Turmeric is a powerful root that has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive aid. The star in curries, broths, and soups, turmeric not only enhances the flavour of warming comfort meals but has a wide array of health benefits.
Its golden yellow colour comes from curcumin—the main compound in turmeric that delivers many health benefits such as reducing inflammation, alleviating joint pains, and lowering cholesterol levels. But, you may be wondering which type of turmeric is better? Dry or fresh? In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between powdered and fresh turmeric so you can make an informed decision when you’re out shopping.
Dried turmeric is typically made by peeling, boiling, and drying fresh Turmeric. Once this process is complete, the turmeric is usually then sold ground or in its whole form. This process can cause turmeric to lose some of its essential oils and pungency. Despite this, dry powdered turmeric still provides warmth and colour and is a great alternative if you can’t easily purchase fresh turmeric.
Things to watch out for when purchasing Turmeric Powder
When purchasing powdered turmeric check out your local ethnic and speciality spice shops. Often these shops have fresher stock with faster turnover than your regular supermarket. Pay special attention to the freshness and aroma of the turmeric powder. Old turmeric powder typically loses its pungency over time so if it’s possible take a quick smell to determine the quality of your turmeric. Once, you’ve purchased your turmeric be sure to store it in an airtight container to ensure it is free from air exposure. Store your turmeric away from any direct sunlight and your powder should last for an entire year. Where possible always purchase organic turmeric.
A close relative of fresh ginger, fresh turmeric has a close similar resemblance. You can purchase the rhizomes whole, or cut them into discs or even matchstick-shaped pieces. Depending on how old the fresh turmeric is, it could have a dry outer layer that should be gently peeled away to reveal the bright orange flesh underneath.
Things to watch out for when purchasing Fresh Turmeric
When selecting fresh turmeric, choose smooth, firm roots and store in the fridge, unpeeled, in a zip-lock bag. When you’re ready to use, cut off both ends and peel gently. Firm rhizomes are often the freshest whereas withered or squishy turmeric usually indicates the turmeric is old.
Both fresh and dried turmeric provide health benefits. fresh turmeric is ideal for salads, juices, and teas Because it doesn’t leave you with the powdery flavour that dry turmeric can occasionally leave behind. While turmeric powder is fantastic for soups, curries, and stews where using fresh turmeric would require a lot to provide the same flavour. Both fresh and powdered are excellent in their own right. If fresh turmeric is available, pick it. If not, use a high-quality, preferably organic turmeric powder.