The Test Kitchen Is Crazy About This Turmeric Tonic (+ How to Handle the Yellow Stains!)
Turmeric tonic is a constant in our test kitchen, for healing everything from travel-related sickness to a bad day. Out of all the turmeric drinks we've tried, this one is the best. It hits all the notes; it's refreshing, bright, and provides a serious energy boost. Plus it has just four ingredients: fresh turmeric root, fresh lemon juice, honey, and seltzer.
Although my co-workers consistently request that I make the tonic, the recipe is not mine. It belongs to chef Camille Becerra. When I first started at Martha Stewart Living, I was introduced to the tonic while working on her recipes. Turmeric as a functional food was just becoming popular, and I was already using dried turmeric for its health benefits but was not as familiar with the fresh root, and it wasn't easy to find.
Eventually I found some, bought it, and made the turmeric tonic. I gave a glass to a coworker who had never felt quite right after a travel-related illness. The next day she said it was the first time in months that she felt like herself. While I don't claim specific health benefits for this tonic, we all believe it is powerful stuff.
Now with fresh turmeric root available in many local grocery stores, I often come to work and find a bag of the roots on my workstation in the test kitchen -- a not-so-subtle hint to make the tonic for the team.
LAURA'S TURMERIC HANDLING TIPS -- PREPARE FOR THE YELLOW
• Fresh turmeric is going to stain anything it comes in contact with.
• Our juicer has a permanent yellow tinge on what was once clear plastic, and yours most likely will too. Everyone here agrees that it is worth it.
• Invest in disposable or kitchen gloves to use while working with turmeric. Gloveless, you risk walking around for a day explaining that you didn't get a bad spray tan. Honestly it isn't the end of the world; after several hand washings and perhaps a loofah scrub, you should be good to go.
• If you want to save a manicure…use gloves! The stains stay on nail polish.
• A question I get a lot, is "Do you peel the root?" Well I don't; I soak the roots in a bowl of lukewarm water and then scrub off the dirt. Easy.