Make potent homemade turmeric shots two ways - with fresh turmeric and with turmeric powder. Use a blender or jar, and experience a stronger immune system and a general sense of well-being thanks to the turmeric's anti-inflammatory power.
Turmeric shots are potent concentrated small drinks, about 3-4 ounces, that boost the immune system, fights disease by reducing inflammation, and improve gut health. I make them using either fresh turmeric root or turmeric powder.
You can buy them from grocery stores, brands such as Kor and Vive. They come in various flavors to nutritional targets. I used to scoop them up when I saw deals, but they are expensive so I wanted to make them at home, just as I make ginger shots.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric shots contain turmeric, an orange spice that comes from a root in the ginger family. Turmeric is an ancient spice that Indian cuisines have enjoyed for thousands of years and Ayurvedic medicine has revered for its ability to heal a myriad of conditions. In fact, turmeric has been used as a traditional medicine in some countries, including Indonesia where they call it Jamu.
Healthy potent shots, such as my collection of wellness shots and my ever popular ginger shots, have become exceptionally popular in the past few years. And turmeric spice even more so, appearing in everything from lattes to ice cream, because of its health potential.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
There is science behind turmeric's popularity. Turmeric contains a bioactive compound called curcumin which is a known antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. These effects help boost immunity, clear up digestion issues, detox, improve blood circulation and more. You should note though to release curcumin from turmeric, black pepper needs to be ingested at the same time hence the black pepper in my recipe.
You can use fresh turmeric or turmeric powder in this recipe, although the health benefits using fresh are about twice as strong as when using turmeric powder.
The most effective turmeric shot recipes combine turmeric, fresh or powdered, with a citrus juice and a pepper. Here are the ingredients in my recipe:
- Turmeric: Find fresh turmeric root in the grocery store produce section. Find turmeric powder in the spice aisle.
- Black pepper: Pepper or even cayenne pepper is necessary to activate the curcumin and increase its bioavailability, or rather help the body absorb more of it.
- Orange juice: This potent citrus provides additional immune boosting power with vitamin C. Its acidity is useful in dissolving the turmeric and its sweetness provides flavor balance.
- Coconut water: I use coconut water because it has a natural sweetness and is high in potassium, so important in boosting immunity. If you don't like coconut water, you can use water instead but the flavor will be slightly more bitter.
How to Make
There are two ways to make turmeric shots with fresh or powdered turmeric.
A detailed recipe can be found in the recipe card below, but here are general steps.
Use Fresh Turmeric
Step 1: Wash turmeric root. No need to peel because you'll be straining out the pulp. Chop the root into large chunks if using a blender or juicer, or push chunks through a garlic press if grating to use a jar.
Step 2. Juice the oranges. You can use fresh juice, not from concentrate if you prefer that over juicing fresh oranges. Oranges are important to offset any bitter flavor and of course oranges provide additional immune-boosting vitamin C.
Step 3. Add Ingredients to a juicer, blender or a jar.
- Using a juicer: Follow your juicer's instructions.
- Using a blender: Blend the mixture as smooth as you can. A high speed blender is best - such as Blendtec, Nutribullet or Vitamix, but a medium speed blender will also work.
- Using a jar: Add grated turmeric and other ingredients to a jar. You would use a jar to avoid staining your blender jar, although you can clean it with bleach or white vinegar.
Step 4. Strain the Mixture. If using a blender or a jar, use a fine strainer to pour the mixture through, capturing the paper skin of the root and orange pulp. Use a rubber spatula to press on the mixture and squeegee out as much liquid as possible.
Step 5. Drink your Shot. This recipe makes 2 shots.
Use Turmeric Powder (ground turmeric spice)
Step 1: Add orange juice, coconut water, powdered turmeric spice and black pepper to a jar.
Step 2: Shake vigorously. You do not need to strain when using turmeric powder. Drink your shot. This recipe makes 2 shots.
PRO TIP - Turmeric stains fingers and cutting boards orange in color so I normally don't peel and use a washable dish as a cutting board. If your blender jar develops an orange hue, fill it full of clear water and add a few tablespoon of white vinegar and let it sit for ten minutes then rinse or wash as usual.
Whether you make it from fresh turmeric or turmeric powder, store refrigerated for up to 5 days before the wellness power begins to fade. Or pour in ice cube trays and store in the freezer for three months.
Expert Tips & Variations
2.Make ahead: Double or triple or quadruple the recipe to make shots for the week. Shots can remain refrigerated for five days before losing potency.
