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2 Fabulous Recipes for Fresh Turmeric Root (Our New Fave Superfood)

March 7, 2014

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About a year ago, when I was shopping at my local health food store, I spotted fresh turmeric root. I was intrigued, and bought some, not quite knowing what to do with it. I had long been using powdered turmeric in recipes, but had never encountered the fresh turmeric rhizome before. I quickly called a friend, who happens to be a professional chef, and got some recipe ideas. I found that I greatly preferred the flavor of the fresh root to its dried counterpart—fresh turmeric still has the spice’s peppery flavor, but none of the bitterness.

If you’re new to turmeric, here’s the quick rundown: it’s a peppery, somewhat bitter spice, common in Indian curries, that imparts a beautiful yellow color to foods. It’s also known as a wonder spice all over the world because of its many health benefits, including the powerful antioxidant curcumin that fights cancer, wards off Alzheimer’s, and eases digestion.  

How Do I Use Fresh Turmeric?

Fresh turmeric is simple to use and has a long shelf life. Before using fresh turmeric root, you should scrub it with a brush under running water to remove any dirt on the skin. Then, if you intend to use it as a spice, grate it; if you want to use it as a replacement for carrots or potatoes in a recipe, slice it. Only grate or slice the amount you intend to use right away, and store the remaining piece of turmeric rhizome in a plastic bag in the produce drawer in your refrigerator. Stored this way, it will last about three weeks.

Note: It takes twice the amount of fresh turmeric to be the equivalent of dried turmeric. So, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of dried turmeric, use 2 tablespoons of fresh turmeric.

What Foods Go Well With Fresh Turmeric?

Fresh turmeric has an earthy, slightly spicy flavor that works well in a variety of foods. Grated as a spice, it is commonly added to eggs, meat, and rice dishes for both the mild flavor and gorgeous yellow hue that it gives to foods. Fresh turmeric can also be added to fruit or vegetable juices or smoothies to aid in digestion and to give you a quick burst of energy. To start you off with fresh turmeric root, here are two of my favorite recipes:

Morning Turmeric Juice

I make this recipe in my juicer, but if you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender to make a smoothie instead. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lemon (peel removed)
  • 3 carrots
  • One 2-inch slice of turmeric, peeled

Instructions

Juice the ingredients together and serve over ice. Alternatively, blend the ingredients together, combined with a handful of ice.  

Turmeric Scones 

These scones come out a gorgeous golden yellow and are a great complement to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter cut up into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric 
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Knead butter pieces into flour mixture until the mixture looks like fine granules.
  • Add almond milk and fresh turmeric and stir until a dough forms, then mix in the raisins.
  • Place dough onto a floured surface and divide into 8 balls.
  • Place the balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, flattening each ball gently with the palm of your hand.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown on top.

The golden color and unique flavor of fresh turmeric turns any ordinary recipe into a spectacular meal. Do you have a favorite fresh turmeric recipe? Share in the comments below!