Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries not only to flavor, color, and preserve foods, but also for medicinal remedies. Even though it has been around for a long time, it seems like this spice has become extremely popular over the past few years. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s naturally occurring phytonutrients, may have anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties according to early findings from animal and lab studies. Human studies are now underway looking at the role curcumin plays in many different health conditions.
Until we have more data that supports specific recommendations for therapeutic curcumin intake, I suggest including it in your diet rather than relying on supplements. Research has found that pairing black pepper with turmeric can help increase the bioavailability, or your body’s ability to absorb the curcumin, so that is something to keep in mind! I like to use turmeric and black pepper on roasted vegetables, in vinaigrettes, and I even add it to the cooking water when I am making grains like rice or quinoa.
Turmeric adds a nice earthy flavor to this white bean spread. Paired with some toasted bread, arugula, and tomato it makes a perfect plant-based lunch that is easy to prepare and can be made in advance.
- For the spread:
- 2 cups of white beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- For the sandwiches:
- Sourdough bread, toasted
- Cucumber, thinly sliced
- Tomato, thinly sliced
- To make the spread, add the beans, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper and water to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Once the olive oil is incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and process about for about 2 more minutes until the bean spread is smooth. You may need to adjust the amount of olive oil to get your desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread 2 Tablespoons of the bean spread onto a slice of bread. Top with sliced cucumber, tomato, a handful of arugula and another slice of bread.
This recipes makes about 2 cups of bean spread which can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Keep around to have as a quick snack with fresh veggies or whole wheat crackers/pita bread.