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Shockingly enough, this is my first recipe using turmeric as the star ingredient. Truthfully, it’s about time! A versatile, tasty spice with beautiful, rich color, that has been used for thousands of years as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. There are literally tons of ways to use turmeric whether that be for a savory dish, in a drink, or in this case, as a semi-sweet treat a no bake, anti-inflammatory turmeric bites.
Though it may seem like a health trend, turmeric is on a whole other level than just another shake or powder. It’s a real food and it’s use dates back thousands of years rather than just another manmade product. Not only does it have great flavor, but it’s gaining in popularity in recent days because of it’s anti-inflammatory uses. “Inflammation” is quite the buzzword, so, let’s break it down…
What is inflammation anyway?
Inflammation is seen as a big hairy monster that needs to be avoided, killed and destroyed at all costs. However, it’s actually a normal and natural process in the body that we need to be in balance in order to heal. Ever step off a curb, roll your ankle and watch it swell? That’s inflammation. And it’s a natural process that your body uses to protect your ankle from further injury. In order to anti-inflame, we need to inflame first.
However, the inflammatory hormones in our body need to be in balance to work properly and sadly, they’re too often out of balance due to a poor diet, stressful lifestyle, and more. As a result, chronic inflammation with the inability to anti inflame is all too common.
What are the symptoms of chronic inflammation?
Inflammation is the root cause for so many health issues and symptoms.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Inability to lose weight
- Chronic pain
- Joint aches and pains
- Headaches and migraines
- Autoimmune disease
- Acid Reflux
The list goes on!
What causes inflammation?
Just like the symptoms, inflammation can be caused by a huge number of things such as…
- Poor diet
- Food allergies
- A diet high in processed foods, poor quality fats and seed oils (think soybean and canola oil)
That last bullet is incredibly important. The hormones that we need to inflame and anti-inflame are originally derived from fats that we consume. Seeing that we are what we eat, we need to eat good fats to have good hormone balance. However, our modern diets are incredibly high in poor quality seed oils which are incredibly inflammatory which make the process imbalanced.
My inflammation healing story
My own inflammation story pairs with my Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is the root cause of most hypothyroidism, and is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. My inflammation manifested itself in chronic pain, headaches, stomach pain, weight gain, and more. I almost always had some sort of low grade headache, and my stomach literally always hurt.
As a way to try and squelch my inflammation, I turned to NSAID’s, only to learn down the line that it was only making my inflammation worse. Without getting too technical, when we abuse an unnatural drug that stops our bodies ability to inflame, we confuse our immune system and our hormones that control the ability to inflame and anti-inflame. Not only does it aggravate the natural immune system process, but it really harms our gut health for the worst as a result. I cringe at the thought of taking advil again, but there are indeed natural options to help the inflammation process.
After years of abusing over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs and learning they were not the answer at all for long term healing, I had to find an alternative. Thus, the food as medicine approach came into my life. I slowly began healing my gut, removing inflammatory foods, adding healing foods, and adopting an autoimmune protocol along with many other lifestyle factors that helped reverse my Hashimoto’s.
Food as medicine os only one piece of healing, but it’s a crucial one. Bone broth, organ meats, local vegetables, and spices like turmeric are so much more powerful than any over the counter drug.
Turmeric’s Anti-inflammatory benefits
Along with good old healthy fats which actually make up our anti-inflammatory hormones in the body, turmeric is a safe, natural anti-inflammatory agent that alleviate pain, blood sugar regulation issues, and more. Turmeric is AIP, paleo, and nightshade free. Plus, it’s pretty delicious.
Turmeric is known for aiding natural anti-inflammatory processes in the body. Rather than unnatural over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, turmeric is natural and does not interfere with your immune system.
Now, let me get this straight, turmeric is indeed a hot topic these days and is really more than just a trend. However, let’s be clear that it will not solve all of your health problems. Turmeric is a great tool and enhancement to healthful diet, but not the end all be all or a magic pill. But for our purposes of having a tasty treat, it’s a pretty darned good ingredient!
Anti-inflammatory Coconut Turmeric Bites
- 1 cup coconut butter (also called coconut cream concentrate or coconut mana)
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut + 1/2 tsp for topping (I highly recommend tropical traditions for this)
- 1 tbsp coconut milk (or water)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of black pepper (omit for strict AIP)
- 1 tbsp honey (optional if you want to cut down on sugar, but it really helps balance the bitter taste of the turmeric)
- Add the coconut butter and the shredded coconut to a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. You want the coconut butter to be softened (but not melted), so depending on the consistency of yours, heat it in a double boiler over the stove if needed.
- Add the remaining ingredients and combine.
- Begin rolling the dough into balls about 1″ – 1 1/4″ in diameter, (or you can easily choose whichever size you’d like) and place onto a plate lined with parchment paper.
- If desired, sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of shredded coconut on top of the bites.
- Put the turmeric bites into the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes, or in the freezer for more of a bite.
- Remove from the fridge and enjoy! Note that these are best enjoyed cold.
I just love how these guys are so easy to make and require no heat whatsoever. Perfect for summer, and definitely best right out of the fridge. They make a great snack to just keep in the fridge for a couple of days, or share with friends. I’ve been known to just grab one or two from the fridge when I’m feeling peckish, or bring it along for packed lunch. I hope you enjoy!
This recipe was shared and featured on the Phoenix Helix recipe roundtable. Check it out!!