The Golden Spice: Smoothie Recipes With Turmeric

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photo by cgdsro and Pixabay

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…

What is Turmeric?photo by karenski15720 and Pixabay

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).Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

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


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

Hot Cinnamon Smoothie with Turmeric


  • 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.

Immediately serve.

Recipe Notes

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!

Happy Blending!

10 thoughts on “The Golden Spice: Smoothie Recipes With Turmeric”

  • Hello Tina. Two thumbs up article. Wow never would have thought turmeric in a smoothie. What I thought at first was yuck then reading on it started to be tempting then there it is the golden chai smoothie. I am going out to get the ingredients and try it tonight. I can’t wait to someday see you on the food network the smoothie Queen.
    Thank you so much for another fantastic article.

    • Hi David! Thanks so much! It would be awesome to make it to the Food Network but incredibly surreal at the same time!

      I thought exactly as you do about turmeric especially in a smoothie. The beauty behind the chai smoothie is you have a ton of wiggle room unlike the other two. I found more is better as just an inch piece of turmeric doesn’t really come through all the flavors. Whereas about two inches you can start to taste it. I’d be tempted to try a 2 1/2 to 3-inch piece next time and see what happens or maybe go to ground turmeric and see how much that takes. But I’d suggest trying it as is and add from there to your taste.

      Thanks again for visiting! It’s always a pleasure! Let me know how the Golden Chai Smoothie works out for you and if you have trouble with it.

  • Wow I never heard of Tumeric. Your page is so informative. I love the lay out as well congratulations on a great job

    • Hi Jocelyn! Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

      Turmeric is starting to get attention but there are a lot of people out there unaware of this spice. Which is a real shame because it is so good for you! I didn’t really take much notice of it until I started using it for knee and sciatic pain.

      I hope you give one of these recipes a try!

  • Thank you for all of this exciting information as well as the smoothie recipes! I am especially interested in the Hot Cinnamon Smoothie. I have never heard of such a combination. One question though, can you substitute the cherries with maybe, blueberries, or do the cherries cool the spiciness a bit? Also, the Mango Smoothie looks delicious as well. I think I am going to try these out and maybe add a bit more calories to it by adding extra coconut oil, ( I am trying to find a way to gain weight.) Do you think adding coconut oil to the Hot Cinnamon Smoothie would ruin the taste?

    • Hi Colleen! Thanks so much for visiting!

      In answer to your first question, the cherries really help to create the Red Hot candy flavor and I don’t think blueberries would work without changing the flavor pretty drastically. However, if you are looking to cut the spice down, I’d recommend just cutting back on the cayenne and definitely use a small amount of turmeric. With both the Hot Cinnamon and Mango smoothie the turmeric comes through surprisingly well so be cautious with it. Same for the ginger as it is pretty powerful stuff raw. When it comes to the ginger I take a thin slice out of one the nubs so it should be roughly 1/4 inch thick with a diameter of an inch at most. If you try that and still don’t think that’s enough definitely add more to your preference but do it in small amounts. I’ve made the mistake of adding too much and it was inedible.

      As far as coconut oil, it would taste wonderful in either of those smoothies. In fact, the coconut oil would mellow out the spice in the Hot Cinnamon more than blueberries would I think without compromising the flavor profile. So add away! I would recommend not adding more than a tablespoon at most though as it could make the drink grainy with too much. If you are looking to add more fats to either of those drinks I’d highly recommend avocado as it works beautifully in smoothies. Roughly 2 oz. per drink.

      I hope this helps. Thanks again for visiting Late Summer Mama! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I’ll help you as best as I can. And let me know how those recipes work out for you!

  • I can’t wait to try yo Chai! lol. I just bought a handful of turmeric the other day for my juice(s). It is such an interesting flavor. I’d never experienced a buzz from juice like I have from making my own at home. Like you said it has an orangy gingery note and is quite lovely. I made mine with fresh oranges, green apples, celery, and a sweet potato. It is such an invigorating drink! Thanks for sharing your recipes! I was wondering what else to do with my leftover turmeric nubs:)-now I know!

    • Hi Jennifer! Thanks for visiting!

      I agree with juicing. The first time I made a greens heavy juice I got a buzz so hard I had to sit down for a bit afterward. 🙂 Many people never think to juice a sweet potato but it is really amazing!

      I’m glad you like the recipes. Let me know how they work out for you. Thanks again!

  • Wow, what a great article Tina. My parents consume turmeric every single day because they said it helps them with digestion. I never would’ve thought about putting it in a smoothie. Although my parents like to juice and they mix turmeric powder with their juice. I am going to have to bookmark this recipe for my parents.

    • Hello Tony! Thanks for visiting!

      Your parents would be correct. Turmeric is known to help with digestion among many other things.

      I didn’t think to do anything sweet with turmeric either let alone put it in a smoothie. It does have limitations. However, what it works well in really works. I hope your family enjoys these smoothies. If you have any trouble with the recipes let me know and I’ll try to help out!

      Thanks again!

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