This South Asian golden-hued rhizome has long been used in ancient traditional healing practices and cuisine and prized for its extreme anti-inflammatory properties. Today, turmeric highlights teas, juices, smoothies, and is used to treat nearly any complaint, ranging from simple colds or the flu to fighting the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It can reduce inflammation when taken orally and topically, protect against liver damage and radiation damage, ease stress, improve mood, prevent cancer, be used as a pain killer, is antimicrobial, helps to lower cholesterol, and boosts brain health. However, as more and more studies continue to be conducted to expand our understanding of how turmeric actually works and the extent of its range of benefits, we are finding there are right and wrong ways to consume it.
The main compound responsible for the majority of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits, curcumin, is actually very quickly metabolized and not well absorbed by the body at all. Traditionally, turmeric was consumed in stews, stir-fries, and teas, along with other warming spices and fats. Today we are realizing these unassuming methods of consuming turmeric greatly aid in boosting the absorption power and bioavailability of curcumin. Bio-Piperine, the compound responsible for the heat of black pepper, when consumed with turmeric, helps to slow the liver from metabolizing curcumin too quickly. Coconut oil or other fats also help to slow down this process and help more curcumin be utilized by the body.
This is where the recent trending golden pastes come in. Not only is it easy to make and use, it is versatile and extremely effective. Once made, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and added to savory and sweet recipes, soups, stews, juices, smoothies, teas and golden milks.
- 1 cup purified water
- 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder + additional to adjust consistency
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil or other fat such as ghee or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
- Add powdered turmeric to a pan with water and reduce on low to medium-low heat until it begins to form a thick paste.
- Add in ground pepper and fat of choices and combine well, adjusting the water or turmeric qualities as needed.
- You may also choose to add in approximately 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey and about 1-2 teaspoons of other warming spices that pair well with turmeric such as nutmeg, curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom, or salt, if you wish.
- Once your paste is the consistency you desire, store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.
- Dilute and consume 1-2 teaspoons of your paste a day in warm water, juices, smoothies, teas, golden milks, nut butters and snacks, stir-fries, stews, dressings and other savory items.