After being labeled a “superfood” so quickly even avocado got whiplash, turmeric has been popping up all over trendy food lists. Though research is still a little hazy on whether or not its health benefits are as extensive as everyone thinks, it’s safe to say turmeric has a positive impact when it comes to easing inflammation and joint pain. Plus, it adds a bright color and peppery taste to pretty much any meal, and works great in grains, soups, smoothies, and proteins (a.k.a. our favorite foods). So while there are plenty of food trends we’re ready to see go, turmeric is one we’re happy to have stick around.
If you’re not on the turmeric train yet and haven’t cooked with the root before, know that you can buy it ground or fresh. The fresh kind is similar to ginger: Peel the skin off and then grate or cut off pieces to cook with. Oh, and to settle the debate once and for all: two r’s, people!
This vegan bowl gets a peppery kick thanks to turmeric and paprika. The recipe makes four servings, so it is great for meal prep or at least lunch and dinner for two. With just five whole ingredients—chickpeas, kale, quinoa, yellow potatoes, and avocado—it is super easy to create. If you’re craving more protein, we suggest swapping out one of the starches for chicken or tofu.
If you like piña coladas, and gettin’ lost in the rain… you’ll love this gingery, fruit-packed smoothie. Made with pineapple, banana, nondairy milk, fresh ginger, and turmeric, plus a teaspoon of vanilla extract, this colorful drink has us dreaming of the beach. Add in a little Greek yogurt or vanilla protein powder to make it filling enough to be a meal.
Switching out brown rice for white or yellow rice is one of the simplest healthier eating swaps, but it can be a tough one to make. Ease into it with a mental fake-out: Add turmeric and vegetable broth and your rice becomes yummy yellow rice again! Paired with pan-fried tofu and sautéed spinach, this clean-eats meal might just become a new favorite.