All About Turmeric
Turmeric has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for over 4,000 years to treat everything from inflammation and gastrointestinal issues to welcoming positivity and good fortune.
What Is Turmeric
Turmeric, or Curcuma longa or ‘Olena in Hawaiian, is a member of the Zingiberaceae family along with ginger and heliconia. It is thought to have originated in India where it is called haldi, and has been used in Asia for thousands of years. It was first used to dye clothing and textiles.
What Color Is Turmeric
Turmeric rhizomes look much like ginger but are a bit more orangey-brown. The inside color is deep yellow, orange, or reddish orange. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
How To Tell If Turmeric Is Ripe
Your turmeric is ripe and ready to eat the moment it arrives to you.
How To Prepare Turmeric
Peeling the root is optional. The peel is very thin, so make sure to gently peel the turmeric rhizome with a normal veg peeler or scrape with the edge of a knife.
Then you can either use a grater to finely grate the root or simply chop it up with a sharp knife.
Fresh turmeric root will stain your fingers and fingernails so be sure to wear an apron or gloves. It might also leave a sticky orange residue on your grater. Scrubbing with hot soapy water should remove it. Use the shredded or chopped turmeric to flavor your meal or beverage.
Where Does Turmeric Grow
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family that's native to tropical Thailand, India and Indonesia. It grows best in tropical climates, including Hawaii.
Nutrition Of Turmeric
1 tablespoon of turmeric contains:
- Calories: 29
- Protein: 0.91g
- Fat: 0.31g
- Carbohydrates: 6.31g
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Sugar: 0.3g
- Manganese: 26% of RDI
- Iron: 16% of RDI
- Potassium: 5% of RDI
- Vitamin C: 3% of RDI
When Is Turmeric In Season
Hawaii grown turmeric can be planted year round due to the unique climate. However, the main growing season for ‘Olena is spring to early summer and harvests from December to April. It then can be cured and stored for many months and retain its vibrancy and freshness.
After 5-6 months stored, the rhizome may begin to sprout and it's ready to be planted again. It's in the ground for 6-9 months and when the leaves on the above-ground foliage begin to become dry and brittle, it's ready to be harvested again.
What Does Turmeric Go In
Ground turmeric is one of the primary ingredients of curry, which gives curry its color. In its fresh state, you will get brighter flavors and a stronger aroma.
If you are looking for warmer flavors, try combining fresh turmeric with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon.
For a bit more of a savory take, try it with cumin, fresh coriander, mustard and black pepper. For tea lovers, try simmering turmeric with ginger for a lovely tea.
It can also be simmered into golden milk, blended into smoothies, sprinkled on veggies and meats, or added to flavor your curry.
What Does Turmeric Smell Like, Taste Like
Turmeric is mildly aromatic and has scents of orange or ginger. It has a warm, mildly spicy pungent, bitter flavor. Fresh turmeric has a brighter flavor, stronger aroma, and is a bit less bitter than ground turmeric.
How To Store Turmeric
Turmeric rhizomes will stay fresh in the fridge for a couple of weeks in an airtight container. The best way to store them is to clean them with a gentle brush to remove any excess dirt, pat them dry, then wrap them in a paper towel and place them in an airtight bag or container.
You can also freeze your turmeric to make it last even longer. Simply slice the turmeric and place it in an airtight container. You can also store it whole, but sliced frozen turmeric is easier to work with. It will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Can Dogs Eat Turmeric
Generally speaking, your dog should be fine if it happens to consume a bit of turmeric.
If you plan on supplementing your dog's diet with turmeric, we recommend speaking with your veterinary specialist.
Does Turmeric Stain
Yes, turmeric does stain clothing and fabrics. It is best to treat the stain as quickly as possible.
Try these steps to remove turmeric stains:
- Mix baking soda and water to make a paste.
- Scrub the paste onto the affected area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. It should soak up the stain.
- Gently scrape away the paste.
- Pretreat the remaining stain with a little bit of laundry detergent.
- Wash the garment as hot as is safe for the item.
- Air-dry the garment and verify that the stain has been removed. Using the drying machine will set the stain, making it nearly impossible to remove.
- If the stain persists, repeat the treatment until it is gone.