What Does Turmeric Taste Like?

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In this article, we’re going to answer your questions about turmeric. We’ll tell you what it tastes like, how to prepare it and how to flavor your favorite drinks, main meals and vegan confections with it.


Let’s dive in…

What Does Turmeric Taste Like? 

You may have seen powdered turmeric in the spice section of your local grocery store. It comes from a plant related to ginger and has a potent flavor.

It’s not spicy like ginger, though. It’s profoundly earthy with a strong bitterness and a slight mustardy quality. The fresh stuff can have a floral scent, though if there’s a floral taste, it will likely be subdued.

Turmeric Texture 

Powdered turmeric in the spice jar is fine and fluffy with a texture similar to ground sage. A knob of fresh turmeric root looks like an orange ginger root, covered in a thin skin with a segmented appearance.

Fresh turmeric is hard and fibrous. It’s best to slice or grate it for marinading or flavoring your beverages and meals. Some folks love to add it to their juices, too, but be warned—that earthy flavor is intense if you go heavy-handed.

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Does Turmeric Taste Bad? 

Because fresh turmeric is so pungent, it can be easy to dislike if you taste it by itself. This is why turmeric is used as a seasoning and flavorant, usually in smallish quantities.

When used properly, turmeric adds a flavor that people tend to really like. In small doses, it’s not bitter and instead opens up into a mildly nutty and warming flavor.

What Foods Taste Best with Turmeric? 

Turmeric is a traditional spice famously used in Indian cooking. It’s in curry powder, golden-hued tofu scrambles, rice dishes and vegan mac and cheeses.

It’s become a seriously artisanal ingredient as of late. These days, kombucha tea and all kinds of mainstream beverages feature turmeric, and may people are quick to tell you that it makes some of their favorite drinks.

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How Can I Make Turmeric Taste Better? 

Because this spice is so powerful and bitter, preparing it is a balancing act. You have to find the right ingredients that will blend and amplify the pleasant nuances of flavor.

Sweet, spicy, fruity and herbal flavors complement turmeric. Anything strong like garlic, scallions, cilantro and lemon will meld with it, and of course, creamy coconut is perfect with this spice. If you’re making a smoothie, use plenty of sweet bananas and berries.

Turmeric Recipe Tips 

Let’s see what cooking with turmeric looks like. With the help of these short video, you’ll discover some of the vegan recipes made even more delicious with turmeric, right down to the desserts.

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Turmeric milk recipes have been popping up all over the Internet for years now. It’ll make you feel warm and cozy, so try it in place of a mug of herbal tea before you go to bed.

You’ll need:

  • Plant milk
  • Ground turmeric
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Vegan liquid sweetener

This video will not only show you how to make carrot and turmeric soup, it’ll also show you what whole turmeric root looks like in case you’ve never had the chance to see it.

Here are the ingredients for this soup:

  • Carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric (raw or ground)
  • Scallions
  • Jalapeño 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut milk
  • Scallion greens (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)

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For the grand finale, we’ve selected a turmeric, orange and almond cake that will surely pique the interest of your dinner guests.

Here’s what you need for it:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Ground almonds
  • Cornstarch
  • Turmeric
  • Baking powder
  • Orange juice
  • Sunflower oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Vegan dark chocolate
  • Sunflower oil (or another neutral oil)
  • Kumquats (optional)
  • Crushed pistachios (optional)

Wrap Up 

Turmeric is a spice you’ll want to mix with sweet, spicy, herby and robust flavors to match its potent earthiness. Use it tofu scramble, coconut milk curry, smoothies and tea—just be sure to balance it with the right ingredients to avoid the bitterness and taste the rich, nutty flavors. Don’t shy away from the desserts, either—a lovely citrus-infused turmeric cake might be just what you need to wow ’em at a potluck party.

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