Finally, an actual recipe!
This is your a bog standard anti-inflammatory ginger-turmeric shot. While I’m not really able to vouch for its overall health benefits, it seems like turmeric helps to reduce inflammation, and I’ve seen things like this touted as an immune booster thanks to the Vitamin C in the citrus in the recipe.
I want to add a big caveat that I drink this shot most days because I really like it, not because I can claim any major health benefits from it. It helps get me going in the morning, and I love how zingy and bright it is!
This recipe is adapted from a blog called Nutritionist Meets Chef, which as far as I can tell is no longer on the web.
Let’s talk turmeric
I first learned about turmeric when I was learning to cook curries, and I pretty much always have it in powdered form in my spice rack. It’s a gorgeous orangey yellow, and it makes a great addition to stocks, beer batters, and anything else you may want to enhance with a lovely golden colour. I’ve even seen people on Grand Designs using it as a natural colouring for their walls.
Turmeric is, simply put, a beautiful thing.
I would prefer not to dive too deeply into its nutritional benefits, partly because I’m not a doctor and don’t really know enough about this sort of thing, and partly because so many credible people have already done this topic justice on the internet. Long story short, it’s meant to be a useful anti-inflammatory, which is a good thing because a lot of our modern physical problems seem to stem from the evils and frustrations of inflammation.
It is said to be easier for the body to absorb turmeric’s benefits if it is consumed with fat, so it’s a great idea to have this shot with a breakfast consisting of eggs or avocado, a coconut milk latte, or, like me, to have it with vegan Omega-3 and CBD vitamin supplements.
Black pepper also helps with this, which is why I’ve included some black peppercorns in the recipe.
I have chronic inflammation in my shoulder, but I suspect quitting booze, junk food, and long periods of sitting would have a much greater effect in treating that than taking this shot does . . . but nevertheless, I drink it because I like the taste and love how it’s a bright, spicy, zingy, and refreshing way to start the morning.
Turmeric is fairly easy to find as a dried and powdered spice, and you could certainly use that for this recipe. And unlike with the ginger in this recipe, you could use dried turmeric.
However, I can definitely confirm that the taste of this shot is much, much nicer if you opt for fresh turmeric root. I was surprised by how it looks when I first saw it! It’s a bit like ginger, but inside, once peeled, it’s bright orange and moist like a baby carrot.
I highly recommend wearing gloves when dealing with turmeric! This stuff stains, big time.
I also use a yellow spatula and cutting board for it, because no amount of dishwashing is a match for this golden goodness. I’ve tried both micro-planing (grating) and mincing my turmeric, and I think that micro-planing has a much nicer end result.
Sometimes the faff is worth it.
Let’s talk ginger
Everybody likes Ginger Spice, right?!
It’s really important to use fresh ginger root in this recipe, and I can say from experience that super-fresh ginger that you’ve just got from the store – as opposed to the bit that’s been in your fridge for a couple weeks – gives the best result. It makes a big difference if your ginger is fresh and punchy, rather than dead and drying out.
I use a metal teaspoon to peel my ginger, mostly because a peeler tends to take too much off. You only want to remove the very outer skin of the root, which tends to be easy enough unless your ginger has gotten a bit too old.
You can micro-plane the ginger along with the turmeric, but I actually find that mincing the ginger is a lot quicker and seems to work just as well. This is probably because there’s a lot more ginger in the recipe than turmeric. A proper chef would just say to microplane it all, I reckon. Surface area matters!
Citrus and Sweetening
The final addition to the shot is fresh-squeezed citrus – generally orange and lemon – and a bit of sweetener. This is where your own taste really comes into play. I like a bright, sour, zingy shot, so I tend to use a fair bit of lemon and very little sweetener. But I’ve also gone heavy on the orange and agave in the past, and I thought that tasted great too!
It’s all about finding your own personal preference, and what appeals to you first thing in the morning.
I tend to use agave as my sweetener, partly because I’m more likely to have it in my cupboard than honey. Honey arguably has more nutritional and immune system benefits, but then it’s not vegan . . . this is very much up to you and your own preferences as you make the shot! I will say that maple syrup is a bit too strong a flavour and doesn’t work all that well here.
I don’t have THAT much of a sweet tooth, especially in the mornings, so I’ve made a version of this with no sweetener at all. Although I really liked it, I think including a small amount of sweetener really brings the shot together and makes it a lot more appealing overall.
And finally . . .
The Recipe for Sunshine Juice
- 200 grams fresh ginger root
- 30-40 grams fresh turmeric root (or ~2 Tbsp. ground turmeric)
- 1 litre of water
- 5-10 black peppercorns
- Agave, Honey, or your preferred natural sweetener; 1-3 Tbsp. to taste
- 3-4 oranges, juiced
- 2-3 lemons, juiced
- Grate turmeric. (Wear gloves!)
- Grate or mince ginger.
- Add turmeric, ginger, peppercorns, and water to a large pot.
- Slowly bring up to a simmer and gently steep for 20-30 minutes. (Don’t boil!)
- Turn off the heat and allow the pan to cool to room temperature.
- Add citrus juice
- Strain into a large, sterilized jar
- Add sweetener, in very small amounts, until it suits your taste
Shake the jar well. (Sediment is normal.)
Pour into a shot glass (20-30 ml) and drink it first thing each morning.
This will keep in the fridge in a sterilized jar for 2-3 weeks.