Posted by Molly McConnell on 10-11-2023
Did you know that adding spices to your food may help prevent indigestion while aiding absorption of nutrients?The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda tells us that one of the simplest ways to enhance the digestibility of your food is to add spices to each meal. Because many culinary spices have a light and/or warming action, they work like kindling in the digestive system to keep your internal fire burning bright. Turmeric is considered to be one of these vibrant digestive herbs, which means it makes a great addition to almost any meal, but especially those including heavy or damp foods like avocado, oats, cabbage and eggs. Turmeric is believed to strengthen digestion and eliminate toxins from the digestive tract.
Below you will find a few easy recipes to get you inspired to start cooking with turmeric everyday.
Turmeric Fried Egg
Ayurvedically speaking, eggs are considered to be heating, inflammatory and mucus-forming. While they certainly can be a wonderful source of protein and nourishment in the morning, they may also be difficult to break down if the digestive system hasn’t quite warmed up. Fortunately, turmeric is here to help!
Not only does turmeric have the potential to activate digestive fire, but it may counter the inflammatory and mucous-forming properties of eggs. This sets the stage for even more effective absorption and assimilation when the two are paired together. Feeling light, bright, and energized for the day ahead is possible — and digestive spices, like turmeric, may be a piece of the puzzle. Not to mention, your turmeric will likely turn a gorgeous shade of red when it hits the frying pan, making your breakfast all the more colorful and enjoyable.
- ½ tsp ghee, coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp turmeric root powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Heat your pan (I prefer caste iron) over medium/high heat and add oil.
- When the pan is hot, crack your egg into the oil.
- Wait 30 seconds or so, and then as soon as the egg starts to cook (it will become more white than translucent) sprinkle your turmeric, pepper, and salt over the top.
- Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then flip and turn off the burner. (If you prefer a harder yolk, cook longer.)
- Serve and enjoy as desired!*
*My favorite way to eat a turmeric egg is with rye toast, fresh arugula, and a scoop of mild beet kraut for added probiotics.
Turmeric Golden Rice
Now that you’ve dialed in how to weave turmeric into your breakfast routine, let’s try a side dish that you can make with lunch or dinner anytime of year. Turmeric Golden Rice pairs well with basically everything and makes a great fried rice if eaten as leftovers the next day. Cooking with turmeric is a fun way to bring more vibrancy to your most simple meals without all the hassle of a complicated recipe. You are going to love how easy and delicious this is.
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
- 1½ cups water
- ½ tsp turmeric root powder
- Optional: 1 tsp ghee, butter or coconut oil
- Garnish: black pepper, lemon juice or fresh herbs
- In a medium sauce pan with a tight-fitting lid, combine well-rinsed basmati rice and 1½ cups of water.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Add turmeric and oil (optional), then turn the heat to medium/low.
- Simmer with the lid on for 12-15 minutes, until no excess water remains and the rice is perfectly defined.
- Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Garnish with black pepper, lemon juice and/or fresh herbs.
- Serve with your favorite protein* and cooked vegetables.
*I love to have Golden Rice with tofu, chickpeas, or lentil soup, plus cooked greens and an herby yogurt sauce. Sometimes I even eat it for breakfast as leftovers, by adding in a few vegetables like carrots and zucchini and serving it with a fried egg on top.
Turmeric Bedtime Milk
While you may have noticed golden milk popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores in recent years, it has long been incorporated into Ayurvedic wellness routines for thousands of years. Warm spiced milk is believed to support restful sleep by calming the wind element (vata dosha) in the body and mind. As this remedy grounds and soothes the nervous system, it has the potential to help you fall asleep faster. When you add turmeric to this bedtime recipe, it helps the milk digest to receive optimal nourishment and brings ease to the body after a long day. As a bonus, turmeric milk has also traditionally been used as a remedy for coughs in Ayurveda.
- 1 cup milk (ideally high-quality cow or goat’s milk, if your body can tolerate dairy. Coconut milk or almond milk is OK too).
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tsp turmeric root powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ⅛ tsp cardamom powder
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Honey to taste (remove from heat and then stir in)
- Optional: ½ tsp ghee or coconut oil
- In a small/medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine milk, water and spices.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on for about 10 minutes.
- Pour into a glass, straining the herbs if desired.
- Mix in honey to taste and optional ghee or coconut oil.
- Enjoy 30 minutes before bed.
Molly McConnell is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner who is committed to cultivating collective wellness. Guided by curiosity, embodied listening, and the rhythms of nature, Molly’s approach to Ayurveda is intentional and intersectional. As the cofounder ofCultivate Balance, she supports purpose-oriented people to come home to their bodies and restore resilience through nourishment, ritual, and routine. For a more immersive experience,Connect with Molly 1:1 or check outThe Reset for Resilience.