Consider these easy ways to get more turmeric in your diet.
Golden Milk: Creamy and soothing, golden milk is a traditional Ayurvedic tonic. Heat 1 cup organic dairy or nondairy milk with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon ghee, and a sprinkle of black pepper. Spice it up with a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom, and add honey or organic sugar to taste.
Sauces and Soups: One of the easiest ways to incorporate turmeric is to add it to sauces, says Ayurvedic doctor Bhaswati Bhattacharya, MPH, MD, PhD. When sautéing turmeric in oil, “make sure you’re using an oil that sustains high temperatures and won’t turn into a trans fat.” Ghee, coconut oil, and mustard oil are all good choices, depending on the season.
Curries: Curry dishes come in myriad flavors from India, Asia, and Africa. Traditional Indian recipes typically call for ghee, black pepper, and other spices that enhance turmeric’s bioavailability. These often also include ginger — another anti-inflammatory powerhouse. (You can find an array of curry and other turmeric recipes here.)
Breakfast Dishes: Give your morning meal an anti-inflammatory boost by sprinkling a bit of turmeric powder into the pan when you’re scrambling your eggs or whipping up an omelet. It’s also tasty in oatmeal, with a little cinnamon.
Stir-Fries: Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon of turmeric powder when sautéing vegetables. Too much? Start with ¼ teaspoon and work your way up. But take note: “If you put it in at the very end, it won’t cook and it will make the food bitter. If you put it in at the very beginning, it will burn,” Bhattacharya says. She recommends heating the oil, adding the vegetables and any whole spices, and then when you’re stirring and ready to add salt, add the turmeric as well.
Other Uses: As long you’re heating turmeric in oil or liquid, you can add a bit to pretty much anything you cook, says Ayurvedic expert Nancy Lonsdorf. “It doesn’t usually alter the flavor to the point where you won’t enjoy it. If you put two teaspoons in your coffee, you might not like it. But if you put a quarter or a half teaspoon in, you won’t even notice it and it will have its benefit.”
This originally appeared as “Go for the Gold” in the January/February 2020 print issue of Experience Life.