I am in Hawaii right now. LOVING IT!!! I am surrounded by so much life here! I walk down the street and see bananas on trees, I see avocado trees, lots of oranges, tangelos, grapefruit trees, dripping with fruit! I see neon flowers, that I think must be painted on, I see cacao pods hanging from cacao trees... the list goes on and on. To be so close to nature and so humbled by Mother Nature, is truly a unique experience. I haven’t experienced this feeling anywhere else.
One of the coolest experiences so far in Hawaii has been picking my own turmeric! Seriously, right in the backyard of the house of I am staying at I am able to pick my own turmeric!! You might have already seen me doing this on Instagram.
I love using Turmeric because of its amazing benefits for digestion, skin, joints and so much more. AND I love its bright, vibrant orange color. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, creativity, and happiness! So, to see Turmeric growing in the ground, and digging it out of the mud, was really a new experience for me! If you are like me, I would just buy it in the store, and never gave much thought, where it came from.
Turmeric is a tropical plant that likes warm weather and moisture. It is believed that the turmeric plant originated in tropical Southeast Asia. Turmeric grows really well in Hawaii. The Hawaiian name for turmeric is `ōlena. You may wonder why there is a Hawaiian name for this plant. According to Hawaii Horticulture, Turmeric was brought to Hawaii with the original Polynesians.
Turmeric is a root that is harvested when the plant begins to go dormant and the leaves turn brown and begin to dry up. Lucky for me, I am in here at just the right time! At the bottom of this article I shared a short video of me picking some Turmeric.
Before you watch my video of me forging for Turmeric, here are some reasons to add this powerful root to your diet:
1. In Ayurveda, it is considered to be a blood purifier and is used to enhance the appearance and condition of the skin.
2. Turmeric has a cleansing effect on the intestines and a stimulant effect on the liver.
3. It can reduce stiffness and strengthen joints, in case of joint achiness.
4. Modern science is beginning to understand and recognize the amazing healing properties of Turmeric, and much research is currently being conducted on this powerful root.
How do I use fresh Turmeric? Mostly in Smoothies and Juices. A little bit goes a long way! I usually use about an inch of the root. If you are new to using this in your drinks, I would use less; maybe a ½ inch. Turmeric has a strong, pungent flavor and if you use too much, it can easily overpower your juice or smoothie.
You can find fresh turmeric in many markets and produce stands these days. Next time you see some, grab some and use in your juice or smoothie. Here are my 2 favorite recipes!
A word of caution! Turmeric is bright yellow and will stain surfaces and your fingers especially when it's fresh!
A general rule of thumb for measuring turmeric is that roughly 2 inches of fresh turmeric will equal 1 tablespoon of grated and 1 teaspoon of ground.
1 ½ Cup Hemp Mylk (or another plant-based mylk you prefer)
½ frozen banana
½ of an orange
1 Cup frozen Pineapple
A heaping handful of spinach
Put all ingredients in your blender and blend on high for 30 seconds
3-4 celery stalks
1 granny smith apple
1 lemon with the rind
A handful of spinach
4-5 stalks of Kale
½ a bunch of romaine
Another delicious way to use fresh turmeric is to pickle it! There are countless variations on using turmeric in pickling. Here is a simple, basic but delicious recipe:
1 cup peeled and sliced turmeric root
3 Cloves of Garlic, smashed
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbs fennel seeds
1/2 tsp pink salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Scrape the peel from the turmeric root with the side of a spoon. You can either use a mandoline to slice it lengthwise or use a knife and cut into matchsticks.
Place the turmeric in a clean 1-quart glass jar and add other ingredients. Be sure you add enough apple cider vinegar to cover the turmeric.
Cover and refrigerate. You can begin enjoying the pickled turmeric in about an hour. It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to a month.
When you can find turmeric fresh, snatch it up! A little bit goes a long ways and the health benefits are enormous. For those of you with a knack of gardening, there are a ton of instructional videos on how to grow turmeric in containers.