I first came across turmeric in our family kitchen as a child. My mother had printed out a recipe for curry cauliflower, and while the curry powder gave the roasted cauliflower its delicious taste, turmeric was responsible for the subtler taste and stronger hue. Since then, I’ve seen turmeric in everything from egg and tofu scrambles to salad dressings to cookies–I kid you not. Most recently, I stumbled upon a recipe in Meghan Telpner’s The UnDiet CookBook for Jamu Juice.
Originating in Indonesia, Jamu is a traditional herbal medicine. Most often, it is made with anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and galangal. This recipe makes use of fresh, raw turmeric, which you can find in the produce section of some specialty grocers. Be careful not to keep fresh turmeric with fresh ginger–you might peel your ginger, only to find that it now tastes (and looks) like turmeric, too.
Turmeric has a host of benefits, including fighting both internal and external inflammation, improving mood and memory, healing wounds, killing cancer cells, and providing a solid dose of antioxidants. Ginger is equally helpful for treating nausea and motion sickness, helping digestion, and even improving circulation.
In Jamu Juice, however, turmeric is the star of the show, mostly because of curcumin, a phytonutrient found in turmeric. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that makes up between 2-6% of turmeric. Curcumin has terrific anti-inflammatory properties, although the whole root is necessary to show signs of improvement in Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
This recipe makes it easy to whip up jamu juice whenever you’re in need of a zesty, powerful tonic. I like to make one large batch that I store in a mason jar in my fridge for 3-4 days, but, if you have the time to make this each morning, fresh is always best. Also of note: to best absorb the powerful properties of turmeric and its compound curcumin, I suggest adding a very small pinch of black pepper. Of course, this is optional.
Recipe: Jamu Juice
- 1 inch turmeric root
- 1/2 inch ginger root
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup filtered cold water
- Small pinch of pepper optional
Blend all ingredients in high-powered blender, then adjust lime and honey to taste. Jamu juice can also be enjoyed in the winter; simply use heated water in place of the cold water to make into a tea.