Super Food: Turmeric

by Susan on January 10, 2010

I love when information about food, raw food and the relationship between food and health is highlighted in mainstream media. I was watching “Good Morning America” on Friday. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber was talking about his new book, “Anti Cancer, A New Way of Life”. One of the first things that he mentioned was how important it was to make your diet comprised mostly of plants. We already know that here, but what caught my attention was his reference to Turmeric. I have hear that turmeric is a healthy addition to your diet but after listening to Dr. Servan-Schreiber, I was inspired to do some more research and develop a recipe that is based on this “super food”.

Turmeric has been called one of nature’s most powerful healers. It has great anti-inflammatory properties which can address symptoms of arthritis. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is said to be a digestive aid that will settle the stomach. Turmeric contains a rich source of antioxidants that help fight against free radicals. It also is said to have anti-platelet properties that help protect against strokes and heart attacks. Studies have also shown that it has a beneficial effect on the liver.

Since I am in a major snacking mode, I decided to make a raw food turmeric dip. It is quick, easy and contains great healthy properties from the turmeric along with the other ingredients.

Turmeric Veggie Dip and Appetizer

  • 1 C Soaked Cashews
  • 1 C Young Coconut Flesh (1 – 2 young coconuts)
  • 1/4 Coconut Water (from young coconut)
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 2 t.  Turmeric
  • 1 t. Ginger
  • 2 T Agave
  • 1 Sliced Cucumber
  • Optional: other dipping veggies (celery, carrots, etc)

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. This will take a bit and you will need to stop and scrape down the sides occasionally. Slice Cucumber and pipe the dip onto rounds. Alternatively, cut up veggies and use as a dip. (I sprinkled a little paprika on top for the photo.)

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

joanna January 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Wow! This looks yummy AND beautiful!

Serenity January 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I use tumeric to color foods and in liue of saphron which is a $grip! I cannot really taste tumeric when used alone for a spice.

ramona January 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm

hm. must try this, but have to find something else for the coconuts. have none avaible here. beautyful photo!

Nikki January 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Awesome info! I had no idea that Tumeric has so many healing properties. I’ll be incorporating more of this into my diet.

Eco Mama January 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I saw it too and got excited to hear the plant-centric diet mode on mainstream tv. I try to use Tumeric often but sometimes forget, I grabbed my jar and put it in front of my other spices to remind me.
Beautiful photo!
xo
Eco Mama

polly raichert January 10, 2010 at 11:52 pm

I’ve been hearing about tumeric recently and started taking it as a supplement last month. Mayo has done trials using it and so far every result is amazing for preventing, shrinking and curing cancer with no side affects, although they tell you to not start taking it until they have finished their studies. incredible! thanks for providing a recipe. any classes coming up?

Erica January 11, 2010 at 2:23 am

I just made a resolution to add more of this to my food! Never thought to add it to a dip.

Diane January 11, 2010 at 10:21 am

I have a couple of big, stainless spice boxes my husband bought for us years ago after he took some cooking classes with an Indian chef and tumeric is right in the middle. There are so many healthful spices in that culture’s cooking, and the difference is that they use them in much higher quantities than we tend to in western cultures. Sometimes the spices actually add body to a dish, there’s so much. They definitely help with digestion. I put tumeric in everything, you can even dump it in with your tea. I do wonder about the medicinal qualities of herbs that are not grown and processed in a way that preserves their vital nutrients, if that makes sense. Like I try to buy organic and non-irradiated. I can actually get fresh tumeric root occasionally at some of the markets around here.

One tip: watch it around clothing and porous surfaces – it stains like crazy and is difficult or impossible to get out.

Sue Burley January 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

One other word on the benefits of turmeric. Add black pepper to it as it needs the pepper to release its goodness. I have been trying to incorporate more turmeric lately and have read this several times now. Cashews are soaking as I write:)

Gena January 11, 2010 at 11:17 am

Huge fan of turmeric here! It’s a great warming herb, and it’s been in many of my winter recipes.

Brooke January 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

What is a good coconut substitution? I live in central Illinois and I have yet to see coconuts for sale at any time of the year.

Thanks,
Brooke

Susan January 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm

You can find young Thai coconuts at Whole Foods and many coops. I have heard that you can also find frozen coconut flesh in Asian grocery stores.

kim g. January 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

This looks yummy and so healthy! I’m always daunted by dealing with coconuts. I guess I should just get a big cleaver and get over it!

Susan January 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm

It is easy once you know what you are doing. I will be doing a photo demo VERY soon!

Sue Burley January 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Made this up yesterday morning. Thought it tasted just OK at first but after a couple hours in the fridge it was wonderful. I took it to work today with some yam chips and my coworkers were very impressed with it. Will go into my to make often recipe file. Thanks. One question…how do you get it so smooth so it looks so nice. My spreads and dips with nuts are always chunky/gritty. Taste fine but do not look so good. I have a Vitamix but I only make half portions because its just me and it would not work in the VM. Maybe more liquid?? What do you suggest?

Susan January 12, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Yes…much better after a little time. I was actually going to add that to the recipe. You can use your vitamix to get it really smooth. If you are using the food processor, you just have to be patient. It takes longer than you would think. You can add liquid but I wouldn’t add more than a tablespoon at a time as the consistency can be tricky.

bitt January 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm

thank you! my naturopath told me to eat more tumeric but it is not always easy to think of raw recipes with tumeric in them.

