I love turmeric—it's one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods around and has myriad other health benefits as well. I'll often toss it into my morning smoothie, whip up a quick turmeric latte as an afternoon snack, or stir-fry some with vegetables for a quick and tasty dinner. But I wanted to create a way to easily incorporate the magical spice into everything I ate, with little to no effort. When I was at one of my favorite Italian restaurants one night, dredging fresh-baked bread through a garlic-infused olive oil, it struck me: turmeric-infused oil because turmeric is best absorbed when combined with a fat1, black pepper, and ginger, making it the perfect candidate for my concoction.
I went home and immediately began playing around. Because I wanted to use the oil for cooking, I immediately rejected olive oil, which has a low smoke point of 350 degrees and as such shouldn't be used for stir-fries. It's also not great for stirring into smoothies. The answer?
Clearly, coconut oil, the darling of the wellness world, which brings its own potent healing powers (we're talking antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial) to the table. With among the highest smoke points of any oil, coconut oil can be used for any kind of cooking—and, while I prefer to use fats in their most whole form for smoothies, I'll often chuck a spoonful of coconut oil in to absorb all those fat-soluble vitamins when I'm out of avocados or hemp.
From there, it was super easy. Make a jar of this and keep it on hand (in your fridge, it last for a year, and on the counter, six months) so you can use it for everything that needs a little health and flavor boost, from roasted vegetables (toss 'em in the oil before cooking!) to sweet potato mash (stir some in just before serving). You can even make a quick and easy turmeric golden milk by blending a teaspoon of your infused oil and a teaspoon of honey with your favorite type of milk.
Turmeric-Infused Coconut Oil
- 1½ cups coconut oil
- 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat, gently heat ¼ cup of the coconut oil.
- Once it melts, add peppercorns, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add turmeric and ginger and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The spices should become quite fragrant. Add remaining coconut oil and cook for 20 minutes (you're still on low heat here!).
- Remove from heat, let cool slightly (but not until hardened), then strain through a fine-mesh strainer—I just pour it back into the same jar the coconut oil originally came in. Keeps at room temperature for 6 months, or up to a year in the fridge.
Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.