Wednesday, 13 September 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--Golden Paste and how to use it

Hello Lovelies! Golden Paste is one I have been meaning to write for a while, but having been really busy at work I hadn't had the chance to gather up all the data and compile it and type it.

I've got a bit more free time at the moment so here it is. Hoorah!

So what is Golden Paste? Well, it's a bit of "food as medicine." Basically, it is eating the spice turmeric as a supplement to help with arthritis or joint pain.

Turmeric is the yellow spice that gives curry powder its lovely, vibrant  colour.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and it has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong anti-oxidant. Studies have shown it might help prevent heart disease and some studies have said that it seems to have an effect on certain types of cancer cells. I don't know much about those claims, but it seems promising. It supposedly helps with digestion by stimulating your liver to produce bile.

I first became interested in this spice in relation to its use with arthritis. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug.  Read a bit about that {HERE}

The properties of curcumin are not easily absorbed by the body so here are the things you can do to increase bioavailability:

  1. Combine it with black pepper. The piperine in pepper increases the body's ability to absorb the healing powers of turmeric by 2000%!!! Two-thousand percent, people! 
  2. Add a healthy fat. Turmeric is fat soluble so you need a bit of fat to help the body absorb it.  

Hence, Golden paste. 

Now it will only last a week in the fridge as it is perishable, but as I am always looking for ways to make my life easier so i do a big batch and make a month's worth and freeze it. I use specially designated ice cube trays (no one wants ice that tastes like curry!) and then pop them out and store them in a container. Easy peasy.

I have friends who just swallow the spice in a shot glass of water and have had good success with their joint pain. I am glad for them, but I have absorption issues so I want to maximise my chances. I just throw a cube in my morning smoothie which tastes delicious. I also have a strong gag reflex, so not sure I could just toss some back in shot glass. But to each his own! 

Golden paste:
In a small saucepan mix:
1/2 cup turmeric spice (I buy mine in bulk from an Asian shop)
1 cup water.

Whisk this together and heat over low heat until smooth. Then add:
2-3 TB olive oil
1 tsp coarse ground pepper

Continue to whisk until smooth and glossy.

Let cool and then spoon into ice cube trays. A heaping measuring teaspoon each compartment. This makes 28 cubes for me. Be careful--IT WILL STAIN! So have something handy to wipe up spills that you don't mind being yellow. i use the same tea towel every month.

Freeze 24 hours then pop out (again--be careful of STAINING) and store in a container in your freezer. 

Well Spidergrrl, this seems incredibly easy to make and is good for you. Is there anyone who *shouldn't* eat Golden Paste? 

Well, Spidergrrl, I am glad you asked. (Why am I talking to myself??) 

Yes. You should NOT use turmeric as a supplement if you:
  1. Have gallbladder issues or kidney stones.
  2. Are on any kind of blood clotting drug. Turmeric actually thins your blood, so you don't want to counteract the effects of your meds.  
  3. If you have stomach acid issues and heartburn or GERD.
  4. If you are on a medicine for diabetes as turmeric can lower your blood sugar levels (it is ok to take if you control your diabetes with diet)
  5. If you are pregnant--turmeric can  stimulate the uterus, so it's ok to eat in food just not as a supplement. However, it might help with difficult periods. 
So how can you incorporate it into your diet? 

I throw mine into my morning smoothie (recipe next week!) but some people make Golden Milk. Basically, it is just milk heated with some golden paste, a shake of cinnamon  and ginger and a bit of sweetener to taste. You can obviously do this with non-dairy milk as well.

Or you could make GOLDEN GRANOLA BARS using this recipe. 

I prefer the smoothie as it is less faff than standing in my cold kitchen over the stove at night making another pot to wash. 

But as I said earlier. Each to his own. Or her own. Or their own. I'm gender inclusive. 

But if you are not on the list of people who should avoid turmeric, it might be worth giving it a try. I have noticed definitely positive changes in my digestion (my IBS is much better) as well as joint pain (the pain in my broken coccyx is but a whisper these days.) 

Worth trying. And these days , I would much rather use food as medicine than support Big Pharma, if I can help it. Know what I mean?


  1. Does freezing this recipe have any negative effect on the effect of curcumin?

    1. not as far as I know...I found websites that suggested you freeze it if you couldn't use it up fast enough.

  2. Check out (a Channel 4 programme) which basically backs up what Spidergrrl has said about turmeric's healing ability! :-)
    NB This link might only work if you are in the UK.