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Adding helpful herbs to your diet can be a great way to be more self-sufficient and responsible for your own health and well-being. While herbs cannot entirely take the place of modern medicine, they can help reduce the need for it. Medicinal herbs are not just for when you actually get sick. They can also help keep you well when you incorporate them into your daily life.
A great herb to start with is turmeric. Turmeric has been widely used to treat a variety of conditions for hundreds of years. It’s known to have anti-inflammatory properties that people have traditionally used to treat everything from headaches, heartburn, fatigue, skin problems, arthritis, to IBS and toothaches. Turmeric is also high in anti-oxidants, making it great at preventing cancer and other age-related diseases.
It’s also easy to find at your local grocery store and can be incorporated into daily meals without much effort. Here’s how.
1. Drink Turmeric Milk
Turmeric or golden milk is a delicious, warm, relaxing drink. Some believe that it helps strengthen the immune system and reduce digestive issues. To make it simply blend 1 cup of milk (any type), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a small pinch of pepper, 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like it), and 1/8 tsp of ginger powder. You can also add a touch of cardamom and/or cayenne pepper if desired. Then heat everything until hot but not boiling. Serve hot.
2. Use It As An All Natural Food Coloring
Turmeric has a relatively mild flavor but really bright color. If you’re looking to make a yellow dish, like yellow rice or quinoa, turmeric is the spice you need. You can also use it for seasonal recipes like coloring cookie icing and dyeing Easter eggs. For recipes where you want the color rather than the flavor, slowly add a little at a time until the desired color is reached.
3. Add It To Soups
Turmeric can add nutrients and that beautiful golden color to broth without really changing its flavor. Next time you’re looking for a nourishing homemade soup, add some turmeric! It will help you get over that cold as you sip on homemade golden chicken noodle soup.
4. Toss It With Vegetables Before Roasting
Turmeric, paprika, and garlic powders tossed with winter vegetables like squash, turnips, carrots, or even potato wedges and a little olive oil are absolutely delicious roasted in the oven on a cold winter day. Just mix your ingredients, spread on a baking sheet, and roast at about 425°F until they’re tender and a bit browned.
5. Make Your Own Mustard
If you’re a mustard fan you’ll love homemade mustard. Turmeric isn’t in all mustard, but it does give it extra flavor, extra bright color, and gives you all the health benefits turmeric has to offer added to every sandwich.
6. Put Up Bread And Butter Pickles
If you have a garden, you may want to preserve some of your cucumbers by making bread and butter pickles. Bread and butter pickles are partially flavored with turmeric, which also gives them that lovely yellow tint.
7. Add It To Smoothies And Juices
Turmeric’s mild flavor makes it a great addition to fruit and veggie smoothies and juices. Its flavor is easily covered by stronger flavored fruits and it can brighten up your smoothies, too. Try it with a mango smoothie or carrot ginger juice.
8. Mix It In With Stir Fry
Turmeric is actually a traditional ingredient in Asian dishes and curries. It’s perfect for tossing in with stir-fried vegetables.
9. Make Turmeric Tea
While turmeric milk is tasty, if it’s not your thing, you can also make turmeric tea. All you need is turmeric and boiling water. About 1/4 tsp turmeric per cup of water. You can drink turmeric tea plain or with honey, lemon, or even in combination with another tea like black tea or chai.
10. Add It To Homemade Salad Dressing
Many salad dressing recipes are simple to make at home and are easy to play with the spices and flavors. Turmeric can make an excellent addition, making for a bright sunny salad without overpowering the other flavors in your dressing.
11. Add It To Scrambled Eggs Or Omelets
Not a huge fan of turmeric? Try mixing it in with eggs which can mask both its flavor and color so you can reap the health benefits without thinking about it. Whisk in a pinch with your eggs before frying. If you’re vegan or have an egg allergy try adding it to a tofu scramble to give it that classic egg color.
12. Make Homemade Pasta
If you want your homemade pasta to have that brilliant yellow color and a boost for your immune system, be sure to add a bit of turmeric to your pasta dough.
13. Add It To Crackers, Chips, Or Bagels
For those who love to cook from scratch, adding turmeric to your diet can be as simple as giving your goodies a little seasoning. Turmeric can be sprinkled on homemade crackers or chips with your other favorite spices, or you can toss it in with “everything” bagel seasoning.
14. Try It In Desserts
Turmeric is often associated with savory meals, but it can also be used to flavor and color desserts. Lemon and ginger flavored desserts like ginger snaps or lemon cheesecake pair well with turmeric. Some people even make golden milk ice cream.
While turmeric’s beneficial properties have not been widely studied, it does have a long history as an herbal remedy. Its anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients can help you feel better during your day to day life and get sick less often.
It’s an excellent beneficial herb, but if you only consume a tiny bit or wait until you’re already ill to think of it, you won’t reap its full benefits. Using these simple ideas to add just a little turmeric to your diet every day will help boost your immune system and general health.