Curry cake is the new cupcake!
The spice that is stealing the show in the world of nutrition these days has to be turmeric.
Turmeric is being revealed as an effective remedy for many many health conditions. It’s worth its weight in gold due to the presence of ‘Curcumin’, one of many curcuminoids present in this wonderful herbaceous plant. This polyphenol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so is able to benefit conditions from osteo and rheumatoid arthritis to cancer & heart disease. It is also excellent for prompting the gallbladder to release bile, easing uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as reflux and bloating.
The journal of Alzheimer’s found that the curcuminoid component in turmeric enhances the clearance of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients (which clump together and impact neurone/nerve cell function) and increases brain levels of Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone that promotes the growth and repair of nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord. (NB: The brain’s restorative process was shown to be further enhanced by turmeric when combined with vitamin D3 so get your levels tested).
Another study in 2012 found that when Alzheimers’ patients were supplemented with 100mg of curcumin each day for 12 weeks their behavioural symptoms (irritability, apathy, anxiety, urinary incontinence and wonderings) were greatly improved. This could well be why Indian populations have some of the lowest prevalence of Alzheimers Disease in the world.
If you want to try to boost your memory & brain power through diet, it is recommended to include 1 to 3 grams of ground turmeric powder into your food each day (two grams of ground turmeric powder is approximately one teaspoon).
It is worth noting that curcumin alone is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. However, with the addition of piperine, a natural component in ground black pepper, absorption of curcumin is enhanced by 2000%. So don’t forget to season your curries:-)
These spicy, sweet curry cakes are one way to get some turmeric into your day, and they make a yummy Sunday brunch topped with poached eggs (I make extra root mash for dinner on Friday or Saturday, then prepare the cakes with the left over mash, leave the cake mixture in the fridge to deepen in flavour and then fry them quickly on Sunday morning). Let me know if they get the thumbs up:)
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 cups (350g) of cooked mashed root veg of two sweet potatoes, one parsnip and one butternut squash
3 spring onions, chopped finely
½ cup of finely chopped steamed kale
2 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
Freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp self-raising gluten free flour (depending upon how moist the vegetables are you will need to vary the amount of flour you add)
Combine the sweet potato, parsnips & butternut squash mash, spring onions, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, red chilli and seasoning in a bowl. Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl, and then pour into the sweet potato mixture and combine. Add the gluten free flour and combine.
Heat a frying pan or griddle with the olive oil and with an ice cream scoop add ‘pats’ of sweet potato mixture to the pan. Squash them down to form small round pancakes and cook on medium flame for approximately 5 minutes each side until they are golden brown.