It’s safe to say the obsession with turmeric isn’t dying down anytime soon. The plant’s root-like stems have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and today its long list of impressive benefits has made it go mainstream: Nearly every trendy coffee shop you enter these days has a golden milk latte on the menu, it’s taking over ingredients lists in the skincare world, and it’s even being touted as an easy way to score a whiter smile. Not to mention the main draw: improving your overall health, especially on the inflammation front.
“Turmeric is a really potent anti-inflammatory,” says Trinity Mouzon Wofford, founder of the turmeric-centric wellness company Golde. “That means wherever you’re dealing with inflammation—whether it’s with your digestion, skin health, or even muscle soreness post-workout—you can get a natural boost from a daily dose.”
While there are plenty of different ways to use turmeric, creating a homemade paste is one of the best—and easiest!—options when it comes to reaping the benefits of the spice. Instead of just sprinkling a powder into your food, this version contains everything that ups its effectiveness, all in one place—including black pepper and a healthy fat (in the form of coconut oil), which have both been shown to help the body better absorb curcumin, turmeric’s active ingredient.
How to make turmeric paste
Ready to make some turmeric paste for yourself? Here’s exactly how it’s done, according to David Ochoa Rodriguez, co-founder of the plant-based restaurant The Butcher’s Daughter, which uses the staple on the regular.
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 cm piece of fresh turmeric root
- 3 cm piece of fresh ginger root
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 tsp honey or agave
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
1. Peel and grate the turmeric root and ginger root.
2. In a saucepan, add half the water. Stir in the turmeric and ginger, black pepper, honey, cinnamon, salt, and coconut oil. Cook and stir the mixture over a medium flame until you start to see small bubbles around the edge of the saucepan. This should take 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Let the mixture cook and slowly add small amounts of the remaining water. Keep stirring until mixture forms a paste, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a glass container. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Store in a glass jar and refrigerate. It should last 2 to 3 weeks.
How to use turmeric paste
Now that you have your turmeric paste, what do you actually do with it? The options are endless, but these five recipes are a great place to start.
1. Use it in your turmeric golden milk latte
Making golden milk lattes has never been easier. Once you’re finished with your paste, Ochoa Rodriguez says you can simply whisk it into your steamed milk of choice and sweeten it to taste.
Try this recipe: Super Healing Turmeric Latte
2. Use it in soups
A genius way to add health benefits—and loads of flavor!—into your soups is by stirring some of your turmeric paste right into the broth.
Try this recipe: Turmeric Paste Soup with Noodles and Veggies
3. Add it to smoothies
Why not reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric right in your morning smoothie? When you have paste on hand, you can simply add in a scoop and blend it up for a nice boost.
Try this recipe: Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Smoothie
4. Stir it into hummus
Make your hummus even more of a nutritional powerhouse by stirring some turmeric paste into the protein-packed combo of chickpeas, tahini, and fresh lemon juice.
Try this recipe: Turmeric Hummus with Tahini and Garlic
5. Use it as a sauce for your pasta
Who needs a cheesy pasta sauce when you can use a creamy turmeric paste? It’s the perfect way to get your comfort food fix while also providing your body with a powerful nutritional punch.
Try this recipe: Noodles with Coconut Turmeric Paste Sauce
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