You may know turmeric as one of the main spice in curry dishes. I consider turmeric the "pot of gold" spice, and not just because of its bright yellow color. Turmeric is an ancient spice with powerful health benefits. Curcumin, a particular pigment in turmeric, may play a role in preventing and treating certain types of cancers, treating osteoarthritis, depression, and other inflammatory conditions such as lupus and irritable bowel syndrome.

How can you easily add turmeric to your foods?

  • Blend 1 teaspoon turmeric into smoothies.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric to soup recipes.
  • Sprinkle turmeric into breakfast foods such as eggs, savory toast, potatoes, or pancakes. (Golden pancakes anyone?)
  • Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric to macaroni & cheese.
  • Stir turmeric into your hot tea.
  • Cook lentils or other legumes with onions, olive oil, and turmeric.

When using turmeric, it is recommended to also add a dash of black pepper, as the black pepper enhances the powerful effects of curcumin.

Since it is the season for soup, I have included a chicken soup that uses turmeric. Feel free to substitute the zucchini noodles for regular egg noodles for a more similar recipe to classic chicken noodle soup. Enjoy!

Serves 6

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves1 teaspoon garlic-flavored olive oil1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated1 teaspoon ground turmeric1/2 teaspoon ground coriander2 (32-ounce each) containers less sodium chicken broth8 ounce zucchini veggie noodles1/2 cup baby kale, chopped and loosely packedGreen onion, cut into curls, for garnishCrushed red pepper, for garnish

Lightly pound chicken breasts to an even thickness. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in ginger, turmeric, and coriander. Cook and stir for 15 to 30 seconds. Add pounded chicken breasts and chicken broth to saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees). Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred chicken; return to saucepan.

Add veggie noodles to soup. Return to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir in kale.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with onion curls and sprinkle with red pepper, if desired. Serve with lime wedges and rice crackers.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 110 calories, 1.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 45mg cholesterol, 3g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 2g sugar, 19g protein, 740mg sodium.

Recipe source: