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How to Cook with Fresh Turmeric Root

Sharon Palmer

Wondering how to cook with fresh turmeric root? You’re not alone. Let’s face it, turmeric is hot! I remember the first time I heard about it at a nutrition conference several years ago, when a nutrition researcher discussed it’s anti-inflammatory potential in fighting disease. Flash forward to today and it seems everyone is doing this yellow spice, in supplements, smoothies, and foods.

What is Turmeric Root?

Turmeric comes from the turmeric root. You can find it in dried form in most markets, and it’s a key component of the Indian spice curry powder. It’s what gives curry powder that gorgeous amber-orange shade and warm flavor. Increasingly, you can find fresh turmeric root in markets, today. But what do you do with it? I’ll give you a crash course in turmeric root.

Cooking with Turmeric

Turmeric root, when fresh, can last in your fridge for a few weeks. All you have to do is peel it and add it to your favorite dishes by either chopping it or finely shredding it.

Shred fresh turmeric into dishes, such as salads, sauces, vinaigrettes, and baked goods. When you use it in its fresh form, turmeric is more mild, so you can use a whole root (about 3 inches long) in a single recipe. I love to use fresh turmeric in soups, stews, stir-fries, curry dishes, smoothies, salads, roasted vegetable dishes, baked goods, and more. Power up on this healthy ingredient with 3 of my favorite recipes using fresh turmeric.

Three Fresh Turmeric Recipes

Turmeric Mango Carrot Smoothie 

Turmeric Mango Carrot Smoothie: You won’t believe the gorgeous orange color of this exotic vegan turmeric, mango, carrot smoothie, which is oh-so creamy (thanks to cashews). Plus, it’s an antioxidant powerhouse, compliments of its potent ingredients. Whip it up for an easy breakfast, light meal on the run, or healthy snack. Bottoms up!

Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric 

Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric: I’m in love with creamy, squash soups, like this Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric, which is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. The sweet carnival squash pairs so well with the warm, earthy, spiciness of turmeric root in this scrumptious soup. The color of this soup is a fabulous amber-chartreuse shade, which depends a bit on the color of your squash. Each time I make this soup, the color is slightly different—such is the variety found in Mother Nature! The fresh turmeric adds a truly intense color to the soup, too.

Fresh Turmeric Vinaigrette

Fresh Turmeric Vinaigrette: Turmeric makes the basis of a colorful, flavorful simple vinaigrette, which accents pungent greens as well as Mediterranean-inspired salads. One of the most flavorful things you can do with fresh turmeric root is to stir it into a simple vinaigrette, which can be used in salads, as a marinade for tofu, or a topping for wraps and salads. Try this simple turmeric vinaigrette over your next salad bowl.

For other plant-powered recipes using turmeric, check out these:

Pistachio Turmeric Rice Power Bowl
Scrambled Turmeric Tofu with Mushrooms and Greens
Turmeric Baked Tofu

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