Turmeric, a relative of ginger root, is a vibrantly colored spice that is integral to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The spice has gained increasing attention because of its anti-inflammatory and brain-boosting capabilities, and yet another studyreported by the BBC last week points to turmeric’s potentially cancer-fighting properties.

Scientists believe that turmeric’s numerous health benefits can be attributed to its unique chemical composition. The compound that gives turmeric its characteristic yellow-orange hue, curcumin, is what researchers believe holds the key to the spice’s healing powers. 

cream, coffee, soup, milk, bread
Photo by Spoon University

Turmeric can launch a dish to visual and palatable greatness, but it can also destroy any inclination you have towards eating. The spice has strong, lingering qualities that some have described as downright awful. Save yourself the pain of choking down what feels like a truck ton of pepper with these five easy ways to incorporate turmeric into your everyday dishes.

1. Toss it over vegetables

Becky Hughes

Roasted root vegetables, cauliflower, and potatoes taste incredibly warm and perfectly peppery with a sprinkle of ground turmeric. Sautéed kale, collards, and other greens also pair well with the spice.

2. Blend it into a smoothie

Kathryn Stouffer

Give your smoothies and juices an added boost by mixing in fresh or ground turmeric. The fruit can balance out the mild sting of the spice. 

3. Stew it into soup

cream, soup, bread, sweet
Kendra Valkema

Add a tablespoon of powdered turmeric into a vegetable or other broth-based soup. The turmeric will make your soup feel even more warming, so this trick is perfect for when you’re sick and in need of an immunity boost.

4. Add it to egg or tofu scramble

rice, meat, vegetable, corn
Stephanie DeVaux

A dash of turmeric will artfully augment the taste and color of your otherwise neutral egg or tofu scramble. Green vegetables are, of course, welcomed to this scramble as well.

5. Simmer it in tea

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Jocelyn Hsu

Make your own turmeric tea with ground turmeric, boiling water, honey, and lemon. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric make make this drink ideal for soothing a sore throat.

These suggestions can subtly but scrumptiously enhance your commonplace dishes (and drinks). Keep in mind that it is best to consume turmeric in its whole or ground form, rather than in the form of a dietary supplement. When turmeric is prepared with other foods, its solubility increases and your body can extract more of the spice’s benefits.