turmeric tea

My desk is covered with printouts about reusing cooking oil, turning old cooking oil into biodiesel, maltrodextrin, MSG, and a recipe for making homemade Funyuns. What began as a challenge by my daughter to make a healthier version, has blossomed into a two-part cooking series with her sixth grade class. The crazy part here is that none of us have even tasted a Funyun. It began as a discussion in class, while reading the ingredients on the package from another student. Isabella chimed in, and said “I bet my mom can make them healthier”. I love her confidence in me, but food can be a tricky issue with families. Not everyone has the same litmus test for what they should, and shouldn’t be eating.

In our house, seasonal is king, but it’s not the only measure with which I make decisions about what we eat. Ethical and environmental issues are a huge factor, too. As I began doing my research into making Funyuns, the one thing that became clear is we need Home Economics back in school. If we truly are what we eat, then how do we expect our children to understand what that means unless we give them the information they need to make an informed decision? I don’t believe in denying anything. I think moderation is key to both a healthy diet, and relationship with food. More important than moderation, though, is information. The truth about homemade Funyuns is that while they may be healthier, they are by no means healthy. They’re a deep fried snack. I thought it was important for the kids to see the process so they can take ownership of their decisions.

Before you get excited, thinking I’m sharing a recipe for Funyuns, I’m not. You can get the recipe, though, by buying Casey Barber’s cookbook Classic Snacks: Made From Scratch. My girls went crazy for them, devouring a few dozen in the blink of an eye (no joke, I turned around, and “poof” they were gone).

My real reason for popping in today is to share a tea recipe I’ve been enjoying for the past week. I’ve been achy for months now, even longer if I think long and hard about it. Two years ago, I found myself in physical therapy to help heal a major case of tendonitis in my knee. Even though I’m careful about that leg, the reality is that I’m on my feet most of the day, standing over the stove or counter. Arthritis also runs in my family. Panic creeps into my mind when I’m working with doughs, and feel the aches in my hands. If I can’t cook, what am I? Who am I?

Turmeric Tea | www.injennieskitchen.com

I decided it was time to take a holistic approach to my aches and pains. I remembered a turmeric tea recipe Heidi shared last year. In her post, she mentions that black pepper aids in the absorption of turmeric. It’s a common ingredient in almost every variation I’ve found on making tea. Here’s some more information on why. An interesting bit of research I did find is in a study conducted by the McCormick Science Institute, as in the spice company. Oddly enough, their clinical trial results were inconclusive as to the actual health benefit of turmeric, mostly with a note that more research is needed. Regardless of their findings, what I can say is that I feel an overall difference in my body since I added this tea to my daily routine (I drink it regularly, throughout the day). Lately, my tendencies have been more towards finding holistic, herbal, and homeopathic treatments for what ails me.

A few notes about my recipe for turmeric tea. It’s based on using fresh turmeric root. Many recipes use powdered, but one of the farmstands in Woodstock keeps a big basket of it at the front register. If you want to swap in powdered for the fresh in my recipe, a good rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of dried for each tablespoon of fresh.

The second printing of the magazine arrived this past weekend, so I’ll be spending Wednesday writing out labels, and stuffing envelopes. Just typing that makes me realize the insanity of it all, but I’ve so enjoyed connecting the names and places with all of you who take time from your day to visit here. The Winter Issue is in the works, and will be available for pre-order just before Thanksgiving. It’s scheduled to ship around December 10th

This recipe is now part of my new site, Simmering.  Join thousands of other paid subscribers now for only $5/month or $30/year (that’s six months free!). 





  • cherie

    Oh the traps into which our kids lure us!

    I remember being excited about that book – and then realizing that sadly, it was an awful lot of work and none of it would be something I’d want to feed my family often – so I returned it to the library and walked quietly away. The number of times we’ve purchased the snacks since then is probably only a couple of times a year – mostly on road trips – so I can’t imagine it would’ve been worthwhile.

    However what a great gift for the kids in that classroom – and I agree – so many life skills are neglected by the school – and not every parent has the time, knowledge or inclination to teach them at home

  • lori

    You are so right about Home Ec! We need to education our children about food and more–what about sewing and cleaning? But it’s hard to imagine that will happen given that children are being raised to think it’s okay to use an ampersand instead of spelling out “and.” We live in a well-funded area and still there’s lack of other essentials like a PE program and more. Education deserves more money. Uhhh. Such a nerve you hit with this. Sorry to rant.

  • Dee

    This is perfect timing! I just bought some fresh turmeric and am achy. Should the turmeric be peeled first and should this mixture be put in a blender first?

  • Melisa

    Are we supposed to do something to the fresh tumeric and ginger root? Or just leave it whole in the jar with the other ingredients?

  • Kathy H.

    I’m intrigued by this recipe! Would you suggest then to use 1-2 tsp powdered turmeric in lieu of the fresh? And I’m assuming the ginger is grated?

  • Liz

    I started adding turmeric to roast cauliflower/broccoli, roast chicken, fish several years ago after I read about it researching alternatives for my dog. He could not tolerate the prescribed anti-inflammatory, but turmeric and cauliflower gave him relief with no upset.

    After Heidi’s post, I started making the tea. I make it a cup at a time:
    1/2 T honey on a large spoon
    mash 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp cayenne (for heart & circulation), several turns of ground black pepper

    The juice of a lemon and water slightly less than boiling to top off my cup. If I have fresh mint, I throw that in also. Most health sites also state that turmeric needs fat in addition to black pepper for the best bioavailability to the body so I take a spoonful of peanut butter if I’m not eating some fat shortly.

    Most pharmaceuticals have their roots (hee!) in herbs and spices. For myself, I’ve also made the choice of herb, spice, essential oils AND the best I can do with fresh, scratch eating!

  • Mallory @forkvsspoon

    I have passed this along to a coworker who sprinkles tumeric on everything she eats for its healing properties. And boy do I agree with you on the home ec issue! We so need to education the youth on what we are putting into our bodies to fuel it for the long haul. It is something at which I feel we fall short.

  • Jennifer Perillo

    Yes, I read about the addition of fat for better absorption, too. Great tip about eating some peanut butter afterwards. Thank you!-JP

  • Jennifer Perillo

    So sorry about that Melissa. Yes, it’s grated, and I’ve updated the recipe with that correction. -JP

  • Jennifer Perillo


    Sometimes you can just wash the turmeric, but I’ve bought a few where it needed to be peeled. You finely grate the turmeric and ginger with a hand grater.


  • Alex

    I can’t get fresh turmeric where I live–anybody try with powered turmeric? I bit of coconut oil would be a good fat to add..

  • Carolyn

    Last week I was watching a television programme about a former Australian Prime Minister and he mentioned that he eats a tin of black cherries every day ‘to ward off arthritis’. Friends put him onto to this and he said it has worked for him, he is 85 years old.

    I have no idea if this does work but thought I would pass it 🙂

  • mrs. Friday Lynn

    Hi Jennie,

    I love that your on my e-mail page telling me
    about Turmeric Tea. Please keep on sending
    me Health and good stuff for me things that I can
    put in my body because I have R.A.

    Mrs. Friday Lynn

  • Pam

    I just read from your link that turmeric kills cancer cells. Any chance I can get the name of that farm stand that sells it, or just the road it’s on, as I’m heading south past Woodstock next week to take my sister for her 2nd chemo treatment in the Hudson Valley. It wouldn’t hurt to offer her this tea, the ginger could also help with the nausea. I know you’re busy, thanks if you have the time to answer.

  • Ksenia

    Isn’t this wonderful? A friend of mine turned me onto making your own turmeric tea to ward off a sore throat or general achiness a year or so ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It really works and warms you right up!

  • Brandi

    My husband has arthritis and he takes turmeric and ginger daily for his inflammation. He has done this for two years, along with eliminating beef and pork. His rheumatologist was surprised with how well he was responding to dietary changes without taking biologics (Enbrel etc).

    I really need to work in turmeric into our diet more often–actually ever. I think of it as an ingredient in chow chow and bread and butter pickles. Not sure he would drink the tea but I can try it. Any suggestions on how to add it to food would be helpful.

  • Natalia

    Hi Jen! Reading the part about your daughter’s supreme confidence in your kitchen skills reminds me of the number of times mine has put me on the spot with extravagant demands, lol. Naturally if mommy cooks and bakes, there is nothing in the kitchen that is impossible for her right, haha. Well, anyway, I love reading your posts… think i’ve said that only a couple dozen times before… they are so full of life and inspiration. I’d love for you to check out my blog http://www.natsfoodstories.wordporess.com sometime. Its still very new, it might bring on a smile, a few laughs maybe, well check it out if you’d like.

  • Mary

    One of my husband’s neck cancer patients recently had a marked reduction in recurring throat tumors. When my husband asked if he had been doing anything different, he mentioned he has been taking turmeric capsules. My husband and I are on them now, too!

  • Noga

    Dear Jennie- thank you for this wonderful recipe. Instead of grating I mashed the turmeric and the ginger with a mortar and pestle and followed the rest of your instructions. Instead of jarring it I simply put it in a tea pot to which I’ve been adding hot water all day. It’s just great.

    Brandy: Add organic powdered turmeric every time you make eggs, scrambled or fried, along with some paprika. its delicious and a but mysterious 😉

  • Amy

    Hi Jennie, do you know how many tablespoons of grated turmeric root you used so I can figure out the powder substitute? If I’m doing the math correctly, it seems to be 1.6 TBS. I cannot find the root locally. Thank you. I think this tea would be very beneficial for my father.

  • Jennifer Perillo

    Hi Amy,

    I don’t know how many tablespoons the root came out to, but I did list the weight, so maybe you can find it out that way. Fresh turmeric is a it messy (it’s used as a natural dye), so I just grate it directly into the jar. I’ve used the powder before, but do note that it is more bitter than the fresh root, so you might need to adjust the amount of lemon juice and honey to compensate for that. I hope it helps your father.


  • Amy

    Thanks, Jennie. 24 grams of water is 1.6 T, so I’ll go with that. But, I’ll do a bit more searching to find the root since that seems best for this. Thanks again.