Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eating More Turmeric

We've been using turmeric for a few years here for joint pain especially, but there are many, many good things that this root has to offer our health.  A year and a half ago, the vet was sure one of the dogs had only days (if not hours) left, and we did some research and immediately started feeding him turmeric.  Although the scans showed tumors, they may well have been fluid filled sacs, but in any case he's still around. It is one of the very few capsules I'll take, but using this spice in food is a much better idea when possible.  In fact, the good components are more readily absorbed if combined with fat, heat, and black pepper, which leads many to make a paste that can then be added to heated milk - golden milk.  Alas, I'm not terribly keen on drinking milk, either.

In fact, if we're going to be completely honest here, I just don't do a lot of extra prep around here.  I look at all the great ideas and recipes for specific herbs that would be beneficial on a daily basis and realize that whole days could be spent in preparing AND eating.  It just has to be simpler for me.  So I've set about adding it to the beginning stages of things.  What could be simpler than starting out in the saute pan?

The other day I added a heaping teaspoon of ground turmeric to butter and black pepper before dumping in a pound of mushrooms to cook.  Delicious!
The same can be done with any kind of soup or stew, adjusting the amount for flavor.  To me, the taste is pretty much an enhancement for most dishes.
Last night, we added it to the most run-of-the-mill comfort food with great results!  Macaroni and Cheese! 
Just a little bit left over for lunch.
While the pasta cooked, I ran out to the herb garden for basil, oregano, and thyme.  It was late, so the full moon was rising over my shoulder, glowing between the pines.

To make the sauce (I don't really measure, but will add numbers to give a good idea), start with a good sized knob of butter in the pan and add 1/4 cup of chopped onions.  Freshly ground pepper (1/4 tsp) and about a tsp of ground or grated turmeric go in with that as the onions start to turn translucent.  We can never find fresh turmeric here yet, so we use ground.  Whisk in a 1/4 c or so of cream, and then add 3/4 - 1 c cheese.  This is when I clear out the ends of different cheeses, so this batch had mozzarella, Parmesan, and some colby Jack.  As the cheese melts, add in the fresh herbs.
There happened to be a beautiful fresh, ripe tomato on the counter, so that was diced and tossed in at the very end.

Drain pasta and mix the sauce into the pasta very well.  Once *could* bake this for a crusty top - but it was late and it didn't need it :-).  It turned out very well, and if anything the color made the dish more appetizing than it normally appears.

For me, the key seems to be in finding ways to add healthful ingredients into everyday meals.  This was a perfect example.  If things get too complicated, I know myself well enough to know they just won't happen.


Colleen said...

This mac n cheese sounds so delish and healthy too! Thanks for the tip on how to get more turmeric into my diet. I have leftovers of a dish I made yesterday and today I'm going to make a wee sauce with the oil, onions, turmeric and black pepper and just mix that in with some leftovers and voila! it's now much healthier.

Vicki said...

Love turmeric!
It's especially good with black pepper and a dash of honey in warm milk for a persistent cough and sore throat at night. Yum.

How would you give the turmeric to your dog and how often?
Was it well received, or did you need to disguise it?
I know my dog is very good at "eating around" his herbal additives :)

Tina Sams said...

He gets a capsule a day with a little peanut butter on a cracker. Since there are no other "treats" for him, he's pretty thrilled with it.

Unknown said...

With all the zucchini coming in right now from the garden, I like to saute onions and garlic in a little bacon grease before adding the sliced zucchini, and I'm thinking that adding turmeric with the onions would be a wonderful addition! I'm going to try that tonight! Thanks for the idea!

Ty said...

Tina, I've been using turmeric for years. I grew up with my mother using yellow food coloring in everything but I used turmeric instead. Over the years I learned how healthy it is and add it to everything, soup, tomato sauce, meatloaf, chicken dishes....just about everything. My husband also takes the capsuls for his arthritis.

Green Solution Collective said...

Did the turmeric help you with your joint pains? I'm really interested in this.

Tina Sams said...

Yes it really does help, and the difference is noted after just a few days for me. If I forget, in a week or so, my knees remind me!