Making the most of your precious harvest
As the leaves of autumn blanket the ground, creating a satisfying crunch beneath our boots, it's a clear indication that the time has come to dig up the vibrant roots of spring and summer planting! This week, we focused on uprooting our turmeric and ginger. These remarkable plants have been growing and developing their potent properties beneath the soil's surface, waiting to be uncovered and harvested. With each ginger rhizome and turmeric finger we dig up, we embrace the rich hues and earthy aromas that signify the abundant healing potential of these incredible spices. From the warm, golden tones of turmeric to the knobby, aromatic ginger roots, they offer a wealth of flavours and health benefits to enhance our culinary creations and nourish our bodies during the cozy winter months.
To harvest and dehydrate ginger and turmeric,
follow these straightforward steps:
Wait until the plant reaches maturity, typically around 8-10 months after planting. Look for yellowing and dying foliage as a sign.
- Carefully dig up the rhizomes using a garden fork or shovel, being cautious not to damage them.
2. Cleaning and Preparation:
- Gently remove excess soil from the rhizomes. Avoid using water unless necessary, as ginger and turmeric dislike excess moisture.
- Trim any damaged or discoloured parts and separate the fingers of ginger or turmeric.
- Slice the ginger and turmeric into thin, uniform pieces or grate them for faster drying.
- Spread the slices or grated pieces on a dehydrator tray or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Set the dehydrator to a low temperature (around 45-50°C) or use an oven on the lowest setting.
- Dry the ginger and turmeric until they become brittle and snap easily. This process may take anywhere from 6-24 hours depending on the thickness of the pieces and efficiency of dehydrator.
- Once the ginger and turmeric are completely dry and brittle, you can proceed to powder them.
- Place the dried ginger or turmeric pieces in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or blender.
- Grind the dried pieces until they turn into a fine powder. You may need to pulse the grinder in short bursts to achieve the desired consistency.
- If necessary, sift the powder through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any larger particles or fibrous bits.
- Repeat the grinding and sifting process as needed until you obtain a smooth and uniform powder.
5. Storing the Powder:
- Transfer the powdered ginger or turmeric into airtight containers, preferably glass jars or spice jars.
- Store the containers in a cool, dark place away from heat and moisture to maintain the potency and flavour of the powder.
- Label the containers with the name and date of powdering to keep track of freshness.
Powdered ginger and turmeric can be used in a variety of recipes, including spice blends, marinades, curries, smoothies, and baked goods. Enjoy the convenience and versatility of having these flavourful powders readily available in your kitchen.
Remember, proper drying and storage are crucial to maintaining the quality and flavour of ginger and turmeric. Use the dehydrated ginger and turmeric in various culinary applications, such as seasoning, teas, or as a spice in cooking, and enjoy the enhanced flavours they provide.
Here's a recipe for a delicious Turmeric Latte "Golden Milk"
Using fresh powdered turmeric and ginger from your garden 🍵
- 1 cup milk (dairy is traditional, plant-based such as coconut milk is also nice)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon honey or sweetener of choice (adjust to taste)
- Pinch of black pepper (optional, enhances turmeric absorption)
1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
2. Add the fresh powdered turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, vanilla extract, and sweetener to the saucepan. Whisk well to combine and dissolve the spices.
3. Optional: Add a pinch of black pepper to enhance the absorption of turmeric's beneficial compounds.
4. Continue heating the mixture for a few more minutes, allowing the flavours to infuse. Whisk occasionally to ensure everything is well mixed.
5. Once heated and well blended, remove the saucepan from the heat.
6. Pour the turmeric latte into a mug, using a fine-mesh sieve to strain out any lumps if needed.
7. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or a dollop of frothed milk for added appeal.
8. Stir the latte gently before enjoying its warm and soothing flavours.
This Turmeric Latte, also known as “Golden Milk”, due to it's inviting golden hue, provides a comforting and healthful winter beverage option. The fresh powdered turmeric is vibrant in colour and exhibits a subtle earthy taste, while the spices and sweetener contribute warmth and balance. Stay cosy! 🔥