Loving the BITE: Delicious Turmeric Sauce and Great Health Benefits

10
Apr
2014

turmericWhen’s the last time you added a good, healthy dose of turmeric to your meal?  If not within the last week or so, it’s time to get on it.  Turmeric is a wonderfully nourishing spice, that works to reduce overall inflammation in our bodies, provide antioxidants, and promote health.

This week, we’ll stay lean and strong while we keep dinners “Light at Night” with a delicious turmeric sauce, healthy protein options, loads of vegetables and healthy fats.

Recipe of the Week: Delicious Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4-1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • juice from one lemon (can be added to sauce or squeezed over dish)

Instructions:

1. Place all ingredients in food processor or blender to make sauce.  Warm on oven until heated through.

2. Add sauce to cooked protein and vegetables.  If eating meat, use organic, local, and/or grass-fed if possible.  Cook by sauteing, stir-frying, baking, grilling, or slow-cooking.  If you’d like a non-meat option, cook quinoa and beans, firm organic tofu, a meatless product such as Quorn meatless chicken fillets or mince (other great Quorn Vegetarian Recipes available as well), or other non-meat options. For vegetables, try sauteed or grilled bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, and more!

Comments: 

First of all, there’s not much to not like about Turmeric.  It’s vibrantly beautiful.  It’s peppery and flavorful.  And, in the body, it:

  • Is a powerful antioxdant.  In fact, both the volatile oils and the actual yellow/orange pigment of the turmeric plan exert powerful antioxidant effects.   They neutralize free radicals and reduce their damage to our cells and tissues.  They also provide anti-inflammation benefits, and specifically reduce joint swelling and pain associated with joint overuse when consumed regularly.
  • Acts as an effective treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and digestive issues.  Believe it or not, the nutrients in turmeric safely relieve colitis symptoms, and can remain protective for the gut for days after consumption!
  • Reduces risk of cancers, improve cystic fibrosis symptoms, and relieves arthritis pains!  Like many spices, turmeric is an all-around great food that should be included as a regular component of our diets.

Next, this turmeric sauce recipe allows us to promote health while eating “light at night.”  If you’ve been around Loving the Bike and Loving the Bite in the last year, you’ve likely heard this before: I recommend reducing carbohydrates and loading up on vegetables, healthy proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants at dinner (while minimizing grains and carbohydrates at night).

The what and the why of our “Light at Night” turmeric dinner:

  • Proteins: Again, many different meat and meat-less proteins will work.  Look for local, organic, and grass-fed if possible.  If using tofu or other processed vegetarian proteins, make sure they are organic, non-GMO, or have minimal ingredients like organic firm tofu, beans and quinoa or Quorn Foods.
  • Healthy Fats: In this recipe, we’re using canned coconut milk (coconut cream), which is high in coconut oil.  If possible, use organic coconut milk.  Its fats are high in lauric acid, a health-promoting fat found in tropical fats and breastmilk.
  • Vegetables: The more, the merrier!  For cooked vegetables and stir-fries, I recommend those that are firm and stand up to cooking well: bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, and more. Vegetables are a great source of antioxidants that supports cellular repair and decreases the oxidative stress that’s often elevated from training.  
  • Carbohydrates: Where’s the rice? Why not grains and other carbohydrates?  While I think it’s fine to include these occasionally, and even more often if you’re already at your goal weight, I recommend reducing evening grains/carbs if you’re actively trying to lose fat or keep a lean weight.  In this case, keep it to just 2 dinners or so a week.  Carbohydrates are simply not needed by the body in the evening if you’re relaxing, and serve only as an extra calorie source.  They promote increased insulin levels, which promotes fat storage, especially when they are not readily used (as they would be immediately before, during, or after training).  They are often inflammatory in the body, especially if they are refined grains or sugars (refined grains act very similarly to sugars in the body). What’s more, the extra insulin output can interfere with hormones that are released at night and work to promote optimal muscle repair and recovery.  Instead, load on extra vegetables…you’ll likely not even miss the grains!

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.  Proactively add carbs back in, around 30 grams or so, when it’s the evening before an extra strenuous or long ride or if it’s immediately after an evening training.  Thirty grams of carbs is the equivalent of 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, or beans, 1 large banana, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 cup whole-grain pasta, 1 1/2 cup fruit, 8 oz. chocolate milk, etc.

Turmeric Sauce: Another easy way to keep it light at night.  Another way to proactively improve joint health and fight free radicals.  Just another day Loving the Bite and Loving the Bike.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

image c/o www.motherearthliving.com

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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