Turmeric Tonic

I love this turmeric tonic, it’s tasty, easy to make and really really good for you!!  This turmeric tonic is especially healthy as it is fermented, providing beneficial probiotics for gut health.  You can read more about fermented foods in my blog ‘Health Benefits of Fermented Foods‘.

Homemade naturally fermented drinks, such as this turmeric tonic, have been made for centuries.  They contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservative.  The process of natural fermentation results in a drink that contains healthy lactic-acid bacteria, that are beneficial for digestion.  However, natural fermentations may be a little unpredictable.  Due to differing sugar content, some ingredients ferment more quickly than others.  Therefore, your brew may ferment more quickly than expected, it may be extra bubbly or may have an extra bite.  So, keep an eye on it and after a few days, start tasting it until you are happy with the flavour.

Turmeric root

A bit about turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a wonderful herb that has been used for centuries in Asian countries for its many health benefits.  For example, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and has gut and liver-protective and healing actions.  Chronic low-level inflammation is thought to contribute to almost every chronic health condition.  Therefore, regularly eating a range of foods, including herbs and spices, that provide an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect helps to reduce chronic inflammation.

Turmeric may have a beneficial effect on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, diabetes, obesity, along with many other conditions.

The part of the turmeric plant used is the rhizome.  It looks a lot like ginger but is bright orange on the inside.  You can buy turmeric at many fruit shops and supermarkets.  Fresh turmeric can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.  It can also be stored in the freeze and grate while still frozen.

Turmeric is also available as a powder, which can be used in curries and spice blends as well as in turmeric teas and lattes.  When choosing a turmeric powder always choose a certified organic brand.  Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place and use within 6 months of opening.

To improve the absorption of the beneficial compounds found in turmeric it’s important to consume it with either black pepper, or a good quality fat.  Heating also improves bioavailability, along with using the whole rhizome.

Turmeric is considered safe in dietary amounts, however, it is best to seek advice from a health professional before using supplemental amounts of turmeric

a jug of turmeric tonic

Turmeric Tonic Recipe

Preparation time: 10mins

Fermentation time: 4 days

Makes: 3 1/2 cups of concentrated liquid

Ingredients

2 tablespoons finely grated turmeric

2 tablespoon tamarind paste

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

Method

  1. In a saucepan place the turmeric, tamarind, and half the grated ginger.
  2. Add 2 cups of water and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce to a gentle simmer and leave to cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Gently mash the mixture with a wooden spoon every few minutes as it cooks. 
  5. After cooking, remove from heat and allow too cool to room temperature.
  6. Drain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids.  You can keep the solids to make turmeric tea with.  Add 1 tablespoon to a cup of boiling water, along with some lemon, honey, black pepper and a pinch of chilli.
  7. To the liquid add the remaining ginger and the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Add additional filtered water so the total volume is 3 1/2 cups.
  9. Place in a 1L glass jar.
  10. Cover with a cloth (Chux, cheesecloth or muslin) and leave at room temperature for 3-4 days.  A warm part of the house is ideal.
  11. Stir several times a day in a circular direction with a clean metal spoon.  This step is very important.  I’m a bit fanatical and sir it every time I’m in the kitchen!
  12. When it starts to bubble on day 4 or 5 it is ready to drink
  13. It can be drunk immediately or stored in the fridge.
  14. The tonic is strong and is best diluted with water in a ratio of 1 part tonic to 3 parts water.
  15. If you feel like a bubbly drink use sparkling water.  This is my favourite way to enjoy turmeric tonic!

Some other recipes that use turmeric in include, ‘Spiced Lentil Soup‘ or ‘Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup‘.  You can even throw some turmeric or ginger into your favourite smoothie for some extra anti-inflammatory zing.

References

Dei Cas, M. & Ghidoni, R. (2019), Dietary Curcumin: Correlation between Bioavailability and Health Potential. Nutrients, 11(9), 2147. DOI: 10.3390/nu11092147

Hay, E. Et Al. (2019). Therapeutic effects of turmeric in several diseases: An overview. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 310.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbi.2019.108729

Hewlings, S. & Kalman, D. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Foods, 6(92). DOI:10.3390/foods6100092

Rahmani, A., Alsahli, M. & Aldebasi, Y. (2018). Role of Curcumin in Disease Prevention and Treatment. Advanced Biomedical Research, 7. DOI: 10.4103/abr.abr_147_16

 

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