27 May 2010

Why Turmeric is in the Bean Soup

When I make my bean soup, I load it up with lots of turmeric. I cook like my grandmother used to... I don't measure anything. I just put 'the right amount' of everything in according to how I feel or how it feels...
So I soak the navy beans for at least 24 hours, until they produce bubbles of gas and the water becomes cloudy and there is a strong organic scent... This means the beans are alive and metabolically active.
Next I boil them at high temperature until they are soft and easily mashed in a wooden spoon. This may take 2 hours or more depending on the quality of the bean. I skim off the protein foam that comes up with a spoon.
Once the beans are soft and well cooked, then I add celtic sea salt, turmeric, paprika, chili powder, ghee (clarified butter), chopped onion, minced garlic, green pepper and celery. I may also add cilantro, parsley and cayenne. I add enough turmeric to get a very deep yellow color. I lower the heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes more.
The soup is now fully cooked. At this point I add olive oil and a jar of tomato sauce and turn off heat. Caution: tomato sauce will easily stick to bottom of the pot and burn. I allow the soup to sit with occasional stirring for 20 minutes more before serving. You can eat it 'whole bean' or blended. You may add fresh chopped onion, tomato, cheese, hot chili peppers, etc - whatever you like.
You may ask - Why so much turmeric? Here's part of the answer from Dr Mercola...

Health Benefits of Turmeric...
Supports your healthy joint function*
Promotes your radiant skin*
Helps improve your digestion*
And so much more...
There's some debate about the timing of turmeric's first use as a healthy spice.
But one thing is certain. Thousands of years ago, people in India and China used the spice. In fact, some stories suggest usage dates back 10,000 years in India when they say Lord Rama walked the earth.
And the ancient Polynesians carried turmeric with them on their incredible voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Today, Hawaiians still use this spice -- known to them as Olena.
While in China, Marco Polo in 1280 AD recorded information on turmeric in his diary:
"There is also a vegetable which has all the properties of true saffron, as well the smell and the color, and yet it is not really saffron."
So, turmeric has been used as a substitute for saffron (an old world spice) in Europe for over 700 years.
One of the main healthful ingredients in turmeric is curcumin (a curcuminoid), which as I said, gives turmeric its yellow color.
Western scientists first isolated the curcumin molecule in 1815, obtained its crystalline form in 1870, and determined its overall structure in 1910.
Curcumin can potentially benefit you by:Promoting your immune system against stress*
Promoting your immune system*
Helping you maintain your healthy digestive system*
Supporting your healthy bones, joints, and overall skeletal system*
Helping you maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range*
Promoting your healthy blood and liver functions*

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