Years ago, it wasn’t always easy to tell what was trendy. Now we have internet browsers like Google that track the most often-searched terms and phrases, including for healthy recipes and ingredients.
We’ve gone from trendy to trending, with searches for “best foods for” followed by terms like “skin,” “energy,” “acid reflux” and “your brain” having grown 10 times since 2005, according to Google Trends.
And there is a growing interest for “functional foods” — specific foods that have a health-enhancing role.
At the top of the list for functional foods is turmeric, with searches growing 300 percent during the past five years.
Benefits of turmeric
This spice is best known for flavoring curry, but studies have shown it has health benefits as an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-coagulant, pain killer and steroid. It can help diabetes, lower cholesterol, treat arthritis, and it’s being investigated in cancer prevention and treatment.
“Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Kari Mizgalski, a registered dietitian at Marshfield Clinic. “Adding turmeric to a healthy diet and lifestyle may have health benefits.”
The spice is used predominately in curry dishes, but can be added to a variety of recipes.
“Turmeric has a bitter flavor, so a little bit goes a long way,” Mizgalski said. “It also has a deep golden color and can be used as a natural food dye. My family uses this at Easter time to dye eggs.”
If you don’t use turmeric in your cooking, you should give it a try. Get started with an easy side dish that’s perfect served hot or cold.
Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 pinch cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Chop cauliflower head into florets.
Place cauliflower in a baking dish. Add oil, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper, and then mix together.
Cover baking dish with foil to keep florets from drying out, and roast for about 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve warm or chill if serving as a cold salad.
Note: While the recipe uses olive oil, you could substitute 1 tablespoon water and use a non-stick pan or a stone baking dish, which would reduce the fat content.
Each serving contains about 68 calories; 8 g carbs; 4 g fat; 3 g protein; 191 mg sodium; 4 g sugar.