Turmeric’s Going Mainstream

Afke ZonderlandResident Raw Foodie,’ Afke Zonderland shares how easy it is to live a whole-food philosophy and make the healthiest choices for yourself and your family.

Her strategies and recipes are sure to provide you with plenty of food for thought, not to mention fresh ideas for using greens, herbs, spices, berries, fruit and roots in everyday meals and beverages that will protect your health – and please your palate!

A shining star within the gluten-free and health conscious community in British Columbia and beyond, Afke is a Raw Food Chef and CEO of Okanagan Rawsome.

turmericTurmeric’s Going Mainstream
Referred to as “Indian saffron” in medieval England, turmeric wasn’t understood or valued for a long time. People used it as natural food dye instead of as the unbelievable healing agent it really is.

mustard turmeric

Learn more …

With a peppery, warm and bitter flavor, the mild fragrance of turmeric resembles orange and ginger, which makes it a national favorite in curry dishes dating back centuries. Prefer hotdogs over Indian cuisine? You can feel a little better about your questionable meal knowing that the bright yellow squiggle of mustard is giving you a tiny dose of the world’s most effective anti-inflammatory plant root.

Inflammation causes major grief and chronic pain depending on where and when it flares up. In recent studies it was found that aspirin and ibuprofen fared poorly when compared with the effectiveness of curcumin. Current research is closely looking at curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, as being valuable for depression and diabetes, longevity and memory. Especially encouraging are the findings that show turmeric as a powerful adversary to cancer.

turmeric gluten free cookingI buy turmeric in powder form as well as fresh roots. Turmeric roots look like baby ginger roots and are plant cousins. They both grow in sub-tropical climates and take 8 to 10 months to mature. We might possibly grow them in a green house on home turf as long as we protect them from frost.

Turmeric Tea & HoneyA mix of ginger and turmeric roots, peeled and chopped into small slices has the making of a lovely golden tea. Just simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly, strain out the bits and add honey.

turmeric-face-mask-1I like to have a pot of turmeric honey around to add to yoghurt or spread on a cracker or toast.

As I am writing this, my face is covered in a mask of yoghurt, turmeric and honey. Here is hoping that I won’t have a lovely yellow glow for the next few days instead of that youthful look I am aiming for!

turmeric rice

image eattobeat.org

Ginger and Turmeric Rice
(from www.eattobeat.org, a website especially designed for cancer patients)

  • 1 cup basmati brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, peeled and grated*
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  • Pour the dry rice into a bowl and cover with cool water. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain.
  • While rice is soaking, put on a kettle of water and bring to a full boil.
  • Add the coconut oil, garlic, and ginger to a medium-sized pot and heat to medium. Sauté until very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, turmeric and salt, and sauté an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of boiling water, reduce heat and simmer, covered until water is absorbed, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • A few minutes before rice is finished cooking, stir the fresh lemon juice and dried cranberries into the rice. Re-place the cover and continue to cook.
  • Serve with fresh cilantro and pine nuts alongside your favorite main dish.

For serving:

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts

Note to editor: Face is yellow this morning! Learn more about turmeric facemasks!

Also by Afke:


Afke Zonderland and Co-Founder/daughter Anna, have turned Okanagan apples and carrots into a made-in-BC success story.  They’ve mastered mixing what farmer’s grow in the Interior with carefully sourced spices and sprouted seeds, nuts and fruit. The tincture of time + low temperature results in convenient, portable power-packed crisps in four flavors! Great gluten-free fuel for the health conscious, celiacs and athletes alike! Watch the video!

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