Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anti-Cancer Turmeric Yummy Foods

My girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer. Her physician told her to eat more turmeric. Turmeric, also sometimes spelled tumeric. The bright, yellow-orange powder you find in the spice section of your grocery store. Or better yet, in bulk at Indian grocers. Also known as curcumin and now used in many beauty and health food products. She asked me how to use turmeric--what foods to put it in. As a confessed lover or turmeric--I even go by the penname, Tumerica, based on the spice--that was an easy one. I rattled off three or four recipes.

More recently, my husband was "prescribed" by his dermatologist (Dr. Madelene Heng, who is also a genius inventor) to use a skin product called Psoria-Gold, which contains--you guessed it--turmeric (curcumin).

All of this got me thinking. It turns out the reputed health benefits of turmeric are astounding. Here are just a few:

  • Antibacterial
  • Prevention of cancers
  • Liver detoxification
  • Slowing of Alzheimer's disease
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Slowing of multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Increased fat metabolism
  • Anti-arthritic
  • Increased wound healing

Turmeric sounds so healthy, you'd think someone was making it up--as close to a panacea as the Earth has ever known. But don't take my word on it--do a little research. If even part of what turmeric is reported to do is true, then it's worth it.

As to the flavor of turmeric, it is similar to mustard--slightly bitter, warming and bright in the nose. Turmeric comes most often ground, unlike coriander, cumin, and ginger, the other common curry spices. It's hard to find whole turmeric, which is a root that looks a lot like ginger and is in the ginger family. Turmeric tastes better cooked in with savory flavors than it does by itself.

If you don't have turmeric in your spice cabinet, I recommend you add it to your shopping list right away and start working it into soups and stews and pilafs as soon as you can.

Here are a few dishes you can toss turmeric into, enjoy eating, and do your body a flavor, er, favor.

Pimp My Pilaf OR Turmeric Rice Pilaf (Add 2 tablespoons each butter and ground turmeric to one and a half cups jasmine rice, 1 teaspoon chicken stock concentrate, and 2 cups water. Cook until absorbed, around 20 minutes.)

Curry Powder (Garam Masala)

Curry Stew (Turkey or other Meats)

Cauliflower Curry Soup (Cold or Hot)

Lentil Stew (Coconut Lentil Curry)

Curried Shish kebabs (Lamb or Other Meats)


Curried Meatballs

Curried Deviled Eggs (Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, and mayonnaise to the cooked, mashed yolks and pipe back into the sliced hard-boiled whites.)

If you have suggestions for incorporating turmeric into foods, please let me know and I will post them!