Did you know you can ferment the popular spice turmeric, making it even more potent?
Can adding turmeric spice to tonight’s dinner give you all these benefits? Perhaps not. If a substance is poorly absorbed, has a high rate of metabolism, or is rapidly eliminated it is considered a substance with low bioavailability. Curcumin fits this profile. (For more see the article “Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises.”)
So while it won’t hurt to sprinkle powdered turmeric on your favorite dish, there may be more efficient ways to integrate turmeric into your diet.
One option is to ferment this nutritional powerhouse. A study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found that the bioavailability of turmeric increased in rats when it was fermented. According to the study,
“Plasma antioxidant concentration was higher in rats administered fermented turmeric beverage than other turmeric products.”
How can we ferment turmeric? One option is to make a “turmeric bug.” This is similar to the ginger bug frequently used for beverages like ginger soda. (In fact, all of these recipes would be great with a ginger bug!) The process is quite simple and an excellent choice for those new to fermentation. Grate raw turmeric, combine with water and sugar and place on a shelf away from direct sunlight. Continue to feed the blend with more sugar and turmeric until there are signs of fermentation.
You can also create a similar turmeric bug with sea salt.
For detailed instructions see “How to Make Fermented Turmeric“.
What can you do with your turmeric bug?
1. Turmeric Lime Soda
This is a family favorite. With a hint of turmeric flavor and a sweet burst of lime this probiotic beverage is full of immune boosting punch.
For detailed instructions see Delicious Cancer-fighting Beverage: Turmeric Lime Soda.
2. Beet Kvass with Turmeric
Beet kvass is a wonderful cleansing tonic. Typically beet kvass is made with chopped beets, filtered water, and salt. Whey is often used a starter. Why not substitute a turmeric bug for the whey, or add turmeric root along with the beets?
For detailed instructions see How to Make Beet Kvass.
3. Turmeric Gelatin
Once you find a turmeric beverage you enjoy, it’s simple to transform into a delectable gelatin treat. Whisk 2 cups fermented turmeric drink (or turmeric bug) with 1.5 tablespoons Gelatin. (I prefer naturally derived gelatin sourced from grass fed cows.) Heat the mixture to allow the gelatin to dissolve thoroughly. Add honey or stevia for added sweetness.Pour into mold and refrigerate.
Find the recipe here.
4. Fermented Ketchup
I take my favorite ketchup recipe and add 1/2 cup turmeric bug to ferment the blend for a couple of days. The turmeric adds a nice twist to the spicy flavor. View the ketchup recipe here.
With all of its medicinal properties, fermented turmeric offers a welcome addition to any kitchen.