Ginger & Turmeric Powder: How-to


Make Your Own at Home for Health and Cooking


Ginger and turmeric powders are not only great for enhancing the flavors of our foods, but many people like the nutritional benefits of these roots as well. Curcumin, the bioavailable nutrient in turmeric that is in the news, is not unique to turmeric. It is found in ginger as well. That is because turmeric and ginger are botanically related to each other. Ginger does not function the same way as turmeric in your body, but it has its own nutritional properties.

The ability to make these powders at home, fresh and preservative-free, is simple using either a dehydrator or air-drying. Both can be used in teas, smoothies, herb/spice blends, and general cooking for their taste and nutrition. The taste of both freshly ground ginger and turmeric will be more intense then store-bought powders, so use a light hand until you get used to your new powders.

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Uses for Ginger Powder

  • Ginger can be added to stir-fries or curries and in marinades.
  • Dried ginger works well in puddings, flapjacks and fruit cakes or stewed fruits, particularly when paired with citrus and apple.
  • Delightful added to hot or cold tea. Pair it with citrus for a wonderful flavor.
  • Ginger brings wonderful zest to hot, creamy soups. Add it to carrot, butternut squash, or pumpkin soups.
  • Ginger mellows and spices up fish. Most meats do well with this pairing also and ginger helps to tenderize and intensify the flavors.
  • Ginger is frequently used in sweet baked foods like pumpkin pie or zucchini bread.

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Uses for Turmeric Powder

  • Add it to egg scrambles and frittatas.
  • Toss it with roasted vegetables.
  • Add it to rice, pasta, or grains like quinoa. It adds nutrition and color to an otherwise boring side dish.
  • Try it with greens. For a quick side dish, sauté some fresh greens (kale, spinach, etc.) in some olive oil and turmeric. Add fresh garlic and a dash of sea salt too.
  • Use it in soups and stews.
  • Blend it into a smoothie. Turmeric is perfect to drink as a tea, or drink Golden Milk.
  • Stir up a curry powder or add to other spice blends.
  • Make homemade mustard. Turmeric has long been the spice that gives mustard its distinctive yellow color.
  • Make Golden Honey. 1 tablespoon of powdered turmeric with 7 tablespoons of raw honey will help in cold and flu season.
  • Turmeric is a natural food coloring. Use the powder as is to color foods. Or just boil some water, whisk in enough turmeric to create the yellow shade you want, and boil for 3 to 5 minutes to make a liquid dye. Allow it to cool and store refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks. If you want to use it to dye Easter eggs, simply add some vinegar to the dye.

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Approximate Measuring Equivalents

Ginger

  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger = 1/4 teaspoon dried, powdered ginger
  • 1 inch fresh ginger = 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

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Turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric = 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric = 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric

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Dehydrating G & T

Dehydrating Ginger & Turmeric

NOTE: When using turmeric, be careful of its color: it can easily stain hands, countertops and chopping boards. Immediately wash any area turmeric touches, and consider wearing gloves to prevent staining your hands and fingers.

  1. Choose firm rhizomes and avoid soft, dried, or shriveled ones. Wash and dry the roots thoroughly before cutting. Depending on how tender or mature the rhizome is, you may want to scrape off the peel before using it.
  2. Both ginger and turmeric may be cut into shaved slices or grated with a microplane, cheese grater, or pulsed in a food processor. If slicing, 1/8 inch thick works well to maximize surface area. The thinner the pieces are, the faster they will dry.
  3. Lay out on mesh lined trays and dehydrate at 95-100°F approximately 2-6 hours or until pieces are dry and crispy.

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Air-Drying Ginger & Turmeric

  1. Choose firm rhizomes and avoid soft, dried, or shriveled ones. Wash and dry the roots thoroughly before cutting. Depending on how tender or mature the rhizome is, you may want to scrape off the peel before using it.
  2. Both ginger and turmeric may be cut into shaved slices or grated with a microplane, cheese grater, or pulsed in a food processor. If slicing, cut the root into paper-thin slices, using a sharp knife or grate the ginger root, using a cheese grater.
  3. Spread the sliced or grated ginger root in a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or bamboo tray strainer/screen.Bamboo Tray Strainer
  4. Place the baking sheet of ginger root on your kitchen counter with a light, protective cover (like cheesecloth) over the tray(s). Check and turn the pieces each day. Depending on the climate/humidity, it can take anywhere from three days to upwards of a week to completely dry.

 

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Ground G & T

Grinding Ginger & Turmeric Powders

  1. Grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or high powered blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or NutriBullet.
  2. Be sure to seal the lid well if using grinder or blender. As well, make sure the dust has settled inside the chopper before removing the lid.
  3. Because these roots are fibrous, pulse your machine for several minutes until you no longer hear pieces clicking around inside the canister.
  4. If you still have root pieces within the powder, sift these out and regrind.
  5. If it does not grind to a powder and you experience clumping, the pieces are not dry enough. Put the powder back into the dehydrator and dry at the same temperature for another hour or so. Re-grind if necessary.
  6. Store it in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. As long as the powder is stored properly, it will last 6 months to 1 year.

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Recipes

Perk-up Citrus Tea

Ginger Citrus TeaMakes about 25 1-cup servings

Ginger Tea is soothing during illness and tummy upset or as an everyday immune booster.

Ingredients
2 lemons
1 orange
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 cup raw, organic honey

Directions

  1. Thinly slice lemons and orange with the rinds intact. Remove the seeds and add to a 1 quart jar. The rind contains all the natural oils and will help flavor the tea.
  2. Add Ginger and turmeric powder and shake to distribute throughout the citrus slices.
  3. Add raw, organic honey. Give it a good mix and store it in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before using. The honey will draw out the liquid from the citrus and it will become very syrupy.

To make tea: Mix a heaping tablespoon of this tea mixture into a cup of hot (not boiling) water. Not only does it taste great, but the honey will coat your throat and help with sleep and better health.

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Basic Curry Powder

Curry PowderIngredients
8 parts ground coriander
4 parts ground cumin
1 part turmeric
1 part cayenne or paprika

Directions

  1. In a bowl, add all ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (away from heat, light, AND humidity).

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Golden Milk Tea

This is an ancient Ayurvedic recipe that carries the properties of turmeric (including black pepper and coconut oil as boosters) in a drink you can sip every day. Many people like to end their day by drinking a warm cup of golden milk. While some people find it soothing, and perfect before bed, others enjoy it first thing in the morning and even drink it in place of coffee.

Golden Milk TeaTo make the paste:
1/4 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons turmeric powder

  1. Bring filtered water to a low simmer and then mix in turmeric, stirring constantly until it makes a thick paste (this can take 5-10 minutes), adding more water as needed.
  2. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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To make the golden milk:
1/2 teaspoon turmeric paste
1 cup milk (dairy, goat, nut, oat, rice, or soy)
1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch to 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Mix turmeric paste with milk in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in coconut oil, cinnamon, and black pepper before drinking.

(You can also add other spices like ginger and honey or maple syrup for some sweetness).


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