Sometimes the best ideas are spur of the moment, driven by the ingredients you happen to have on hand. So it was with this banana, turmeric and maple syrup smoothie which I liked so much I made it three days in a row.
Banana is my staple base for a smoothie – I love the flavour and the thick creamy texture it gives, whether as the star ingredient or as a base for other fruits. I like to use natural sweeteners – usually honey, dates or maple syrup. I first made this smoothie in a snatched 5 minutes before leaving for work early on a dark January morning and it gave me a burst of energy as I headed out into the cold.
A recent fruit and vegetable box gift from Abel & Cole included fresh turmeric root and I was keen to try it raw. Turmeric is the spice that gives many Asian dishes their vivid yellow colour and has a distinct, earthy flavour; strong, a little bitter and quite unlike any other ingredient that I can think of.
I’ve been taking the powdered form, on and off, as a natural anti-inflammatory – recommended by Ayurveda for thousands of years, but only recently being researched by Western medicine. It is said to help with digestive complaints and poor circulation too. My daily dose is mixed with ginger and fenugreek, a combination that tastes pretty vile so I stir half a teaspoon into a few tablespoons of cold water and swallow fast, chasing it down with a long glass of cold water and quickly brushing my teeth! Does it work? Hard to tell, since I also rely on a range of more conventional treatments. Right now, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.
That said, I’m not making any health claims for turmeric; I’m not qualified medically or scientifically, and I’m not a fan of the current crop of health gurus that make pronouncements about excluding various food groups based on the flimsiest of anecdotal, purportedly personal, evidence.
In this recipe, the turmeric is far more palatable, adding a vibrant colour and distinctive flavour to this quick-to-make, energy-boosting smoothie.
Golden Banana, Turmeric & Maple Syrup Smoothie
1-2 bananas, peeled
1 small piece of fresh turmeric root*
Maple syrup to taste, I use about 2 tablespoons
120 ml water ^
Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon~
* I used a piece of turmeric root about the size of the top joint of my forefinger. I didn’t bother peeling as the skin was soft and thin, but if yours is tough, peel first. If you don’t have fresh, by all means substitute ground turmeric instead; half a teaspoon of dried will be sufficient here.
^ I like a thick but pourable smoothie. Adjust amount of water up or down if you prefer a thinner or extra thick smoothie.
~ Cinnamon is such a natural bedfellow for maple syrup and banana that I added a teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon to the last batch. It’s not that strong against the turmeric but adds a lovely dimension to the scent.
- Place ingredients into a well-powered blender and blitz until smooth. If you like your smoothies with less sweetness, use half the maple syrup to start and add more to taste if you need it. Likewise, adjust volume of water to your preference.
- The banana will start to oxidise and brown after a while, so this smoothie is best enjoyed as soon as it’s made.
As you may have spotted, I used my much-loved Froothie Optimum blender to make my smoothie. We’ve been using the Optimum 9400 for over a year now and it’s one of the best appliances in our kitchen. It’s enormously powerful – enough to blend solid frozen chunks of fruit easily or ice cubes if you want some instant slushie base. In fact the motor whips those blades to an impressive 44,000 rpm which generates enough friction heat to make piping hot soup or one-step custard. You can use it to make your own nut butters and nut milks too. See the affiliate box in my sidebar for information on how to claim an extra 2 year warranty on any Froothie appliance.
Other Recipes Featuring Fresh Turmeric
- Kellies Food To Glow is one of the few blogs I take seriously when it comes to nutritional advice. Her Spiced Golden Turmeric Milk recipe includes some excellent information about the potential benefits of turmeric, including lots of links to reliable sources for further reading. More of Kellie’s turmeric recipes can be found here.
- Tin & Thyme’s Spiced Parsnip Spinach Soup with Apple and Turmeric.
- Jen’s Golden Turmeric Spiced Porridge.
- Franglais Kitchen’s Vegan Chai Latte With Cinnamon, Ginger & Turmeric.
- Rebecca’s Tummy Healing Soup.
- My Wife Can Cook’s Black Chai Tea Concentrate.
- Bam’s Turmeric Pork Skewers with Thai Basil Dipping Sauce.