What Is Turmeric? Everything You Need to Know About 2016’s Trendiest Food

05/13/2016 at 01:40 PM ET

Turmeric spice
Subir Basak/Getty

Make room in your overflowing spice rack, because there’s a savory new go-to in town. Google recently named turmeric its “top trending functional food” so far in 2016, as it has risen in popularity by 56% from November to January.

The spice, an Asian cuisine staple and member of the ginger family, derives from the orange fleshy root of the turmeric plant. The root can be used fresh or, more often, dried and ground into a powder. Flavor-wise, it adds a subtle spice and slight bitterness that is versatile enough to contribute to everything from lattes to weeknight chicken dinners.

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Going beyond taste, turmeric is perhaps best known for the beautiful golden color it gives to curry dishes, and is often used as a budget-friendly swap for the much more expensive saffron.

Foodies are also searching up the spice for its healing benefits. According to WebMD, adding a little turmeric to your diet soothes a range of ailments including headaches, acne, diabetes, gum disease and inflammation.

If you’re ready to take it for a spin in the kitchen, try Haylie Duff‘s fanciful (yet quick and easy) spicy yogurt cauliflower recipe.

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Haylie Duff Recipes
Justin Coit

Spicy Yogurt Cauliflower
Makes: 3 to 4 servings

¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp. capers, chopped
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. roasted chili paste, (optional)
1 clove minced garlic
2 pinches ground turmeric
1 pinch chili powder
1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Whisk together olive oil and next 9 ingredients; set aside.

2. Arrange cauliflower on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, stirring once after 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil mixture; toss gently. Serve immediately.

Marquaysa Battle, @MarquaysaBattle

FILED UNDER: Food , Food News , Haylie Duff , Health , Recipes

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Showing 3 comments

Guest on

Helps with dark circles under the eyes

K.B. on

I have serious intermittent joint pain due to a chronic illness. I was tired of the partial relief from OTC pain relievers, and did NOT want to graduate to the serious meds my doctor wanted to give me. So, a friend of mine told me about turmeric working on inflammation body-wide. I tried taking it in capsule form every day, and within two weeks, my pain, even during a severe flare, was controllable.

e.e on

I recently googled this because I didn’t know what turmeric was. Thanks for writing this useful article.

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