How to Balance Too Much Turmeric
Adding too much of an ingredient is a common mistake with disastrous consequences. One of which is trashing a whole meal and the other ingredients you bought earlier. This is especially true when cooking with turmeric, as its excess will leave a bitter taste and upset everyone’s stomach.
What is Turmeric?
If you stumbled upon this article, don’t leave just yet. You may want to cook with turmeric once you’ve learned what it is and its benefits.
Most people recognize turmeric as a bright yellow culinary spice used mainly in curries. It has an earthy bitterness that complements robust flavors and adds depth to them. Turmeric also boasts a somewhat gritty texture. However, you may not feel this unless you use a substantial amount.
But in addition to being a spice, turmeric refers to a medicinal herb native to the South Asian region. A member of the ginger family, it was used in Ayurvedic and other traditional Indian medical systems. Now, you can find it as a dietary supplement considering the numerous benefits it offers.
Turmeric Health Benefits
Adding turmeric to your daily food intake can help improve both your body and mind. Here are the proven health benefits of this spice.
- Anti-Inflammatory Benefits – Turmeric contains curcumin, a natural substance with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can help combat chronic low-level inflammation, which may result in cardiovascular disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome.
- Antioxidant Content – Curcumin can help block the damage of free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that cause aging and other diseases. Moreover, the active ingredient in turmeric can help stimulate other antioxidants to take necessary action in the body.
- Improved Memory and Learning – Turmeric increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors. BDNF plays a significant role in making the protein which impacts memory and learning. That’s why several studies believe regular turmeric consumption can delay or even reverse brain diseases, especially age-related ones like dementia.
- Anti-Cancer Properties – Curcumin kills cancerous cells, inhibits the growth of blood vessels in tumors, and reduces the spread of cancer. There’s also evidence that it can prevent certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer.
- Countering Depression – Newer studies show that turmeric can help treat depression. As it boosts BDNF levels, it can reverse some changes caused by this mental disease.
How to Offset Too Much Turmeric
If you’re panicking because you’ve added too much turmeric, don’t worry. You can easily balance it out with the following methods.
Dilute it With More Ingredients
You can counter too much turmeric by adding more ingredients. This is relatively easier to accomplish as turmeric has a mild flavor.
Just make sure to do so gradually and constantly taste to check. This incremental approach will spare your dish from being trashed altogether. Besides, you can save the extra food for the next day or share it with your neighbors.
Dilute With Coconut Milk
Like turmeric, coconut milk is commonly used in curry dishes. That’s why it’ll blend easily with whatever you cook.
Even if you’re not cooking a South Asian dish, coconut milk will add body and flavor to your food. That’s because it can mute certain flavors, especially bitter ones.
Remove Some of the Spice
If you just poured turmeric into a liquid, you may be able to scoop the excess. That way, it won’t mix with the rest of your dish. You can later replace the liquid you discard with water or stock.
On the other hand, wash some of it off if you added too much in a dry rub. You can then add other spices to balance it out.
Add an Acidic Component
Adding foods with higher acidity can counter the bitterness of turmeric. If you’re cooking South Asian cuisine, add mango powder or tamarind powder or paste. Alternatively, include tomato sauce. This will distract everyone from the bitterness of excess turmeric.
Like acidic components, sweet ones can do the trick. However, you may want to experiment with a small amount before adding sweetness to your whole dish. Even then, opt for small amounts to prevent the sweet component from being perceptible.
Which Turmeric is Best for Cooking?
Now that you no longer have to worry about excess turmeric, you can experiment with it in the kitchen. The key to a great meal, though, is choosing the best turmeric. While you may find several varieties at the store, the best will always be organic turmeric.
Organic turmeric means the spice doesn’t include any additives that can prevent you from getting all the benefits above. Instead, you’ll enjoy more nutrient-rich spices since the plant itself grew in healthy, rich, organic soil.
Best Turmeric Powder for Cooking
Not sure where to start your hunt for organic turmeric? Here are three great options you can add to your shopping list.
- Anthony's Organic Turmeric Root Powder – Anthony’s turmeric powder is USDA certified and boasts high purity and intense flavor and aroma. This non-GMO powder also has a 2.5% curcumin content, ensuring you get all the benefits of the spice.
- FGO Organic Turmeric Root Powder – Sourced from India, FGO’s organic turmeric is certified organic by the USDA. Also non-GMO, this product includes no additives and comes in a resealable Natural Kraft bag.
- Organic Turmeric Root Powder – Offered by Organic Spice Resource, this turmeric powder is certified USDA organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. It has a minimum of 3% of turmeric, making it ideal for turmeric capsules and skincare products as well.