Have you noticed bright yellow or orange turmeric roots in the market and asked yourself how do I cook with that? In this article we will give you some ideas that will help you integrate this special spice into your daily diet.
Most people know turmeric only as a yellow powder used in indian food. But the fresh root is so much more! Turmeric came from india many centuries ago and traditionally fresh turmeric is boiled and dried in the sun to create a shelf stable product. These dried roots are then ground into powder. Traditionally there has been little to no market for fresh turmeric until recently with the advent of modern shipping. Now with the access of aloha turmeic.com you can have fresh turmeric roots shipped directly to your door.
A quick note, turmeric has many health benefits (just try a google search of turmeric health benefits) we will not explore why you should or should not take turmeric we will let you make that decision, if you decide that integrating turmeric into your diet could help improve your health then we have some creative suggestions on how to get your daily turmeric dose!
Raw like a carrot! Many people visit the farm and ask if they can eat turmeric raw. Yes some people eat turmeric like a raw carrot. Slice it fresh on salads, mince it into coleslaw, but a word of caution some varieties of turmeric raw can be very bitter so always best to try a little before you fill a dish with it. Another thing to consider for more social engagements raw turmeric directly consumed can cause temporary yellow color on your teeth. Do not worry it comes right off but just a heads up before you serve it a dress to impress dinner party.
Shredded: simply use a cheese grater or shredder to make fine strips that can infuse stir fry with color and flavor or try brightening up a pasta dish.
Minced: small minced turmeric is great for cooking! Add a little to your morning omlet for extra color and flavor, create curry with incredible flavor by cooking the minced turmeric in oil before adding vegetables or other ingredients. This fuses the flavor oils of the turmeric with the cooking oil creating uniform base flavor in the whole dish
Infused in oil: for this I like to mince or shred the raw turmeric (goal is to create as high of surface area as possible to allow the fats in the oil bind with curcuma and flavor in turmeric. This allowed to sit out at room temp for 1 week will create an yellow oil that can be used for cooking or making salad dressing. I like to use coconut oil because we live in the tropics, but any cooking oil with work. Add some black peppercorns for extra zing and increase the bioavailability of the turmeric health benefits (google black pepper turmeric health) to learn more. You can experiment with the ratio that you like depending on how much flavor you're looking for but we like 8 parts oil to 1 part minced fresh turmeric
Soaked in vinegar: if you look at the ingredients in most commercial pickles they will contain tumeric. This is for flavor but also to help with shelflife. Turmeric has antimicrobial properties and helps with food storage.
Blended into golden paste: Golden paste is more for medical benefits than cooking but I have many times used these little frozen health cubes to add flavor to a meal. Google: fresh turmeric golden paste
Smoothie: blend it in a smoothie, the flavor can be strong at times so I use a pinky size root washed in a morning smoothie to start the day off right.
Frozen: one way to store fresh turmeric is to freeze it whole. Simple wash well, allow to dry and freeze. Consider cutting the roots into manable size pieces for easy access when your ready to use. Turmeric will keep for 11 months sometimes more in the freezer. When your ready to use thaw and use immediately it will not last long after being removed from freezer.
Candied: basic process: boil or steam till soft, make sweet reduction sauce, cover sliced boiled turmeric in sauce and sugar then bake.
Turmeric Tea: Seep for 7 - 10 min.
Soup: we love putting fresh turmeric in tortilla soup it gives great flavor and color. This goes for any soup but if color matters it will bring a yellow color out maybe not best for white colored soups
Cornbread: we put chopped turmeric in our cornbread to make great yellow color and flavor
These are just some ideas on how to use fresh turmeric if you have a recipe or some other way you consume turmeric send us your thoughts
by Kevin Flanagan March, 2018