What Fresh Turmeric Root Can Do for You

HausOnThePrairie/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
HausOnThePrairie/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

Let’s face it, turmeric is hot! I remember the first time I heard about this spice at a nutrition conference several years ago. A nutrition researcher was discussing its anti-inflammatory potential in the fight against disease. Flash forward to today and it seems everyone is putting this yellow spice in supplements and recipes.

Ground turmeric is usually available in most grocery store spice sections, and it’s a key component of Indian curry powder — it gives curry powder that gorgeous amber-orange shade and warm flavor. Increasingly, you now can find fresh turmeric root in markets today, too. But, what do you do with turmeric root?

Fresh turmeric root can last in a fridge for a few weeks. When you’re ready to use the root in a recipe, peel it before chopping or grating it.

Fresh turmeric is mild, so you can use a whole root (about three inches long) in a single recipe. I love to use fresh turmeric in soups, stews, stir-fries, curry dishes, smoothies, salads, roasted vegetable dishes, baked goods and more. Here’s one of my favorite recipes, a Turmeric Mango Carrot Smoothie.

Fresh Turmeric, Mango and Carrot Smoothie What Fresh Turmeric Root Can Do for You -

Recipe by Sharon Palmer, RD


  • 1 turmeric root, peeled
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened plant-based milk (such as almond, soy or coconut)
  • 5 ice cubes


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serves 2.
Sharon Palmer
Sharon Palmer, RD, is a Southern California-based registered dietitian and author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Read her blog, The Plant-Powered Dietitian and follow her on Facebook.