If you’ve never used fresh turmeric before, be careful—it can stain clothing and surfaces and leave your fingers with a golden hue. The roots look a bit thinner than gingeroot, but when you snap it open, the color is as beautiful as the bright orange color of a sunrise or sunset.
In recent years there have been quite a few articles that have been published in medical journals about the benefits of curcumin, the pigment in turmeric that gives it the bright yellow color. Also known for it’s balancing and purifying qualities, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic treatments for thousands of years. Curcumin not only plays a significant role in disease prevention and treatment, but it has also been shown to speed recovery after surgery and effectively treat inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. So, when a friend who recently had a baby also had a flare up of her rheumatoid arthritis, I not only brought her lots of nourishing soups, energy bars, seeduction bars, but also jars of this turmeric ginger lemonade to help with the inflammation.
Evidence suggests that fresh and cooked forms of turmeric have differing properties. While cooked turmeric appears to offer more DNA protections, fresh turmeric—more subtle in flavor than the dried/powder form—is considered to have greater anti-inflammatory effects. I grated fresh turmeric and allowed it to steep in hot water with grated ginger before straining and adding fresh lemon and orange juices. Feel free to alter the amounts of each ingredient according to taste preferences.
Turmeric is pretty potent, so you don’t need much. How much is enough? Dr. Greger, the physician behind the wildly successful site, Nutrition Facts (an awesome resource!), recommends about a quarter teaspoon a day of dried turmeric. That translates to about a quarter inch of fresh turmeric root. The fresh root can be found in some health-food stores and Indian markets.
Turmeric Ginger Lemonade
Slightly Adapted from Amy Chaplin
2 tablespoons fresh turmeric root, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon or more dried powder)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cups boiling water
1-2 tablespoons honey (or preferred sweetener)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Place turmeric and ginger in a jar or pot, and add the boiling water. Allow to steep, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Strain into another jar or container, add honey and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature, stir in lemon and orange juices. Serve as is or chill.
I snapped photos and video while making this recipe as well as my Coconut Lime Kiwi Chia Pudding (see Instagram feed). You can view them on Snapchat. I’ll be snapping more often to share culinary tips, recipes and more! Stay tuned! Here’s my Snapchat address!: