I have no idea why it's taken me so long to add turmeric to my rice. I used to do this with quinoa all the time until at long last I accepted and embraced my truth – I am a nutritionist that hates the taste of quinoa. I rarely consume grains nowadays (part of my postpartum health and sleep retraining that I talk about here). When I do, however, I love a good serving of organic rice (sometimes brown, sometimes white basmati or jasmine) and wow, oh wow, is it delicious with a heaping serving of turmeric in it.
Reminder: Turmeric Is A Powerhouse
There is basically a 33% chance that you found this blog because of turmeric – true story! My Turmeric Tea recipe is a driving force for my blog in which one-third of my traffic finds me, and for great reason! Turmeric is one of the most widely studied herbs on the planet. If you head over to Pub Med, one of the largest online libraries of health research, and search "turmeric", there are over 5,000 hits. If you search "curcumin", the main active component, there are over 13,000 studies.
Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory properties that have shown to be as effective as, and in some cases, more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
I also love that adding turmeric to your food can help offset some of the free radicals that are formed as natural byproducts of the cooking process.
Grilling meat on a BBQ has been shown to create heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs), a group of chemicals that forms with high-heat cooking of animal proteins. These byproducts have been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. However, some promising research shows that marinating your meat or fish in a turmeric-infused sauce, or brushing it on before grilling can offset the byproducts of HAAs.
Here are some of the super health benefits originally highlighted in this post.
12 Health Benefits of Turmeric
- Antioxidant: Curcumin has the ability to quench free radicals that can cause mutation in our DNA.
- Cancer Preventative: The cancer-causing effects of cigarette smoke, barbecuing, and smoke of any kind are suppressed by curcumin.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory powers are as effective as many anti-inflammatory drugs, including as effective as phenylbutazone and cortisone without the side effects.
- Liver-Protective: Curcumin has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver and is incredibly effective at increasing bile release, which helps with fat digestion.
- Wound Healing: Natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties to keep the infection away from cuts and burns.
- Super Brain Function: Curcumin greatly reduces the rate of mental decline. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain.
- Kills the Bad Guys: Curcumin has anti-microbial properties that fight the nasty guys such as Clostridium, Streptococcus, Entamoeba histolytica, and several pathogenic fungi.
- Natural Pain Killer: Helps reduce sensations of chronic pain. Yay to more of this!
- Promote Weight Loss: Helps manage weight, and aid in fat metabolism.
- Reduce Depression: A staple in Chinese medicine for helping lift mood in cases of depression.
- Boost the Effectiveness of Cancer Drugs: Studies have shown that turmeric can boost the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Skin Healing: Can help internally and topically with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Skip The Regular Rice and Do This With Cauliflower Rice
For those of you who may also be choosing to reduce grains, or just need a creative way to get your family to eat some cauliflower, with all of the flavours in this dish, you could easily swap the regular rice for cauliflower rice and have a winner on your hands.
These directions are from the post, 10 Awesome Uses For Cauliflower Rice, over on my school's blog.
Basic Cauliflower Rice
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- salt to taste
- Break your cauliflower into large florets.
- Using a food processor, process the cauliflower into smaller bits, until it resembles grains of rice (you may need to do this in batches).
- To cook your cauliflower rice, warm up your oil on low to medium heat (choose healthy oils for high-heat cooking, please). Sauté for several minutes until the ‘rice’ softens. Season with salt and your rice is ready to go!
To make this Turmeric Cauliflower Rice, see the directions below on when to add the cauliflower rice and other spices.
With my rice version below, I added a few extra things to the mix for more flavour and colour, and because I can basically get my son to eat anything if it's mixed into rice.
You are going to see this recipe creep up in a future post about the most epic meal this rice inspired.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 Tbsp ghee or avocado oil
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 - 1½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ cup chopped red pepper
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- In a medium pot, heat oil on medium and then lightly sauté onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant.
- Add the turmeric powder and mix well.
- Stir in rice, sea salt and then add bay leaves and water. Cover and simmer as directed on rice package (for white basmati, I simmer for 15 minutes, let sit for 10 and then fluff).
- Once ready, stir in chopped parsley and serve hot.
Sauté onions and garlic as outlined in the original recipe. Then add red pepper and turmeric and cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the minced cauliflower and salt and add more oil as needed to keep cauliflower from sticking.
Once cauliflower grains have 'softened', it's ready to serve. Stir in the parsley and away you go.