Turmeric is to inflammation as Captain Marvel is to Thanos: a butt-kicker. While the anti-inflammatory spice has long been a staple in Asian and Indian cuisine, the Western world has finally caught on that turmeric isn’t just wildly beneficial for the body, but also tastes pretty darn great, too.
You might already enjoy a hot cup of golden milk in the winter or use the spice in creamy soups and in oven-roasted sweet potatoes. But what about summer? I’m here with good news: Turmeric is an excellent way to bring the heat (sans sweat), and can be a star player in a ton of unexpected places from ice pops to creamy salad dressings. Is your mouth watering yet?
Keep reading for 10 anti-inflammatory summer recipes, all starring turmeric.
Consider this the grown-up version of the frozen summertime treat you used to enjoy as a kid. Instead of being loaded with sugar, turmeric is the primary ingredient. Beat the heat while you fight inflammation? Now that’s a major win.
Work the spice into a fresh summer salad with this recipe from Naturally Ella, which makes good use of asparagus, which is in season right now. Made with feta and kamut, it’s simple-yet-creative enough to get anyone out of a salad rut.
Even people who prefer eggs for breakfast can’t turn down a refreshing smoothie in the summertime. This one from Gimme Some Oven is made with coconut water, pineapple chunks, orange, ginger, chia seeds, black pepper, and of course, turmeric. Adding in the black pepper helps your body better absorb the turmeric, while the pineapple and ginger support good digestion. Not too shabby of a way to start the day!
Beat it, pepperoni—you can make your pizza way more interesting with the help of turmeric and some other ingredients. Instead of tomato sauce, this recipe from Half-Baked Harvest uses a pesto base—a lighter feel than the heavier red you might crave in more mild months. It’s also topped off with cashews for extra protein and crunch.
These turmeric-infused protein bites from My New Roots will sustain you on long summer hikes. Besides the starring spice, they’re made with cashews, mango, coconut, honey, vanilla, lime and sea salt. The turmeric adds some tang to the otherwise sweet snack.
Here’s an easy way to get more of the anti-inflammatory spice when you’re just hanging out with your friends and want a little snack. Courtesy of Well+Good Wellness Council member Lily Kunin, the ingredients list is pure and simple: chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt, and water. That’s literally it. See? Foolproof.
Taco night is at its peak during summer because so many of the fresh veggie fillings are in season now. (Cilantro salsa, anyone?) This recipe from Heavenlynn Healthy utilizes turmeric by working it into a fiber-rich bean-spinach filling. Also made with garlic, cumin, and oregano, it’s the secret sauce to upgrading your taco game.
Is there anything more refreshing during the summer than a smoothie bowl? The cool thing about this recipe is that is gives tips on how to use parts of the ingredients that would otherwise be discarded, like saving the turmeric root peels to make turmeric tea later. Fighting inflammation while saving the planet? Pretty awesome.
It may be too hot to savor a steaming cup of golden milk, but VeguKate proves that the turmeric tonic is actually just as enjoyable chilled in smoothie form. Try it with this recipe, which includes all the usual suspects (alt-milk, turmeric, and ginger) while combining it with some unexpected ingredients like cauliflower (fiber!), and chia and hemp seeds (protein!).
Buddha bowls are a healthy summer staple. The sauce in this recipe from Love and Lemons—made with turmeric, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and pepper—is what really elevates this dish. You’ll be licking your fingers clean after whipping up the creamy topping.
For more summer meal inspo, check out these 15-minute dinner recipes and join Well+Good’s private Facebook group, Cook With Us.
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