On my recent trip to Kauai, I was spoiled by the wide availability of fresh turmeric, so much so that I created a daily ritual of turmeric tea. Research comes out every day linking turmeric to decreased risk of cancer and to improved brain health. Adding a daily beverage made with fresh turmeric may be just what the doctor ordered — and a great “ Good Day Strategy” that I love to talk about. I know I felt great at the end of my two-week stay in Kauai but, of course, that was likely due to quite a number of reasons (rest, sunshine, exquisite fruit, all things I desperate hope to experience again one day…).
Increasingly, fresh turmeric is available in health food stores in the United States and so I am able to get my fix at home as well but availability is a bit limited. I take what I can get and consider fresh turmeric a luxury until I manage a dedicated green house situation to grow it here on the property.
Fresh turmeric has a stronger flavor than you would expect give the dehydrated turmeric powder. The powder can be added to just about anything, particular in curry-type dishes, and you may notice only the vibrant color change. Fresh turmeric has a slightly bitter bite. The flavor is good but it is unique — it is worthy of experiencing it yourself before you dedicate a protected area of your garden to it, as I am about to do.
To make turmeric tea, you simply make an herbal infusion as you would any other herb or root. In this case, I simply added a couple of inches of turmeric, sliced, to a few cups of water. I brought it to a boil, let it simmer for a half hour or so, and then put the lid on and let the turmeric tea mixture sit over night.
Warm your turmeric tea infusion up in the morning, dilute it to taste, and add a bit of honey.
I worked up a quick video for you recently on the topic:
Turmeric tea on its own does not have the best flavor and you will seek out ways to improve it. Here are two ideas for you.
This third point may be the most important and explain a lot of bad experiences with this drink. Check out this taste test from the Half Pint Hacks — the youngest generation here at Fresh Bites Daily.
If you tire of your standard turmeric tea recipe, Numi makes several very good turmeric teas. The Half Pints taste them in the video below.
Much like ginger, you may be tempted to use fresh turmeric in your cooking and carefully peel around all of the little nubs leaving as much fresh turmeric root as possible. It is tedious work. Don’t do it! Rip through the root, slicing off the nubs and skin. Set them aside for your tea project and use the remaining peeled root in your cooking.
To make a turmeric tea from a powder, we really like this turmeric tea paste idea (here). It is simple, convenient, and portable.
Remember too that this tea is great iced. Make your infusion and perhaps sweeten it while it’s warm. Let it sit overnight and then refrigerate it. Drink it cold.
With our turmeric obsession, we offer you a number of ideas for integrating more turmeric into your daily life:
Turmeric tea in many new flavor combinations
Turmeric powder – How to make your own turmeric powder using a traditional approach from India (and a quality test for the turmeric powder in your cupboard)
If you love Sriracha, you’ll go bananas over the homemade version
Turmeric milk (“golden milk”) for cold, flu, depression, and more!
Turmeric for black eyes, bruising, and swelling
Key tip for eating (and drinking) turmeric (aka “You’re eating your turmeric *all wrong*!!!”) plus recipes
A super-simple turmeric smoothie to cool you off in the swelter
A turmeric smoothie with a flavor-enhancing pro tip ;)