Turmeric For Taste

I tend to tune out the hype about specific nutrients, especially in the mass media. I first heard about turmeric when I was doing a lot of long-distance running in Tucson. It was being touted by athletes as a supplement to decrease joint pain and inflammation associated with running injuries.  (No, we never stopped to consider that maybe reducing our mileage was the real fix for all of those injuries!)

From a nutritional standpoint, you can read more about potential health benefits in this summary from Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Spices and herbs are generally rich in compounds and antioxidants that benefit your overall health, so incorporating a variety into your diet is generally a good idea.

But I’ve recently become fascinated with turmeric just from a cooking perspective! I admit I haven’t experimented with making my own curries and don’t have much knowledge about Indian food. But I’ve learned turmeric is aromatic and has a gentle, pepper and ginger-like taste to it. I like to pair it with cinnamon for sweetness and cayenne pepper for an added kick when I’m using it in a spice blend. And of course, its vibrant yellow color rivals saffron.

Here is a great recipe from Food & Wine. I went to my cupboard and made use of what was there for an expedient way to consume sulfur-rich cauliflower, but I would use the Food & Wine recipe if I were hosting dinner guests!

Simplified (Maybe Oversimplified) Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head of organic cauliflower, chopped in 2-inch chunks
  • Olive oil
  • Turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Line a baking dish with cauliflower chunks. Drizzle olive oil for a very light coating. Sprinkle spice blend and use your hands to turn and coat all of the cauliflower.

Bake at 325 for 60 minutes.

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