Let me start by saying that I am NOT an advocate of jumping on the superfood bandwagon. There are of course, ingredients that we know are better or worse for us, and as a food writer, identifying trends or the prevalence of a theme, ingredient or technique is part of the job and what makes something newsworthy (deservedly or not..ahem *cloud eggs*).
Lately, turmeric has become a huge point of fascination in the western world, though anyone of Indian or South East Asian background might find it comical that this fantastic rhizome has reached 'superfood' status...we knew that already!
Whether fresh or dried, then powdered, this golden-hued wonder can be used in curry pastes, skincare preparations (a mixture of honey, greek yoghurt and turmeric powder makes a GREAT face mask) and gives rice a fragrant scent and a vibrant hue. Its benefits can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways, including soothing inflammation in the body (from arthritis to skin irritation), as a potent antioxidant as well as being anti-bacterial, anti-fungal. Turmeric also has a positive impact on cholesterol (any excuse to validate duck fat in my diet) and aids in digestion and gut health.
This turmeric recipe is an excellent thing to make and store in your fridge as a paste - add a teaspoon of it to boiling water with a little honey to drink as a tea, brew it with almond milk as a latte, add it to your morning oats, you can even use it as a curry paste! PSA: speaking from personal experience, I would highly advocate wearing black when you cook with turmeric - it stains like crazy.
3-4 pieces of fresh turmeric (about 50g)
1 large knob of fresh ginger, peeled (about 40g)
1 cinnamon quill (or 2 tsp ground)
1 tbs whole black peppercorns
4-5 green cardamom pods
1 tbs ground ginger
1 whole nutmeg (or 1 tsp ground nutmeg)
4-5 whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground)
1 tbs honey
3 tbs melted coconut oil
A pinch sea salt
In a high speed blender or Thermomix, add the fresh turmeric, ginger along with the spices. Blitz on high to form a uniform paste (if you don't have a blender, a mortal and pestle is a great old school way to get the job done). Transfer the paste to a small saucepan and add 1 cup water, stirring to combine. Heat on medium low and bring to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove the saucepan from heat, stir in the honey, coconut oil and salt. Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.