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The Golden Spice: Unleashing the Best Ways to Cook with Turmeric

The best ways to cook with turmeric

Turmeric, the golden spice, has gained popularity in recent years for its incredible health benefits and versatile culinary uses. From its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to its potential cancer-fighting abilities, turmeric is truly a superstar in the world of superfoods. If you’re looking to incorporate this powerful spice into your cooking, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore the best ways to cook with turmeric and give you some delicious recipes to try.

Add it to eggs

Turmeric’s subtle flavor blends seamlessly with egg dishes, making it a perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch routine. Try freshly grated turmeric and black pepper in a scramble with green onions and parsley. Another option is to pickle hard-boiled eggs in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and turmeric to give them a bright yellow hue.

Make a turmeric meat rub

Turmeric’s vibrant color and savory flavor make it an excellent choice for meat rubs. You can make an Indian-style rub with ground turmeric, coriander, garlic, onion, cumin, cloves, and black pepper. This flavorful rub can be used on a whole chicken cooked in a slow cooker or on diced grass-fed beef for delicious kebabs.

Make Golden Milk

Golden milk, a popular drink in Ayurvedic medicine, combines turmeric with other spices and milk for a soothing and nourishing drink. You can make golden milk with unsweetened coconut milk, freshly grated ginger, freshly grated turmeric, and black peppercorns. Some variations include adding cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, saffron, or sweetening with raw honey.

Make a turmeric tea

Turmeric tea, also known as tisane, is a great way to enjoy the concentrated benefits of this powerful spice. You can simply place a sliced button of fresh turmeric in a mug and cover it with hot water. Add a few peppercorns for added absorption. Another option is to simmer fresh turmeric with ginger, lemon juice, honey, and water to make a large batch of turmeric tisane to enjoy throughout the week.

Add it to grains

Turmeric can add both health benefits and a bright yellow color to your favorite grains. Try adding turmeric to lemony quinoa flavored with curry and cumin, or make ginger and turmeric rice with fresh ginger, garlic, dried cranberries, and pine nuts. Even corn can benefit from the turmeric treatment, like turmeric-dusted popcorn with parsley oil.

Add to soups

A spoonful of ground turmeric can boost the flavor and health benefits of your favorite vegetable-based soups. Whether you’re making a hearty lentil soup or a green-packed broth, turmeric can add a warming and earthy note to the dish. Consider adding turmeric to collard greens with tomatoes, ginger, and minced jalapeno, or try a turmeric lentil and farro soup with red lentils, kale, and cumin.

Add turmeric to nuts

Homemade spiced nuts with a touch of turmeric can be a nutritious and flavorful snack. You can make a mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds seasoned with turmeric powder and a touch of sweetness from coconut sugar. Another option is to roast raw cashews in sesame oil and toss them with turmeric, cayenne pepper, sesame seeds, and toasted nori seaweed.

Blend into salad dressing

Forget store-bought dressings and make your own vibrant and nutritious salad dressing with turmeric. You can make a simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar. For a savory umami flavor, try a miso turmeric dressing, or for a spicier kick, experiment with a creamy curry dressing made with turmeric, Dijon mustard, and curry powder.

Use to season root vegetables

Turmeric can add a burst of flavor and color to roasted root vegetables. Try turmeric-roasted root vegetables served over protein-rich green lentils, or turmeric-roasted red potatoes with green beans. Another option is to mix turmeric with baked sweet potatoes, white beans, and tahini to make a creamy and dreamy turmeric and sweet potato hummus.

Add it to greens

Boost the nutritional value of your leafy greens by adding turmeric to your recipes. Whether you’re cooking collard greens, kale, chard, or spinach, turmeric can enhance the flavor and provide additional health benefits. Consider making collard greens with tomatoes, ginger, and minced jalapeno, or try a sautéed kale dish with garlic, turmeric, and lemon zest. You can also add turmeric to a spinach and chickpea curry, or toss it with Swiss chard and roasted butternut squash for a nutritious side dish.

Bottom Line

Turmeric is a versatile spice that can add both flavor and health benefits to your dishes. Whether you’re adding it to eggs, meats, beverages, grains, soups, nuts, salad dressings, root vegetables, or greens, turmeric offers a wide range of culinary possibilities. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, incorporating turmeric into your cooking can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. So grab a bottle of turmeric powder or some fresh turmeric root and start experimenting with these fantastic ways to cook with turmeric. Your taste buds and your body will thank you.


What are the health benefits of turmeric?

Turmeric has numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may also have potential cancer-fighting abilities, improve brain health, and aid in digestion.

Can I use turmeric in everyday cooking?

Absolutely! Turmeric is easy to incorporate into everyday cooking. It blends well with a variety of dishes, including eggs, meats, grains, soups, dressings, and even beverages like golden milk or turmeric tea.

How can I increase the absorption of turmeric in my body?

Turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, is better absorbed when consumed with fats and black pepper. Combining turmeric with healthy fats, such as coconut milk or olive oil, and adding a pinch of black pepper can increase its bioavailability.

Can I substitute fresh turmeric root for powdered turmeric?

Yes, you can substitute fresh turmeric root for powdered turmeric in many recipes. Keep in mind that the flavor of fresh turmeric may be more intense, so adjust the amount accordingly. Grate or finely chop the fresh root before using it in your dishes.

Are there any precautions or side effects associated with taking turmeric?

Turmeric is generally safe for most people when used in moderation as a culinary spice. However, high doses or long-term use of turmeric supplements may have potential side effects or interact with certain medications. It’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or medical conditions.

Can I use turmeric in sweets?

While turmeric is often used in savory recipes, it can also be incorporated into some sweet dishes. For example, you can add a pinch of turmeric to smoothies, baked goods like muffins or cookies, or even make a turmeric-infused dessert sauce. Experiment with small amounts to find the right balance of flavor.

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