Turmeric is actually part of the ginger family, the Zingiberaceae to be exact, and they have may similar characteristics. So why not lump two recipes into one when they’re virtually identical?
Turmeric and ginger have been used historically for both cooking and for their medicinal purposes.
is a beautiful root with a yellow or deep orange center hidden under a thin layer of skin. Like ginger, they’re easy to grow. You usually can just pop a few pieces of your turmeric or ginger root into some well-draining organic compost and without much effort, they will grow into a gorgeous flowering plant you can harvest as needed.
Turmeric is used both as a tea and when dried, the powder is used in dressings, sauces, on vegetables, rice dishes, in drinks and smoothies.
Folklore has claimed that turmeric can help reduce tumor growth in cancer patients. This has not been confirmed in the medical community. Some also claim that turmeric when mixed with pepper can help with inflammation.
Another lovely rhizome, ginger has a strong flavor and beautiful aroma when chopped. Fresh minced ginger dried is used in dressings, sauces, on vegetables, rice dishes, in drinks and smoothies. Slices of ginger steeped in hot water make a delicious and soothing tea. Dried, ginger powder can be used in baking in things like gingerbread men and ginger snaps.
Even spices in glass jars come packed with tiny plastic inserts. It’s really frustrating. If you can’t find a bulk spice shop in your town or city, don’t fret! Ginger and turmeric, some spice staples in my kitchen, are really easy to transform into a long-lasting powder, just like the ginger and turmeric spice you’d buy at the store!
DIY Turmeric Powder
1.) Rinse your turmeric rhizomes, make sure to clean off any dirt.
2.) Place rhizomes in a pot and fill with water, just enough to cover all the roots.
3.) Boil the rhizomes for 45 minutes. It is important to boil the turmeric because it cures the roots. Curing the turmeric gelatinizes the starch, which allows it to dry faster and more uniformly.
4.) Strain the turmeric from the water (Note: save the water, this makes an excellent tea. You can also use it in baking or in smoothies!)
5.) Pat dry rhizomes on a towel
6.) Wait until turmeric is cool enough to handle and with a a sharp knife, slice turmeric in thin pieces about as thick as a nickel.
7.) Lay turmeric in a single layer on baking sheet or dehydrating tray. According to appropedia.org, the optimum temperature to cook them at is 140F/60C for 8-10 hours. You can also dry them naturally in the sun which will take about 15 days.
8.) When dried, process in a food processor until a fine powder. This took about 8 minutes total, but I let my food processor rest every minute for a few minutes so I didn’t burn out the motor.
After 3 minutes:
DIY Ginger Powder:
1.) Soak ginger in a bowl for 5 minutes, then rinse your ginger root under water sure to clean off any dirt.
2. With a sharp knife, slice into pieces as thin as possible, this will reduce cooking time.
3. Place on baking sheet in an even layer. and cook at 140F/60C for 6-8 hours until completely dry. You can also dry it naturally in the sun for 16-18 days.