Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Turmeric; Growing it and its uses

Turmeric is another common Asian herb often referred to as the “Queen of Spices,” its main characteristic is its golden colour. Turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its active ingredient curcumin, turmeric is used in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, arthritis, liver disease and cancer. It also aids in controlling diabetes and cholesterol levels.

Growing turmeric
Growing turmeric is very easy. It can be grown in pots or freely on the ground. The easiest way to start is by purchase pieces of turmeric that has little growth buds or new shorts on them. Sometimes if you leave pieces of turmeric on the counter top long enough, you would find new shoots appearing.

Whether you’re growing turmeric in pots or in the ground, you need nutrients dense soil, you can purchase at any plant shop, just tell the shop owners exactly what you’re going to plant and they would provide you with the best option. If you prefer to use the soil you have at home, purchase an organic fertiliser and but be sure to loosen the soil before planting. The soil should be able to hold enough moisture so it doesn’t dry out, but it needs to be free draining so the turmeric doesn’t become waterlogged.

Planting in the ground and pot
If you’re planting in the ground, clean the area in where you would be planting the turmeric and loosen the soil. Dig a whole 10 to 15 centimetres deep and place the turmeric with the growing buds facing up. Turmeric doesn’t seem to mind being crowed, but in saying that, you can plant them about 20 to 30 centimetres apart.
Turmeric only grows to about 2 to 3 feet in height.

How much water?
Turmeric needs a lot of moisture while actively growing. The soil should never dry out. Don't overwater because the water that drains away will take nutrients with it.

When to harvest turmeric?
If you are growing turmeric in the ground you can start stealing little bits of it once it is about 6 months old. Just dig carefully at the side of a clump. But the best time to harvest turmeric is any time after the leaves have died down. Usually it takes 8 to 10 months to get to that point. You can also replant some of what you have harvested.

Using Turmeric
Turmeric Rice Ingredients – using the steamed rice process, add 1 cup of rice, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon or less turmeric powder, a pinch of sea salt and bring to boil. When the rice is finished, add some olive oil, parsley, flax seeds and cayenne pepper. Mix well and enjoy.

Turmeric Egg Omelette Ingredients - In a frying pot, add some coconut oil, when the oil is hot, sauté for a minute some onions, spinach, finely chopped carrots and bell peppers. Add your eggs and season with turmeric, sea salt and black pepper.

Turmeric Frosting Ingredients – (Turmeric is also used as a natural colouring agent)
To a blender, add cashew nuts, which were soaked for at least 8 hours, some coconut oil, some stevia (or Xylitol as the sweetener), some vanilla extract (for a vanilla flavour), a pinch of sea salt, water, and then you add turmeric for the yellow colour.

Turmeric can also be used in smoothies, curry dishes and teas.