A nutritionist shares the cooking spice she ‘always keeps in the kitchen’ for a healthy immune system

1. Swap out salt for turmeric on vegetables

Cutting back on sodium is always a good idea, and turmeric can pack a ton of flavor and seasoning.

A teaspoon of turmeric has less than one milligram of sodium, according to the USDA. In comparison, one teaspoon of table salt has 2,360 milligrams of sodium β€” more than the USDA and HHS recommended adult limit of 2,300 milligrams per day.

Turmeric pairs well with veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes, so I like to swap out salt for the spice when I’m roasting them.

Spread out the veggies of your choice on a sheet pan and cover them with one teaspoon of turmeric along with black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Then bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the veggies are crisp.

2. Make a homemade golden milk latte

In recent years, turmeric lattes have made its way into cafes and specialty grocery stores in the US However, you can easily make your own version at home.

In its most basic form, a golden milk latte is made with warmed milk and a sprinkle of turmeric and black pepper. You can also substitute regular milk for coconut or almond milk to make it vegan-friendly.

I like to enjoy this creamy beverage as a healthy, delicious treat before bedtime.

3. Blend it into soups

4. Stir it into your rice

Adding herbs and spices like turmeric into rice can add flavor and health benefits. Turmeric rice with added veggies is a quick and delicious side dish that turns plain rice into something nutritious and delicious.

I also love to switch things up and make turmeric cauliflower rice. Cauliflower absorbs flavor well, so it pairs great with strong spices like turmeric.

5. Snack on turmeric-spiced walnuts

Walnuts are already rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. Pair them with turmeric, and you’ve got yourself a perfect superfood snack.

In a bowl, mix a drizzle of olive oil with a ΒΌ-teaspoon of turmeric, two cups of walnuts, a pinch of black pepper and sea salt to taste. Spread the spiced walnuts out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the walnuts are crispy and dry.

6. Blend it in smoothies

Blending turmeric into smoothies is easy and, in most cases, you can’t even taste it. Simply blend half a teaspoon of turmeric into your favorite smoothie recipe and enjoy.

For an immune system boost during winter months, try drinking a fruit- and greens-filled smoothie that includes spinach, banana, pineapple, ginger and turmeric.

Lindsey DeSoto is a registered dietitian helping clients improve their diet and health. She enjoys staying up to date on the latest research and translating nutrition science into practical eating advice to help others live healthier lives. Lindsey has written for publications including HealthDay, Medical News Today and Verywell Health.

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