DRY/POWDERED OR FRESH TURMERIC – PEEL, CHOP, FREEZE AND USE ANYTIME!
Curcumin and other chemicals found in turmeric are powerful anti-inflamatory and anti-cancer agents. However, turmeric can interfere with some chemotherapy treatments and reduce their benefits, so if you are getting chemo (infusion or oral) be sure to check with your doctor about whether it’s OK to add turmeric to your diet.
TURMERIC AND BLACK PEPPER – THE COMBO!
Turmeric and black pepper: Black pepper makes it easier for your body to absorb turmeric. And since turmeric is not easy to absorb, I always add some black pepper to a recipe that calls for turmeric or sprinkle some black pepper over the curry or other turmeric containing food on my plate.
For more information about turmeric and it’s healthful properties (and some cautions)
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s website – Integrative Medicine, Herbs. Here you will find all the details and background research on turmeric!
- NIH National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
- U of Maryland Medical Center – Complimentary Medicine
- Q & A with Andrew Weil, MD and Huffington Post Article by Andrew Weil, MD
- Wall Street Journal article about research on health benefits of turmeric and also which supplements contain most bio-available form of turmeric, bcm-95.
You can buy fresh turmeric at Whole Foods (though you may have to ask them to oder it in for you) and Asian supermarkets.
Fresh turmeric – peel, chop, freeze and use anytime! I buy a few pounds at a time and then process it for storage in my freezer. Here’s how:
- Wash the turmeric to get the dirt off.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off; discard the skin.
- Rinse the peeled turmeric with water.
- Place the peeled and rinsed turmeric into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the turmeric if finely chopped.
- Line a rectangular storage container with 2 pieces of parchment paper, with the paper overlapping the sides of the container. (The photo below was taken before I found that using 2 pieces of parchment paper, one on top of the other, would make it easier to remove the contents of the container when it’s frozen.)
- Use a spatula to spread just enough of the “grated” turmeric to cover the parchment paper with a thin layer of turmeric.
- Place 2 sheets of parchment paper over the turmeric (with the paper overlapping the sides of the container).
- Spread just enough of the “grated” turmeric to cover the parchment paper with a thin layer of turmeric.
- Repeat until container is full: alternating 2 sheets of parchment paper and one layer of turmeric.
- Cover and freeze.
- When frozen, remove all of the turmeric at once from the container, by pulling up on the parchment paper.
- Take this frozen block of turmeric and parchment paper layers and place it into a plastic freezer bag; store in freezer.
- Break off any size chunk anytime!
- Or, you can break the turmeric into pieces before you freeze it, as shown in photo below. However, since I took this photo, I have found that sometimes when I freeze turmeric in pieces as you see in photo below, the turmeric sticks together in large clumps. So I now leave the turmeric pieces in the parchment paper in the freezer bag.
Note: When using fresh turmeric, use at least about twice as much as you would if you were to use dry powdered turmeric, since it is less concentrated and has a milder flavor. And…remember to always add black pepper to your recipe and serve with food that has some oil or fat!
BTW: Fresh garlic and ginger
I also store fresh garlic and fresh ginger in the same way! Just peel, process, freeze, and store! This way you never run out of the healthy foods you need for cooking!
Want to create some great food using these ingredients? Go to How to Create Fabulous Fresh Herb Sauces!
Enjoy and be healthy!