The Golden Spice: Smoothie Recipes With Turmeric
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If you have ever had curry before, then chances are you have eaten turmeric. Over the years in the U.S. turmeric has made its way into more culinary dishes other than Indian food but for most Americans it is still recognized primarily with curry. It is the yellow powder that you see in a garam masala mix.
For years, I never really thought to add this spice to anything outside of curry or a substitute for saffron. Those were all savory dishes. And when I did start using it, it was for juicing but they were all veggie juices with spice. So I started experimenting with taking this smoky flavor to the opposite extreme and using it for something sweet. I won’t lie, I stuck to the cuisines that have been using this spice for eons and took my cues from the experts. From there I let my imagination go!
And the end result? I’ve got three smoothie recipes with turmeric I am excited to share with you.
Also, if you are new to making smoothies or are unfamiliar with how to make smoothies with frozen fruit my post, Smoothies 101, might be helpful.
So if you’ve been looking for some sweet, delicious ways you can enjoy turmeric in a smoothie; you need look no further! Well, you will have to scroll down a little…
Turmeric belongs to the Zingiberaceae or ginger family and is native to India and Southeast Asia. Sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice, the root stalks or rhizomes are the part of the plant you eat, and are harvested similarly like ginger.
In the west, this plant is most well-known as a spice used in curries. However, turmeric is finally getting the respect it deserves from western chefs. I’ve found some delicious sauce and salad dressing recipes that use turmeric now and more cropping up every day. But I’d hazard to say that this wonderful spice is not a staple on the shelves of most Americans’ pantries yet.
Outside of its culinary use turmeric has been cultivated for other things. If you have used turmeric before then you have probably stained your hands or a dish with it. So you know its dyeing capabilities and there are places that still use it as a dye to this day. I’ve seen it used to dye clothes but when Easter is close, it makes a wonderful dye for those eggs too!
Also, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a part of Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and Unani. And it is even used in skin care products and teeth whitening.
Benefits of Turmeric
There are many reasons why you should be eating this spice. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one tablespoon of turmeric powder gives you a good amount of manganese and iron as well as a small amount of potassium, vitamin C, and even some fiber (1).
Turmeric has a compound in it called curcumin which is also the same component that makes it yellow. Curcumin is know for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is being studied as a possible aid to cancer, liver function, pain relief, digestion, and skin problems like acne, melanoma, psoriasis, and many others (2).
In Ayurveda, Chinese, Siddha, and Unani medicine turmeric is used for a wide variety of ailments. It has been traditionally used for cleaning wounds, aiding digestion, relieving gas, eliminating worms, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, and relieving arthritis. It is also used to treat sprains and swelling. In India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan brides and grooms traditionally put turmeric paste on their skin to give it a healthy glow and keep bacteria away from the body. (3)
I Spy With My Little Chai: How to Use Turmeric in a Smoothie
As a spice, it is mildly aromatic with a scent that smells like orange and ginger. It has a pungent and slightly bitter flavor. With a profile like that, there are some very interesting things you can do with it in a smoothie.
As I expressed previously, I’d only known turmeric to be used in savory dishes. So it got me thinking.
On one hand, it is used in curries. What else uses similar seasonings but in a sweet way? Chai. So chai flavors would do well with turmeric. And it does work! So take some chai and banana which are sublime together in a smoothie. Just add a little turmeric, vanilla, coconut oil, and ginger with unsweetened almond milk. And there you go, a smoky sweet chai milkshake!
On the other hand, it smells of orange and ginger. Take those two ingredient and add in some mango and turmeric. You get a sweet smoothie with a slight kick.
Then the last one was just an experiment. I used to really like those Red Hot candies when I was a kid. I discovered a smoothie that taste just like it. You can add turmeric to it and it tastes pretty good! By the way, you are welcome to try this last one without turmeric too. It is a really good smoothie on its own!
So there you have it!
3 Smoothie Recipes
Here are 3 smoothie recipes that are vegan, healthy, and deliciously complemented by a touch of turmeric!
Golden Chai Smoothie
- 1 and 1/2 bananas frozen
- 1 1/4″ slice of raw ginger
- 1 piece of raw turmeric (about 2″ long)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 cup chai
- 1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (enough to reach about 1/2 inch below top of fruit)
Mango, Turmeric, and Carrot Smoothie
- 1 cup mango frozen
- 1 1/4″ slice of raw ginger
- 1 piece of raw turmeric (about 1″ long)
- 1 piece of fresh carrot no larger than 2″ (optional)
- 1/2 to 1 cup orange juice (enough to reach about 1/2 inch below top of fruit)
Hot Cinnamon Smoothie with Turmeric
- 1/3 cup banana frozen
- 1/3 cup strawberries frozen
- 1/3 cup cherries frozen
- 1 piece of raw turmeric (about 1″ long)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
- 1/2 to 1 cup apple juice (enough to reach about 1/2 inch below top of fruit)
Place everything besides fruit, almond milk or juice, and oil in blender first.
Then add the bananas and other fruits (if any).
Add the liquid until it sits about 1/2 inch under the very top of the fruit.
Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.
Slowly turn the setting to high.
Once the smoothie is thoroughly blended (and you are getting the vortex at the top) add the oil (if any) and blend for another 5 seconds.
These recipes use raw turmeric. Just wash off the debris and pop it in the pitcher with the skins and all (same with ginger). If you don’t have raw turmeric on hand, substitute 1/2 tsp. of powder per inch of raw turmeric.
If sensitive to caffeine reduce chai in half or omit completely but replace the chai with an equal amount of almond milk.
I hope you like these recipes! If you are looking for a good blender, I recommend the Vitamix 5200.
And as always thank you for visiting Late Summer Mama! If you have any questions or would like to share how these recipes work out for you, please leave your comments below and I will gladly get back to you!