DIY Jamu Concentrate for the Indecisive Health Enthusiast
One of the stereotypical "problems" of being a Libra is that we can't make decisions, so people say. There is truth that sometimes what I feel to be the food or beverage of choice is often met with indecision. You know what I mean - that friend that always asks the waiter for their recommendation between 2 things on a menu, makes a choice and then changes their mind again 3 seconds later after the table order has been recapped...That's me! Needless to say, with preparing everything at home these days, my refrigerator just doesn't have the real-estate to serve as my multi-option healthy beverage vending machine (I wish), so I've devised a workaround.
I was chatting with a friend, Vannessa Ong, one of the 4th generation Jamu families in Indonesia about a Jamu recipe she had developed that served as an all-around health booster. It was a simple 3-ingredient recipe, with the problem that 2 out of the 3 ingredients were rather hard to source in the US, that being Temulawak, a cousin of the Turmeric plant, and palm sugar.
So I made my version of it that's shopping friendly if you're in the US. I highly recommend if you’re new to Jamu but want something fun and flexible in its use, and easy to make. I created this palate-friendly Jamu as a concentrate - with simple ingredients that can be the base of multiple drinks - from a latte to a summer spritzer.
The key thing for optimizing flavor is in the proportion of the ingredients - when dealing with spices and herbs, it's much more about balancing the flavor nuances than about wondering if the ingredient is good for you - because of already are. You can't afford to add fillers in a 3-ingredient recipe. Play with your own sweetness level preferences but here it is. Make, store, and enjoy!
Ginger-Turmeric Jamu Concentrate:
I made a jar of this concentrate, kept it in my refrigerator, and just really enjoyed the variety of drinks I could make with it.
4-5 cups Water
1 cup Ginger Powder
⅓ cup Turmeric Powder
½ tsp black pepper (helps make the active curcurmin in Turmeric more bioavailable)
½ cup palm sugar (if you are near an Asian market), or coconut sugar.
Boil water in a small saucepan, and add the ginger powder and turmeric. Keep at a simmer or low boil and stir slowly until the turmeric powder expands, which is about 5-10 minutes. You will see the mixture thicken as the ingredients slowly cook. Add the sugar and pepper, stir an additional minute or two until the sugar dissolves. The mixture should taste very earthy, spicy and grassy, with a mild sweetness to round out the flavor and take off the “edge” or the spices. Let the mixture cool and store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
Making a Ginger-Turmeric Latte: Mix 1 cup of milk of choice, (dairy, soy, oat, almond, etc.) and 3 tablespoons of the ginger-turmeric concentrate. Heat or froth as preferred, and add a sweetener such as agave or honey if desired.
Making a Ginger Hot Chocolate: Add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa and additional honey if desired to the recipe above. The chocolate and ginger mask the grassiness of the turmeric and you’ll experience a delicious antioxidant-filled health beverage that tastes like exotically indulgent hot cocoa.
Making a Ginger-Turmeric tea: Mix 1 tablespoon of the concentrate with a cup full of hot water. Add additional honey if needed.
Making a Cranberry Ginger Spritzer: Add 1 tablespoon of the concentrate to an equal parts mix of cranberry juice and seltzer. Adjust proportions to taste, add ice and enjoy!
As for the ingredients themselves:
Benefits of Ginger: Helps digestion, reduces nausea, contains gingerol which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Ginger is energizing and calming without being a sedative (So it's great before bed to warm and relax, or if you're feeling lethargic - odd combo but true.)
Benefits of Turmeric: Helps with overall blood health, and contains curcurmin, which is high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease joint pain, helps soothes nerves and lower anxiety, and may lower the chance of heart disease.
Benefits of Palm Sugar: It is an unrefined sugar with a lower GI (Glycemic Index) than white or brown sugar. Has a delicious, natural caramel flavor, and filled with minerals and vitamins including Vitamin B.
Curious which JUARA Products contain Ginger and Turmeric? We've listed them here in the SHOP THE STORY section!