How to Use Turmeric in Cooking & Baking
Learn how to use turmeric in cooking, baking or as a supplement! We talk about what turmeric is, why turmeric is healthy, and how much turmeric to take and more!
Turmeric has become a major health trend in the past few years, but I think a lot of people still aren't sure what to do with it. We mainly see the classic turmeric lattes, or have turmeric in our vitamin/supplement routine, but turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a spice.
The turmeric that we're familiar with – the bright yellow powder – is made from the root of the turmeric plant. The plant is in the same family as ginger and is native to India and Southeast Asia. The roots are harvested, dried and then ground into a powder which is then used in cooking.
Traditionally, turmeric is found in these cuisines: Indian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and even some African countries. But as I said, it's become super trendy over here after people started learning more about the health benefits of turmeric, and it has now pretty much found its way into everything.
So today's post is all about how to use turmeric – not just as a latte, but in your everyday cooking. It's an amazing spice, with great flavor and tons of different applications!
VIDEO: How to Use Turmeric
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?
The main reason why turmeric has become so popular in the past few years is because of the health benefits. Turmeric has a specific compound inside called curcumin which has been said to fight inflammation. It's said to help reduce inflammation all over the body, including joints, digestive system and more.
I fully believe that turmeric can help with inflammation, however, there have been many clinical trials and studies done that can't prove it one or the other. My view is this: since it's a naturally derived material and has been used for thousands of years, it's probably not going to hurt!
You'll probably notice that turmeric is now sold a million different ways: in capsule form, as a drink mix, as a chewable vitamin. There are even pet supplements now with turmeric!
What Foods Taste Best With Turmeric?
In terms of cooking, turmeric does have a fairly strong flavor and I think a little can go a long way. That being said, there are so many ways to use it!
Later on in this post, I'm giving you 7 examples of how to use turmeric in your cooking and baking, but I mainly use turmeric in things like soups, stews, curries, Indian inspired meals, and turmeric lattes if I'm feeling it.
Other Common Turmeric Questions
How much Turmeric Should You Take in a Day?
How much turmeric you should take in a day kind of depends on what you're going for. I'd say that around 1/2 a teaspoon per day is totally fine. And 1/2 a teaspoon is easy to get into pretty much any recipe! No need to take a pill or vitamin when you can just as easily add it to your food.
How is Turmeric Best Absorbed?
To activate the beneficial compound in turmeric – curcumin – it's said that it's best absorbed with black pepper. Again, I don't think this has been scientifically proven, but all you need to do is add just a touch of black pepper to your recipe. Even if you're making something sweet, the pepper will help with absorption and I actually find it adds to the flavor as well!
Where do you Buy Turmeric?
That's easy! You can buy turmeric at most major supermarkets. I personally like this one from Simply Organic spices because it comes in a glass jar, is responsibly sourced and is organic!
How to Use Turmeric in Your Kitchen
Alright, so now that you're essentially a turmeric expert, let's talk about how to use turmeric in your everyday life. As I said, you can totally take a supplement, but I think adding it to your food is the way to go. I've got 7 different ways to use turmeric, but keep in mind, there are a million more possibilities!
My favorite way to use turmeric is in soups. I add it to tons and tons of my soups, but I especially think it pairs well with anything coconut flavored. If you're making a soup with a coconut milk base, I highly recommend adding some turmeric to the mix!
Soup recipes with turmeric:
- Ginger & Turmeric Carrot Soup
- Detox Turmeric Lentil Soup
- Healing Turmeric Cauliflower Soup
- Creamy Coconut & Turmeric Wild Rice Soup
Since turmeric is traditionally used in Indian and South Asian cuisine, it pairs super well with curries. Whether you're going for an Indian style curry or a more Asian-inspired curry, turmeric is (and should be) one of the spices. Sometimes I also like to add freshly grated turmeric root to my curries – it adds a different, brighter flavor!
Curry recipes with turmeric:
If you want to see how to use turmeric in something other than a savory dish, try adding it to your oatmeal in the morning! Whether you're making overnight oats or a warm oatmeal bowl, turmeric can be a great addition. I like to pair it with coconut milk (or yogurt), maple syrup and sometimes some orange zest!
Oatmeal recipes that use turmeric:
Not an oatmeal fan? How about adding some turmeric to your eggs! If you're making scrambled eggs, a frittata or even scrambled tofu, turmeric can be a great addition. It will make the color really pop and I don't find that you can even really taste it. It works especially well with scrambled tofu as it makes them look like scrambled eggs!
Fifth on our list is dressing. I love, love, LOVE adding turmeric to my dressings. It can be anything from a creamy tahini dressing to a sweet oil-based dressing, turmeric works amazingly well. I find that it pairs really nicely with tahini – my fave – and it's an almost daily addition to my salad dressings!
Salad dressing recipes that use turmeric:
- Baked Quinoa Falafel with Turmeric Sauce
- Wild Rice Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Turmeric Vinaigrette
- Spring Quinoa Bowls with Turmeric Dressing
- Spicy Moroccan Quinoa Salad
6. Sweet Treats
Think turmeric is only for breakfast and lunch/dinner? Think again! Turmeric can also totally be used in baking and sweet treats. I don't personally have that many turmeric inspired dessert recipes on the blog, but I've seen everything from turmeric granola, golden muffins, healthy cookies and more!
Dessert recipes that use turmeric:
7. Golden Milk
And lastly, golden milk! Golden milk has taken the internet by storm and it's the perfect wind-down drink. I think you have to really like the flavor of turmeric to enjoy a golden latte, so it's not my favorite thing in the world, but they're definitely a nice, warm drink to cozy up to! And I want to share my recipe for a golden milk latte with you in case you want to try one for yourself!
Golden Milk Latte Recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup/honey
- Crack of black pepper
- 1/3 cup almond milk (optional)
- 2 cups hot water
Add all the latte ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add to a mug and enjoy it immediately!
How Do YOU Use Turmeric?
We'd love to know if you have any fun or favorite ways to use turmeric in your cooking/baking. If you have any recipes you love – or any you'd like to see us make – drop them down in the comments!