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What's so special about Turmeric?

What's so special about Turmeric?

Turmeric has become the must-have edible to have in your veggie patch – regardless of how much space you have. (But if you intend on growing it in a pot on your kitchen window sill, be cognisant of the fact that they grow to about 1m tall! You will need to plant in at least a 30cm deep pot.) 

There are so many reasons to grow this beautiful plant, amongst them is the health giving properties that it has, its leafy foliage, and wonderfully scented blooms.

Although all parts of the plant are edible, it’s the root that is used in cooking and drinks. And the part you’ll be growing from.

There is a purely decorative Curcuma variety, so make sure you’re not using those roots in your food. 

How to plant Turmeric

The family is a warm-season crop, best grown in light or partial shade in fertile, well-drained soil with a bit of bonemeal added to it. When planting your rhizome out, make sure that the piece has at least two buds on it, and position it in the soil with those growth buds pointing upwards. Cover with compost and water well so that the soil is soaked. Then keep it moist until the first shoots appear, which can take up to a month or month and a half. 

Once you have planted, please remember that like most things when it comes to gardening, patience is key. The crop should be ready for harvest in 8 – 9 months depending on when you plant it. 

Fun Health Facts

Just one tablespoon of ground turmeric offers 29 calories, 6g of carbs, and 2g fibre, but it’s all the minerals that are magical! Manganese, phosphorus and potassium are in a form that your body will understand and readily absorb. And of course, curcumin is now being researched for its cancer prevention properties.

The main thing when using turmeric in your cooking or drinks is to make sure that you have it warm, in something that has fat (it used to be that the fat in cow’s milk was sufficient, but when using dairy-free milk a little extra healthy fat will help you absorb it better. Almond oil, coconut oil, or organic ghee all work well if you’re using nut milk; you don’t need to add extra fat if using the full-fat coconut milk) and that you add black pepper to it as it helps the body absorb the curcumin.

PS.  Natural, herbal remedies can be toxic. Use them with caution.

Recipe:

Like unusual teas or lassis? Then break out the turmeric and make yourself a delicious drink that has many health-giving benefits.

You’re not making a Latte grande here – this is a small health-giving treat. And you can make enough for 12 servings ahead of time. 

12 Servings of Golden Milk Paste:

Combine 4 tablespoons of turmeric powder, about 1/8 of a teaspoon of black pepper (or a couple of twists on the pepper grinder), a dash of cinnamon, a dash of cardamom, then combine 2:1 filtered water to turmeric powder in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat – do not boil! - until paste forms, around 15 minutes.

Golden milk paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To use, simply heat your choice of nut milk – full-fat coconut milk, or 1 cup unsweetened almond milk plus 1 tsp almond or coconut oil on the stove. Remove from the heat and add around a ¼ tsp of the paste. 

You can also add a little bit of grated fresh ginger, or ¼ tsp honey for a touch of sweetness. 

Thanks to Foolproof Living for the recipe!

You can start your turmeric paste by getting your hands on turmeric. Just click right here.

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