Anastazia January 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Wow, thanks so much for all this info, & that yummy-sounding recipe, & that GEORGOUS picture!
I thought, though, that black pepper wasn’t good for the lining of the stomach…is there not something else that can have the same bebefits without the drawbacks of black pepper? Anyone?
I hope you don’t mind if I link to this on my FaceBook page! There’s a few people I know there that need to read it!
~Anastazia~

Susan January 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I do not have black pepper in the recipe. But I have also read that black pepper can help enhance the benefits. But every person is different as to how they react to food.

ramona January 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

Did you ever try something with fresh tumeric? I recently bought a handful, but don’t know how to use it (raw)

Amanda@thegrainsofparadise January 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I had 3 cases of MRSA staph last year. I read countless articles online that Tumeric ( and Manuka Honey ) helps speed up recovery so I gave it a try! The results were amazing! I’ve now been staph free for a year!

Laura January 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Where do I find turmeric? Can I buy it at my grocery store?

Susan January 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Yes…it is a spice.

do you think organic coconut - the kind you use for cooking, would work in this recipe? February 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I just started eating raw and love it – about 4 weeks now. Going to a party. Thought this would work along with the tomato basil appetizers. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. Michele

Marcia February 11, 2010 at 4:37 am

Beside all said, i just found out one more benefit: for arthritis – take a glass of raw almond milk warm with 2teaspoon of turmeric, mix and this make miracle!
My friend is a massage-therapist and begun to feel her fingers with pain as she uses all the time her hands! She already does not feel pain neither swallow –
- it is great for immune system too!

I have spice and last summer i got many roots at my farmers market and looks like ginger root!
As i have ginger root plant at my garden and already have been eating my own ginger, i decide to make the same with my turmeric root! I took one – divided each point and plant… Last month after big green leaves came out as a plant, very similar to the ginger leaves (i plant one side the other in very big pots) there was 6 turmeric roots beautiaful ! It is great as fresh and you just grind it and use a spoon as it grated!
The color is like yellow orange… amazing!
This is a must try Susan! Thanks!:)

megan March 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm

If you are pregant do use turmeric sparingly. It can possibly cause miscarriage because it attacks everything foreign in the body – this possibly includes the unborn child.

Randahl November 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I’d like to add my two bits that turmeric is also good for tendonitis and muscle strains! I discovered turmeric while I was playing Water Polo in college, and after taking a pill or two of it a day, I simply did not get injured…or if I did, I didn’t feel it or see it!

I’d also like to second Susan’s comment about checking Asian grocery stores for young coconuts…granted I have only lived in places where there is a fairly large Asian population (The greater bay areas of CA and FL) but I would wager that if you could FIND an Asian grocery store, you can find at least frozen young coconut flesh, if not the fresh nuts themselves :)

As I understand it, some internet stores will ship you a big package (like 10 or so) fresh whole young coconuts if you wanted to go big ;)

ben December 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Turmeric is native to India, and Ayurveda, India’s ancient science of well-being, advocates using it liberally for its anti-inflammatory properties. I used two pinches in Susan’s Potato Pancake recipe, and it gave me beautiful golden cakes.

ben December 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I’ve been vegetarian since birth & raw for 5 years. Susan, you are one of the most creative raw chefs around. I put you on par with Russell James & Matthew Kenney. Keep up the good work!

shail December 30, 2010 at 1:20 am

would u like me to post a great recipe with raw turmeric?

Susan December 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm

When the forum becomes live in January, that would be a great place for it.

markus leming February 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

How many persons is this for? One?

Susan February 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Depending on how you use it…I would think at least two.

KellyPan March 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

When you say Agave.. is there any substitute?.. I have raw agave syrup but have never seen agave available in any store around here.. the NW can be on the lean side..especially in the winter months

Susan March 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

When I say agave I mean Raw Agave Nectar or syrup. :-)

Jonathan May 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Looks wonderful! Will definitely try this!! NB: for orthodox raw foodists, powdered turmeric is prepared by boiling the roots for several hours and then dried in hot ovens–so one doesn’t have to be speaking technically to say that it’s far from raw! (not orthodox here but wanted to mention it for those who care!)

carol Prichard August 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Where I am there are heaps of fresh turmeric, I have only ever used the powered kind. H ow can I incorporate the fresh turmeric, grate finely perhaps?

Susan August 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

I haven’t used fresh…you will have to experiment. Cheers!

Marilynn September 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

Vegan for several years and am new to raw. Where may I get raw coconut and best way to extract the meat? Many thanks! Recipes are wonderful.

Susan September 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I am not sure where you live, so you will have to do some research in your area. Whole Foods carries them as do many Asian grocery stores. For extracting, see: http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-food-all-about-young-coconuts/

Shawndra Higgins September 15, 2013 at 10:49 am

I’ve heard that turmeric coupled with pepper & coconut oil has helped to clear up psoriasis sufferers. I’ve had gel capsules that contained tumeric in them, but I’ve never TASTED it. Could you please describe the taste of this lovely looking dip. Maybe make some comparisons to other dips if you can? Thanks! :)

Susan September 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Since turmeric comes from the ginger family, it does have a little ginger flavor but is more bitter. It is also a tiny bit peppery.

adam November 28, 2013 at 4:19 am

hi there tumeric enthusiasts.My gal just wipped up some of this wondrous dip. Delicicious… Rawsome! So just wondering the psoriasis application is that topical?

Dianna Riley May 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Hi Susan,

If I’m using fresh turmeric root, how much do I use for this recipe?

Susan May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

You will have to experiment. Usually when you use fresh vs dried you use the ratio is 3 to 1 (fresh to dried).

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