3. Two inches of fresh turmeric root chopped works well to create two shots using your blender, juicer or a jar.
4. If you want to shake up the fresh turmeric root in a jar however to save your blender jar from staining, then grate the fresh turmeric root with a garlic press or a potato grater. You'll need 4 tablespoons of grated turmeric root for this 2-shot recipe.
6. Because turmeric stains surfaces orange, use a washable dish instead of a cutting board, and use a jar or glass dedicated to making turmeric because it will turn orange.
7.To clean turmeric stains off your blender jar, add a solution of white vinegar to the jar and let it sit for 10 minutes. You can also add a tablespoon of bleach to 3 cups of water and let that sit in the blender jar for one minute, but that's harsh so I recommend the vinegar.
Add-ins & Substitutions
Boost your shot by replacing the coconut water with aloe vera juice for additional gut support and skin health. Or replace 1 tablespoon of the coconut water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to up the detox effects, although prepare for a burnier flavor.
Use cayenne pepper if you don't have black pepper.
Use pineapple juice instead of orange juice. Pineapple juice will provide additional anti-inflammatory effects to help with sore joints. Interested in more joint support? Try my Pineapple Smoothie.
How Often Should You Take Turmeric Shots?
Science shows you need to ingest about 500mg of curcumin a day to feel the wellness benefits turmeric is known for.[source] To get that in a shot, you'll need to ingest two inches of fresh turmeric or 2 tablespoon of grated turmeric or ½ tablespoon of powdered turmeric. That would be one shot daily from this recipe.
You can also take a curcumin supplement but a turmeric shot is absorbed into your blood stream faster, and is combined with other nutritious ingredients.
When should you take turmeric shots?
It's best to take turmeric shots before breakfast to ensure best absorption. Turmeric however can interfere with iron absorption so don't take it within 3-4 hours of taking a vitamin or an iron supplement.
Can you make turmeric shots with ground turmeric (turmeric powder)?
Yes! I have the recipe in my recipe card notes. Basically, to make two shots, mix up in a jar ¼ cup orange juice, ½ cup coconut water, 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric spice and a pinch of black pepper to a jar. Shake vigorously.
Healthy Shots & Detox Water Recipes
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- Fine sieve or strainer
- ¼ cup orange juice (60 ml) (1 juiced orange)
- ½ cup coconut water (120 ml)
- 2 inches fresh turmeric root, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Other forms of Turmeric
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder or ground
- 2 inches fresh turmeric root, grated Makes about 4 tablespoons grated
Use a Blender + Fresh Turmeric Root
- Wash and chop the turmeric root. No need to peel since you'll be filtering out the hard substances in this mixture.
- Juice the Orange. You can use fresh store bought juice if you prefer. Oranges are important to offset any bitter flavor and of course oranges provide additional immune-boosting vitamin C.
- Add Ingredients to a Blender. Blend the mixture as smooth as you can. A high speed blender is best - such as Blendtec, Nutribullet or Vitamix, but a medium speed blender will also work.¼ cup orange juice (60 ml), ½ cup coconut water (120 ml), 2 inches fresh turmeric root, chopped, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Strain the Mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer. I typically use a rubber spoon to press on the mixture and squeegee out as much liquid as possible. The liquid are your two shots. Discard the pulp.
- Drink your Shot. Drink half (1 shot) at once for most potent use. You can make it in double or triple batches however and refrigerate for up to 5 days before the wellness power begins to fade.
Use Grated Turmeric + Jar (to not stain your blender jar)
- If you want to avoid staining your blender jar, pulverize the fresh turmeric by hand using a garlic press or cheese grater. You will need 4 tablespoons of grated turmeric (grate 2 inches of the root) to make 2 shots.¼ cup orange juice (60 ml), ½ cup coconut water (120 ml), 2 inches fresh turmeric root, grated, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the ingredients to a jar or glass bottle dedicated to making turmeric and shake. As with the chopped turmeric version, you will need to strain this mixture to remove the turmeric pulp. Discard the pulp.
Use Turmeric Powder + Jar
- Mix and shake all ingredients in a jar. Add ¼ cup orange juice, ½ cup coconut water, 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder spice and a pinch of black pepper to a jar. Shake vigorously. You do not need to strain when using powdered turmeric. Refrigerate and drink half immediately, and the other half within five days.¼ cup orange juice (60 ml), ½ cup coconut water (120 ml), 1 tablespoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper