Produce Pick of the Week: Turmeric!

Magical, magical turmeric! I’m sure you have heard all about this ‘superfood’ due to its recent inclusion in just about every thing labeled “healthy” on the grocery store shelf. Let’s dive into a little about turmeric’s background story and what is behind all the hype. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is mostly cultivated in tropical countries such as India, China, and Indonesia BUT I just learned you can actually put it into the ground over the winter just about anywhere and happily dig it up in the Spring to even more orange rooty goodness.

Turmeric is usually ground into a peppery, warm, and bitter powder that was originally referred to as “Indian saffron” and is the major ingredient in curry powder.  So what about those superpowers? Turmeric has been, and is still, used in Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and used to treat a wide array of conditions (including menstrual difficulties and pain). Curcumin is turmeric’s star ingredient with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties clinically comparable to ibuprofen and can protect healthy cells and help destroy mutated cells. 

Available to buy as a powder or as a fresh rhizome (root), make sure it is free of dark spots and crisp if you buy it fresh. I love adding turmeric powder to just about every dish but especially on Southest Asian, Indian, and Mexican dishes or on any dish featuring a legume. Lately, since I have been diving into plant medicine making more, I use turmeric root to make medicated honeys, healing vinegars, and it is a must when brewing a batch of fire cider. Comment below telling me how you use turmeric in your cooking OR ask to learn more about this produce pick of the week!