hemp seeds or coconut oil, and by black pepper.  

So how do you easily add turmeric to your daily routine?  Here are two simple delicious recipes to get you started.

 

Cozy Hemp GoldenMilk

This delicious dairy-free yellow milk can be enjoyed cold or warm.  It makes a great liquid for soaking chia seeds (to make chia pudding) or for overnight oats.

1/4 C hemp seeds
1 1/2 C filtered water
1 t turmeric powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1-2 dates, pitted
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper

In a high-speed blender, combine the hemp seeds and filtered water.  Blend until the hemp seeds are completely broken-down and the liquid is smooth - it may take 2-3 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the liquid is creamy, approximately 1 minute.  

Goldenmilk keeps refrigerated for 3 days.  Shake gently before consuming.

 

Cauliflower Crumbles

Cauliflower “rice” infused with turmeric is a delicious make-ahead topping for salad, pasta, or simply eaten on its own!  
2 T coconut oil
1 T turmeric powder
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 package cauliflower rice, defrosted (or 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add coconut oil to melt.  Add the turmeric and black pepper, stir gently to form a paste with the oil.  Pour the cauliflower into the pan and stir to coat the cauliflower with the turmeric paste.  

Saute the cauliflower for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Lower the heat, to prevent burning, if necessary.  

Season with sea salt and additional black pepper, if desired.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Leftovers keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  My favorite way to eat Cauliflower Crumbles is on top of massaged kale, along with a heavy drizzle of Soom Foods tahini and some black sesame seeds for crunch!

 

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