Making tea from whole ingredients, like this Turmeric Ginger Tea, is faster and easier than you might think. This method makes a soothing drink with more flavor and benefits than using store bought tea bags. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe, HERE.
It doesn’t take much time on the internet to know that turmeric is everywhere these days. It’s like turmeric is the new wheatgrass, and all the cool kids are using it. But this humble little root is more than just a fad or a passing trend.
People have been using turmeric for centuries, both for it’s flavor and health benefits. Turmeric actually contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, called curcumin. When you hear the words “anti-inflammatory” you might think it’s only for joint pain or swelling… but in reality, pretty much everyone has inflammation in their body that they’re unaware of. Stress, injuries, and illness can all cause inflammation, which can lead to things not functioning as well as they should. Foods like turmeric that reduce inflammation can help keep our bodies working and feeling their best.
Plus, it just tastes good.
Turmeric is one of the main spices in Indian curry powders — it’s what gives them their golden color. All on it’s own, turmeric has a mild flavor. It’s earthy, and slightly peppery. I’d put it into the same category as ginger, but less sharp and zesty. If ginger is a violin, turmeric is a cello.
I like pairing it with ginger because they compliment each other so well. The turmeric mellows the spice of the ginger, and the ginger lifts the turmeric up a little. I also add some honey for sweetness, and a few black peppercorns. The flavor of the peppercorns is barely detectable in the tea, but pepper actually helps our bodies absorb the benefits of turmeric — together, they’re like superfood wonder twins.
As I’ve been working my way through these 31 Days Of Healthy Recipes, I’ve kept a mug of this tea by my side. I love having a warm cup in the evenings as I wind down, and it’s as much a mental ritual as it is a physical one, soothing away the stress of the day.
As it turns out, I also like drinking it while editing photos. In fact, as I write this I’m sipping a cup and munching on some of these rainbow rolls. It’s a winning combination, and one my (perhaps a little too stressed) body is grateful for.
- 8-10 thin slices ginger root
- 8-10 dime-sized slices fresh turmeric
- 3-4 whole black peppercorn
- 1-2 TBSP honey, to taste
- about 20 oz. hot water (2½ cups)
- Optional: splash of milk, or dairy free alternative, to taste (I like almond milk)
- If your ginger and turmeric are organic, there's no need to peel them. If either is dirty, wash first, then slice into discs as thinly as you can. Place the ginger, turmeric, and peppercorns into a small mesh strainer, and set the strainer over a saucepan. Pour in the water, and bring to a boil. (In the photos, I heated my water in a kettle first, but starting with cold water is fine.) The strainer should hang low enough into the saucepan that the ginger and turmeric are fully submerged in the water. If you don't have a shallow enough pot or a small enough strainer, you can let the spices steep loose in the water, then pour everything through a strainer when it's done steeping. (Just be careful of splashes if you do this, as turmeric will stain.)
- Once the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Let steep for anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on how strong you like it.
- Remove the strainer (or carefully pour the tea through a strainer to remove the spices) and stir in honey, to taste. If the tea has cooled down, rewarm as needed.
If you want to make a large pot of tea, increase the ingredients and steep in a large saucepan or tea kettle.
For quick individual mugs of tea, you can finely chop the turmeric and ginger (for quicker steeping) and place a spoonful of each, plus a couple peppercorns, into a small sachet of cheese cloth, or loose leaf tea bags like these. You can make a bunch of these at once, and place them in a plastic baggie in the freezer. Simply remove one from the freezer and plop it directly into a mug of hot water to steep, about 10 minutes or as long as you like. Add honey to taste.
Pro tip: turmeric stains like the dickens. Your mug and your saucepan will be fine, but I actually have a dedicated cutting board I keep around specifically for using with things like turmeric and beets that stain.
Variations: I love making this tea simply, just as it is. When I'm feeling fancy, sometimes I add a few pods of cardamom. To do so: lightly crush the pods under the bottom of a glass, or with the flat side of a knife, to break them open, then add to the pot with the other spices. You can also try using any other spices you like, such as whole cloves, a cinnamon stick, or star anise. Or you can go all-out with chai tea spices, and make a turmeric chai. If you need some inspiration, you can find my recipe for chai tea concentrate, HERE.
P.S. I found these loose-leaf teabags work really well for making pre-portioned servings. Just chop up the ingredients finely, add them to a teabag, and store in a plastic baggie in the freezer. See recipe notes for details.