This golden root grows from a tropical broad leaf plant that looks a little like banana leaf and grows 4-6′ tall. Turmeric is in the ginger family and native to southeast Asia, which means our climate and similar altitude is perfect for this tropical beauty, which we plant in May and harvest beginning in October. The bulk of its growth occurs during our monsoon season- during the wet hot summers it is so fond of. We get a lot of questions about planting ginger and turmeric. You’ll want to wait to purchase turmeric for planting once it is more mature, beginning in February, for planting in May. Until then, just enjoy eating it fresh!
Okay so we love to grow it, but how and why do you eat it? Those of you that are familiar know the first few months of harvest yield a “baby” turmeric. That is, it has not cured yet and developed a fibrous skin. Rather, the whole root can be used without peeling and is best stored on the counter or in the freezer (for up to a year). Turmeric that is this young and tender may rot in the fridge, so just take care. You can download our Veggie Storage Guide here for a complete guide to storing all the veggies we grow, including turmeric.
Turmeric is widely used for stir fries, minced with garlic and ginger and tossed into the oil to get things started. It has a mild fragrant flavor that adds a brightness to dishes. If you add black pepper, the turmeric becomes 10,000 times more bioavailable and its health benefits are amplified. It is used medicinally to reduce inflammation of joints and to heal the gut. For an everyday meal, we like to mince it with garlic, add to an oil and fry up slices of tempeh, turning sides over to brown. Then serve with cabbage, rice, etc.
Golden Milk recipe:
Another great way to use it is golden milk, especially when the weather is a little chilly. Heat up a milk of your choice (vegan is fine) and add a thumbnail amount of chopped turmeric, then strain and add honey or sweetener of choice. You can also blend it all together in a Vitamix if you have one and let it heat up for five minutes in there, it will just have more fiber (although you can strain).
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