Monday, 4 May 2015

All about Turmeric!

Hi foodies,

My name is Lisa Wilby and I recently joined the staff at Greener Village to manage the Teaching Kitchen and I want to share my love and knowledge of food with you!! Greener Village is turning into a Community Food Center which is extremely exciting for Fredericton. A Community Food Center is a welcoming space where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. A portion of what we do here as  a community Food  Center is to  provide people with emergency access to high quality food in a dignified setting that doesn’t compromise their self-worth. People can learn gardening and cooking skills and develop positive attitudes towards healthy foods.
Community members find their voices on the issues that matter to them the most and people find friends and support.

There are so many things going on here at Greener Village and we are just getting started. There are so many opportunities for our community in the area of food knowledge, food sustainability, food security and what those topics even means. 

It is difficult to know where to even begin.

This January we started offering cooking classes to our clients and we will welcome and ask for feedback to make sure we are giving them the information that they most need and want to receive.

Our Teaching Kitchen will also be available to rent for meetings, workshops and events. We will have our brochure online so check us out there or better yet, feel free to come see for yourself!!

We’d love to show you around and tell you about all of the exciting things happening here. But, for now I will tell you about one of my most favourite ingredients…






Turmeric comes from the root of the curcuma plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh.

It has a peppery, warm and slightly bitter flavor and it is related to ginger root. It is best known as the ingredient that gives curry it’s yellow colour but it also gives mustard it’s bright yellow colour.

Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong anti-oxidant.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric helps with brain function. It also leads to various improvements that can lower your risk of heart disease. It can help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Arthritis patients respond very well to curcumin supplementation (remember- it is an anti-inflammatory).
It also benefits depression and helps delay ageing and fight age-related chronic diseases.

That’s right folks- these are bold claims but in my opinion it is a powerful food. If you can’t find the fresh stuff, which is not easy to find, you can use it in powder form. Add it to some of your favourite dishes. It will add colour, a bit of flavor and a whole lot of benefits. It is related to ginger, so if you are unsure of what to do with it, add it to anything you would add ginger to.

This is what ginger looks like—very similar!

It can also be made into a tea- with ginger and lemon-  great for an upset stomach- grate or slice the ginger (as much as you want or can handle) , add  a teaspoon of turmeric to  4 cups boiling water. Simmer and add some honey and drink. Delicious!

Add a pinch of turmeric to rice to add colour.
Add some to your scrambled eggs
Put some in soups and stews.
Flavour a roast chicken with it—
Make your own curry powder and go to town!


What is Curry you ask?

Curry is a mixture of spices and you can easily make your own. It is a great way to use turmeric and get more of it into your diet and also to introduce your family to spices. Curry DOESN’T mean hot, it simply means a mixture of spices.

To make the following recipe into a paste simply add 2 cloves garlic, minced and 1 tsp minced ginger and 1 tlbsp lemon juice.

There are many styles of curry- East Indian, South Asian,  South East Asian, African, West Indian. Each region has its own blend of spices and methods of making it and what to add to it.

Milk products, such as coconut milk are used in some curries to soften the heat factor and yogurt is used as a condiment served with or on top of curries to add flavor and sweeten the heat.

Make your own mild East Indian style curry powder-

2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger ( optional) or use fresh if making the paste

Mix all together and store in an airtight container

Use this powder to make your own curry dishes. Yummy!!


Recipe of the Day

Easy Chicken Curry

1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
2 tlbsp veg oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 tsp curry powder (see recipe)
1 13 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1 13 oz can stewed tomatoes

Serve with jasmine or basmati rice

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with ½ the salt
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium to high heat until hot but not smoking

Brown chicken turning over once, about 5 minutes total. Transfer chicken with tongs to a plate.

Stir in garlic, curry powder into the fat in the skillet, then add coconut milk, tomatoes with their juice and remaining salt and bring to a simmer.

Add back the chicken along with any juices accumulated on the plate and briskly simmer, partially covered until chicken is cooked through. About 20 minutes.

Option- Add some raw spinach to the chicken in the last 3-4 minutes of cooking. Cover and let it wilt.

Serve with lemon wedges- a sprinkle of lemon at the end will add some zing and help to bring out the flavours.


Deelish!

Stay tuned for more recipes and kitchen know-how!

From the Kitchen,

Lisa











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