Spotlight On: Turmeric
What’s this absolutely exquisite ingredient flowering and growing in California gardens? Answer: It’s turmeric!
But this plant’s real attraction lies beneath the soil. A member of the ginger family, turmeric’s fleshy roots (rhizomes) are what’s ground into the golden yellow powder spice used in Indian foods like curries as well as Asian and African cuisines.
Lately, it’s become known as something of a “superfood” for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as a remedy for joint pain, heartburn and digestion woes.
And today, it’s everywhere—especially in beverages. Imparting a mild earthy, sweet taste, you’ll find it as an ingredient in naturally fermented turmeric sodas, golden milk kefir, apple cider vinegar drinks, smoothies, detox tea and on and on.
You can buy it in the store, but it turns out it’s easy to grow—and right now is exactly the time to plant it. You'll need a semi-moist and warm location in your yard. If you don't buy the starter plant, propagation can be done by sprouting the rhizome (root) indoors from a plant root that still has the "eyes" on it. (note: some are treated to prevent sprouting) It takes seven to 10 months from planting to harvest.
Just think: If you plant now, you can enjoy this beautiful bloom, and by fall you could be grinding your own roots, and sipping your way to better health.