Anti-Inflammatory Paste

Spices are awesome. They have the ability to transform dishes from boring to exciting and delicious. It is amazing what a bit of spice can do for cooking and baking... But have you used spices to make tea? Or a 'paste' to use with, well, pretty much anything? I've used whole spices to make tea before by boiling them with some water in a small saucepan, but I've never made a paste to be used as a tea base... And then I read this recipe by Heidi at 101 cookbooks. As usual, she has provided me with inspiration and I started making my own version of an anti-inflammatory paste. The star ingredient in this paste is turmeric. That yellow, peppery, slightly bitter spice that is most commonly used in curries and has the ability to stain pretty much everything. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is mostly cultivated in Asia. The turmeric root is a bit hard to find in BC in my experience - not impossible, but not easily accessible either. It looks a lot like ginger, but smaller, with a darker skin and bright orange flesh.

Why turmeric?

  1. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory (because of curcumin - turmeric's yellow pigment), working as effectively as anti-inflammatory drugs without the risks and side effects
  2. It is a strong antioxidant
  3. Might help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol & preventing oxidation of cholesterol
  4. Might help prevent neurological disease such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis and/or slow down their progression
  5. Has a traditional history of helping with menstrual disturbances, tooth aches, chest pain, bruises and upset stomach

Anti-Inflammatory Paste

This paste is super easy and fast to make. Using suggestions include:

  • Making tea with it. Just add hot water & stir. Adding a bit of lemon juice and coconut milk will make it extra awesome. Be sure to stir it as you drink
  • Adding a heaping spoonful to yogurt with some strawberries or sliced bananas
  • Mix with a bit of almond butter and spread on a rice cake, my trail mix loaf or apple slices
  • Mix it in curries & soups
  • Add a bit of lemon juice and stir into egg salad or chicken salad
  • Blend it in smoothies
  • Mix a bit in your pancake batter

Versatile? Yap, I would say so!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup honey (unpasteurized)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5-3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • A bit of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix everything together until a paste is formed
  2. Keep in a sealed container