Use fresh, organic turmeric rhizomes to make homemade ground turmeric powder. Organic is absolutely essential if you are planning on using turmeric for its health-promoting herbal properties.
Every morning I make a protein shake filled with fruit, greens, protein, and herbs. It’s a tasty and quick way to start my day. One of the ingredients I add is turmeric powder. While it is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, I use it because I like the taste.
Recently, on a trip to the Natural Food Store, I found an 8-ounce tub of fresh organic turmeric for a reasonable price. I’ll use these roots to dehydrate and turn it into turmeric powder, plus, I’ll try my hand at sprouting it.
Supplies Needed for this Project
- Several fresh turmeric rhizomes
- Kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Food dehydrator (I use the Nesco GardenMaster)
- Dehydrator tray covering (parchment paper or fruit roll trays)
- Mixing bowl
- Spice mill or coffee grinder
- Fine meshed sieve
- Mason jar and lid
- Gloves (optional, but recommended)
Ready the Turmeric Rhizome
Start by thoroughly washing each rhizome with soap and water, rinse well and pat dry.
Peel off the outer skin of each turmeric root. Compost the skin, it doesn’t contain any of the health properties found in the bright orange flesh and will reduce the potency of your powder.
Chop the root into thin slices of equal size. This allows them to dry evenly on the dehydrator trays and the even consistency will help when you are grinding it later.
The turmeric pieces will considerably reduce in size, so cover the dehydrator trays with parchment paper of fruit roll trays or the pieces will fall between the trays while drying.
Some people suggest that you boil the rhizomes before drying but I have not found that it is necessary to add the extra step.
Dry the turmeric pieces at 105°F for 4 hours. This will dry the roots thoroughly and the low heat will help the spice retain all of the nutrient value and enzymes.
Homemade Ground Turmeric
After the drying process is complete, it’s time to start grinding the pieces in small batches in your coffee grinder. Get ready by placing the fine mesh sieve over a mixing bowl to capture the finished product.
When you have ground some of the dried turmeric pieces, add them to the mesh sieve and use a spoon or spatula to move it around so the powder can fall through to the bowl. You will be left with a few larger pieces that will not fall through the mesh. These can be put back into the coffee grinder and processed further. This process should be repeated until every piece of turmeric has been reduced to a fine powder.
You may find, as I did, that no matter how many times you run it through the grinder, all the pieces will not reduce down to the consistency you want. Now is the time to bring out your mortar and pestle and finish the job.
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Heed one word of caution before making homemade turmeric powder; it will turn everything it touches yellow. If you choose not to wear gloves during the chopping process your hands will be stained for several days.
Is Making Your Own Turmeric Powder Worth it?
That depends on how much your rhizomes cost. This batch of powder started as 3.5 ounces of fresh turmeric root, which became .6 ounces when it was dried and powdered. This small batch of powder weighing in at .6 ounces ultimately cost me $2.62.
The freshness of this homemade ground turmeric can’t be beaten. It smells spicy and pungent, unlike the powder I purchased for my morning shake. In my opinion, If you can grow your own turmeric you’ll get the best value, freshness, and ultimately the best price.
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