Hattie’s Garden is harvesting an abundance of beautiful fresh turmeric root this week. This has been a most requested spice item from our customers for a while. We also will have freshly harvested young ginger available this week, as well as sweet young carrots.
Fresh turmeric is a bright orange root-like subterranean stem famous for powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. A member of the ginger family (zingiberaceae), it has been used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for centuries to heal wounds, treat skin conditions, inflammations and infections.
Fresh herbs and spices are almost always more desirable than their dried counterparts, and turmeric is no exception. Fresh turmeric is less bitter than dried turmeric. In the same way that its relation fresh ginger is different from dried ginger, so too is fresh turmeric.
To successfully use fresh turmeric, wash the root of any dirt and scrub it well. You don’t need to peel the turmeric, though some people prefer to. You can grate it with a microplane, ginger grater or the small side of a cheese grater. Turmeric can also be smashed with a garlic press, or pestle and mortar. Note: Wear gloves while grating it if you don’t want yellow fingertips.
Fresh turmeric (and ginger) will last in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Make sure it is dry and place in a plastic bag. Many customers buy enough for the year and freeze it. Wash well, place in freezer in airtight container and grate as needed and return to freezer. The flavor will surpass that of any ground turmeric you will ever buy!
The general rule of thumb for converting dried herbs or spices to fresh in a recipe is 1-to-3, so 1 teaspoon of dried spice is equal to 3 teaspoons — 1 tablespoon — of fresh. Roughly 2 inches of fresh turmeric root will yield 1 tablespoon of the freshly grated spice.
How to use fresh turmeric
Now you know why fresh turmeric is good for you — you need to know how to eat (or drink) it. Here are a few simple and tasty ways to enjoy the delightful zing of this detoxifying stem:
- Add grated turmeric root to stews and soups for a warm flavor.
- Add it to rice or other whole grains before cooking.
- Stir some grated turmeric root into your tuna, egg, or tofu salad.
- Whisk fresh turmeric root into a vinaigrette or any other salad dressing.
- Make a compound butter.
- Blend it into smoothies.
- Grate into a marinade for chicken, fish or vegetables.
- Thinly slice or chop into tiny matchsticks for a lively addition to green salads.
- Use with fresh ground pepper to enhance absorption of curcumin.
What’s Available This Week
The following will be available at Hattie’s Garden on Thursday & Friday from 2 to 5 located at 31341 Kendale Road in Lewes, or at the Saturday Fall HLFM from 9 to noon located at Shields Elementary School Parking Lot (Savannah Rd. & Sussex Dr).
If these times/dates do not work for you, please email Hattie to make other arrangements.
- Fresh Turmeric Root — Its earthy, exotic aroma and flavor make it a delicious addition to many dishes.
- Fresh Ginger Root — This ginger is not anything like the tough, gnarled-rooted kind you may be used to getting at the supermarket. Fresh young ginger is juicy and plump, with pink at its tips from where green stems shoot forth.
- Loose Leaf Lettuce — Triple-washed, bagged, and kept cold for you in our coolers.
- Young Arugula — It’s young, clean and flavorful. Triple-washed and kept cold for you in our coolers.
- Hakurei Turnips — Sweet, crunchy, and great raw in a salad, yet versatile enough to be added to soups and stir-fry.
- Young Carrots — The taste of fall carrots only gets better and better, and we hope to harvest carrots for every Saturday market from now until our final Saturday, November 23 market.
- Baby Swiss Chard — Tender and delicious.
Yours in the Garden & Market,