January is the perfect month to find a new, warm beverage to sip during those long, cold winter evenings. The after-dinner snack call (or should I say scream) from your pantry and fridge seems to get louder this time of year, making nighttime munchies more difficult to ignore. Sipping on a warm beverage can keep you from answering that pesky shout from your kitchen.
My usual go-to teas are hibiscus, peppermint, decaffeinated green tea and the vanilla caramel from Bigalow is liquid dessert in a mug. But my new favorite is turmeric tea. It’s easy to make and enjoyable to sip. Best of all, the curcumin in turmeric is a natural carcinogen blocker. The exotic yellow pigment of curcumin has long been studied for it’s antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits. There is no specific amount of turmeric that is recommended but studies suggest that as little as 1/4 teaspoon can be beneficial. Adding black pepper to turmeric increases its bioavailability, significantly increasing curcumin’s impact. Even a pinch of black pepper can boost the level of curcumin absorbed.
I make this tea in a large batch and refrigerate whatever I don’t drink so I can reheat and drink it over several nights. After pouring the golden-hued tea in a mug, add a pinch of freshly grated black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime and a teaspoon of honey. Find a good book, put your feet up and enjoy! You won’t miss the cookies or chips!
Turmeric Tea with Honey and Lemon
4 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
Freshly ground pepper, fresh lemon or lime juice, honey
In a saucepan, bring four cups of water to a boil. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of ground turmeric. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Strain tea through a fine sieve or tea strainer. Per cup of tea, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
Note: The yellow pigment in turmeric can stain counter surfaces, pots, and mugs. Here’s a link from Food52 on how to remove these stains.