Ubud has a whole raw, organic, health food thing going on. Fueled, I imagine, mostly by the expat community and the tourists coming through, the town has yoga studios, health food stores, organic restaurants, and raw food cafes. While I generally eschewed the raw food restaurants in favour of actual Balinese food, one of the health food drinks on most of the menus, which I love, wass turmeric juice. It was prepared in different ways in different places – sometimes as part of a smoothie, other times just as a juice.
For the last year or so I’ve been loving this turmeric tea of a morning. At the moment though, Brisbane is going through a crazy heat wave. Too hot to be drinking hot drinks. But I wanted to keep drinking my turmeric tea, so I recreated the cold versions that I drank all through Ubud. It is actually really easy to make – it is just a matter of preparing the ‘syrup’ ahead of time, and away you go. The style of turmeric juice I enjoyed the most in Ubud included a mixture of coconut water and lime juice, which I’ve replicated here.
Turmeric itself is kind of an acquired taste. It is earthy, slightly bitter, and slightly peppery. It has a strong flavour that sits beautifully with the honey in this juice. Turmeric is most common in Indian cooking, and is native to India. It thrives in warm wet climates, and is also native to a few other countries, including the north of Australia. You’ve most probably seen the powdered stuff, but raw turmeric looks kind of like ginger, except that it is bright orange. And a word of warning – it will stain EVERYTHING (including your hands) bright yellow.
Although I don’t usually wax lyrical about the health benefits of the recipes that I put up here, I’m going to take a few moments to talk about why this drink is all kinds of good for you. I originally started drinking turmeric tea for its anti-inflammatory properties (for my problem skin, you see). It is also said that turmeric has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties, and is supposed to be good for digestion, liver, and kidneys. Not bad, huh?! I’ve added ginger to this juice primarily for the taste, but it is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and to be good for digestion.
That’s is from me. Go forth and juice.
Turmeric & Ginger Juice
Turmeric & Ginger Syrup
40 grams fresh turmeric
40 grams fresh ginger
¼ cup honey
Peel the turmeric and ginger. Roughly chop and crush in a mortar & pestle (alternatively, you can coarsely grate or finely chop the turmeric and ginger).
Add the crushed turmeric and ginger to a small pot along with two cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer, lid off, for about 40 mins. (the liquid should be reduced by about one third).
Strain the liquid into a jar or container and stir in the quarter cup of honey. Keep the syrup refrigerated until ready to use (it should last a couple of weeks in the fridge).
Turmeric & Ginger Juice
3 tbsps Turmeric & Ginger Syrup (see above)
Juice of ½ a lime
1 cup coconut water
Pour all of the ingredients into into a tall glass, stir, and drink immediately.