Turmeric is powerful stuff—its vibrant color matched by its potency. Curcumin, that golden pigment, is also an antioxidant that’s at the centre of more than 5,000 studies published in medical literature. Its benefits include the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases, fighting cell damage, and speeding up recovery after surgery. It’s so powerful that in one study, damage in the blood cells was cut in half a mere hour after taking 1/8 tsp of turmeric (Percival, 2012*).
But turmeric is also pungent stuff on its own. Here are some ideas to incorporate our Bauko farmers’ turmeric in your dishes.
– Give classic dishes a golden hue: add to adobo sa gata, ginisang munggo, lugaw, tinola, and misua; – Bust out that pandikdik and make your family’s signature curry paste: just pound turmeric with garlic, ginger, shallots (or leeks!), lemongrass, red or green chilis, a bit of salt and black pepper, and cook with gata; – Blend into fruit smoothies, creamy salad dressings, or make a cup of golden milk, an Ayurvedic balancing elixir; – Blitz with eggs, tofu or batter for a more cheerful frittata or pancakes; – Grate into grains: use instead of saffron in paella or biryani, or substituted for achuete in java or even cauli rice; – Boil with ginger and lemongrass for a relaxing tea.
It’s up to you if you wish to peel the root or just wash and scrub clean. Just make sure to always add a pinch of ground black pepper when consuming turmeric, as the piperine in the pepper boosts our absorption of curcumin.
And remember that when recipes call for turmeric powder, the general rule of thumb for converting dried herbs or spices to fresh is 1-to-3.
To store fresh turmeric root, wrap in a paper towel, place inside an airtight container, and refrigerate, where it will last a couple of weeks. Or place in the freezer where they can last for six months. You can freeze them whole, sliced into discs, or grated in ice cube trays, then pop out as needed.