5 Genius Ways to Cook With Turmeric (That You Haven’t Tried Already)

Photo: VeguKate

Turmeric is without a doubt the buzziest anti-inflammatory spice of the moment.

The all-powerful superhero effectively fights off bloating, irritated skin, and even serious autoimmune disorders. No wonder it's being used in everything from face masks to whitening toothpaste—yes, seriously. And when it comes to food, there's no shortage of ways to experiment.

Already mastered making your own golden milk? Here, five super-creative food bloggers share their favorite—but also wholly unexpected—ways to use turmeric in the kitchen.

Keep reading for their 5 brilliant turmeric-spotlighting recipes.

Photo: Pure Ella

1. 5-Minute Turmeric Tofu Scramble

Pure Ella blogger Ella Leché's tofu scramble recipe completely shuts down any arguments that the OG vegetarian staple is bland. Her secret ingredient, besides turmeric? Nutritional yeast. Best of all, this vegan, gluten-free breakfast literally takes only five minutes to make—and will keep you full until lunch.

1/2 package (15 oz.) organic firm tofu
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 Tbsp non-dairy milk or Veganaise
Grape seed oil

Cherry tomatos
Avocado toast

1. Drain the tofu from the water and break it into small crumbs.

2. Add the nutritional yeast, turmeric, pepper, salt, and milk into a small bowl. Stir well.

3. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add grape seed oil.

4. Add tofu and ingredients from the small bowl into the pan and cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the baby spinach and cover the skillet with a lid, allowing the heat to steam the spinach. Keep covered for 2 minutes, giving it a good stir halfway through.

6. Serve hot—with an optional side of cherry tomatoes and avocado toast.

Photo: Hummusapien

2. Curried Chickpea Salad

Curry equals heavy sauce, right? Not with this recipe. Hummusapien blogger, dietician, and Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe consultant Alexis Joseph got the combo just right in this summer-ready salad, balancing out the spicy turmeric-coated chickpeas with fresh cilantro, sweet raisins, and a touch of maple syrup.

3 Tbsp tahini
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp water
Juice from half a lemon
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup cashews, chopped

1.  Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss in a blender and blend well.

2. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Photo: Golubka Kitchen

3. Almost-Savory Raw Chocolate

Adding turmeric to your dark chocolate bar is the perfect way to give it some kick—and up the antioxidant count. Golubka Kitchen blogger Anya Kassoff loaded her self-proclaimed "almost-savory" chocolate bar with seeds (hello, protein boost), sesame tahini, seaweed, and miso paste for a taste unlike anything you'll find in the checkout line.

2 cups raw cacao butter, shredded or chopped
1/2 cup sesame tahini
4 Tbsp maple syrup or date syrup
1 Tbsp unpasteurized miso paste
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup mesquite powder
4 Tbsp maca powder
1/3 hemp hearts
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup dulse flakes
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp turmeric
3 sheets nori, cut or torn into small pieces

1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 Tbsp spirulina
1/2 Tbsp moringa powder
1/2 Tbsp bee pollen
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
Sweet and/or smoked paprika for sprinkling

1. In a large bowl, gently melt the cacao butter on a double boiler over medium to medium-low heat. Add the tahini, maple or date syrup, and miso. Whisk to incorporate.

2. Add the cacao, mesquite, and maca powders. Whisk until well-incorporated.

3. Add the hemp, pumpkin and chia seeds, dulse, nutritional yeast, and turmeric. If using, also add cacao nibs, spirulina, moringa, bee pollen, and ginger. Mix everything with a spoon to combine well and fold in the nori until incorporated evenly.

4. Optionally, sprinkle the bottom of your chocolate mold with sweet or smoked paprika, moringa, turmeric, hemp hearts, and pumpkin seeds for decoration. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the mold, evening it out with the back of a spoon. Put in the freezer for about 5 minutes (or until the chocolate hardens completely). Remove from the mold and enjoy. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator.

Photo: 8th and Lake

4. One-Pot Quinoa and Turmeric Stew

This hearty, vegan, and gluten-free dinner—crafted by 8th and Lake blogger Marie Reginato—takes less than 30 minutes to make and stars an all-time veggie favorite: sweet potatoes. Quinoa and kale are added for texture, yes, but they also majorly up the good-for-you benefits.

3 big handfuls of chopped kale
2 cups frozen peas
2 cans cannellini beans
1 spiralized sweet potato
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp coriander
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Sea salt

1. In a large pot on medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil and then add the chopped garlic, all the spices, and the spiralized sweet potato. Let this warm for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, quinoa, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes and then add the beans and peas. After another 15 minutes add the kale and lemon juice. Cook the kale until it wilts, add a little salt, and then you're done!

Photo: Vegukate

5. Golden Milk Coconut "Nice Cream"

The classic golden milk latte get a summer makeover with nutritionist and Vegukate blogger Kate Gavlick's "nice cream" version. And bonus—it's pretty easy to make (though this recipe does call for an ice-cream maker), using coconut milk as the base and adding in spoonfuls of spices. The siren call of Mr. Softee can't compete with this dessert.

Ice Cream
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 (13.5-ounce) cans regular coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
Tiny pinch black pepper

Dark Chocolate Coconut Oil Magic Shell
2 squares dark chocolate, melted
1 Tbsp coconut oil

1.  Add egg yolks and coconut sugar to a large bowl. Whisk mixture together until well-combined and frothy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, vanilla, spices, and black pepper. Whisk again until combined.

2. Pour golden-milk mixture into a medium sauce pot and cook over medium heat. Stir coconut mixture constantly until just thickened and it coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

3. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and let sit at room temperature until cold. Pour into an ice-cream maker and process according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions.

4. Transfer ice-cream mixture to a large container, cover, and freeze for 1-2 hours more, or until firm.

5. Microwave dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl.

6. Scoop golden milk ice cream and serve with dark chocolate and coconut oil magic shell and coconut flakes.

If you want to go all in on the anti-inflammatory diet, this meal plan and food pyramid can help.

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