Food Word of the Week

Turmeric [tur-mer-ik]: A spice ground from an Indian herb of the ginger family that is a common ingredient in curry powder. Its active ingredient is curcumin, which has been found to have a multitude of health benefits.

Origin: Latin

Turmeric is a vibrant, bright yellow spice that has been said to be one of the world’s healthiest foods. For spices, turmeric is the shining star in terms of holistic benefits. Turmeric has been used in India and the Middle East for thousands of years and has been used not only as a medicine, but as a condiment and even as a dye for textiles. Fresh turmeric is found in a small root like ginger, but is more commonly found ground in the spice aisle. Turmeric has a mildly bitter peppery flavor that has hints of orange and ginger. Some of the endless health benefits of turmeric include:

Lowers inflammation

Full of antioxidants

Lowers the chances of brain-disease and age-related decreases in brain function

Lowers your risk of heart disease

Prevents and treats cancer

Prevents and treats Alzheimer’s disease

Treats arthritis

Treats depression

Adding turmeric to frittatas, rice dishes, soups and root vegetables is an easy way to take the flavor and health benefits of your dishes to the next level. Turmeric tastes best in Indian and Middle Eastern-inspired cuisines such as curries and Indian-spiced chicken. Although it has a strong taste on its own, turmeric can be disguised among a blend of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger if you don’t love the taste of it. Turmeric is becoming increasingly popular as more Americans are seeking functional ingredients that not only taste great, but help improve their well-being. According to Google’s Food Trends 2016 report, turmeric is one of the most frequently searched food terms this year.

Turmeric can be added to smoothies, used to season dishes or even as the base of a dressing. Don’t know where to start? Check out these 30 turmeric recipes that are sure to bring ultimate flavor, not to mention endless health benefits. Or, try this healthy recipe for cauliflower steaks.

Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric and Cumin

Courtesy of The Kitchn


1 large head cauliflower

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Small handful of cilantro, chopped


Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2:

Remove the leaves and trim the stem end of the cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Using a large knife, cut the cauliflower from top to base into three 3/4-inch-thick “steaks.” Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. (Reserve any loose florets for another use.)

Step 3:

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Gently transfer the steaks to a baking sheet.

Step 4:

Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Brush or spoon the mixture onto the cauliflower steaks.

Step 5:

Roast in the oven until tender, about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.