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Can Turmeric Be Eaten Raw? What Does It Tastes Like?

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So often, when we think of turmeric, we actually think about the powder, so the question if turmeric can be eaten raw it’s not on our minds. But the first time when I saw turmeric root, this came as a question.

Since it looks like the ginger root or a weird sweet potato, and those two are not often eaten in their raw form, it doesn’t give you much confidence that it is ok to be eaten raw.

I decided to research a bit more what the experts say about eating raw turmeric root before sharing my opinion with you to better understand the risks involved, if there are any.

So let’s see what I’ve found out after I checked everything I could.

turmeric raw

Can turmeric be eaten raw?

Turmeric can be eaten raw for its well-known health benefits, but the taste will be very bitter and earthy, which makes eating raw turmeric not as popular as the powder version.

To offset the bitter and earthier taste, it is better not to consume it on its own. You can slice it thinly and put it in a fresh vegetable salad along with other fresh vegetables that will cover its taste. This way, you can enjoy its health benefits without enduring the weird taste that can be off-putting.

Also, it is recommended to consume it in a moderate portion, so like ginger, if you plan to use it raw, don’t use an entire big root to make a cup of tea. You can slice it thinly and use a few slices to make a cup of tea, you can use a bit more for a salad, but you should not eat more than one medium rhizome per day.

Eating raw turmeric compared to cooked or powder one provides extra freshness, and also you will have 100% of the beneficial nutrients from it. Because we know that some of the nutrients are lost when a plant is cooked.

Read Also: Why Is Turmeric So Expensive?

What does raw turmeric taste like?

Raw turmeric root tastes similar to the powder one but is fresher and has a light citrus-like flavor. Its texture is crunchy, fibrous like a sweet potato, making it hard to chew. It is much better to slice it thinly with a vegetable peeler.

If you plan to eat raw turmeric, make sure you peel the skin away and wash the root very well before eating it as it is or using it for a tea or a salad.

It is not the best that you can get out of a fresh vegetable. Many people eat it raw anyway for its very popular health benefits. I don’t say that it has good nutrients like many fresh vegetables, but in my opinion, the health benefits are way overhyped, so I wouldn’t bother myself to eat it raw if I don’t like the taste and texture.

What can you do with raw turmeric?

There are a few uses of raw turmeric that can be much more useful and enjoyable than eating it raw as it is.

  • A salad. As I said before, you can cut very thin slices of turmeric and make a great fresh vegetable salad alongside some baby spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.
  • Tea. As with ginger, you can easily make a good healthy tea using the fresh turmeric rhizome.
  • Juice. If you like the taste but not the texture, squeezing the pulp to make fresh turmeric juice can be a good option as well. It will be hard to get a good quantity out of it, so you may need a lot of turmeric for that.
  • Smoothie. Making a smoothie with some good-tasting fruits like apples, bananas, kiwis, etc., can be a great way of having the good nutrients from the turmeric with a much better taste and texture. Also, this can solve the problem that you have when making turmeric juice because you don’t need that much turmeric since it is blended with other fruits that are much bigger and cheaper.
  • Make a thick paste. You can make a thick paste from turmeric that can serve as a sauce for some foods.

turmeric smoothie

How to choose good turmeric?

If you plan to eat raw turmeric, you must choose the best one to have a higher chance of a good first impression.

To make sure you choose the best one, I will give you some criteria to look for when you buy turmeric root:

-Color. The color of the turmeric should be dark orange. Sometimes it can be hard to see its actual color since it can have a lot of dirt on it.

If it has a brownish color, it can signify that it has gone bad. Also, if it is a way too pale orange or even yellow color, it is a sign that it is not ripe enough.

-Texture. The texture of fresh turmeric should be firm without cracks or soft spots. So if you see that it is soft, way too dry, or has any weird spots, you better avoid that specific turmeric root.

-Smell. Turmeric has a scent of a combination between orange and ginger, so if the turmeric has no smell at all or a sour smell, you should not buy it.

Read Also: Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin? 


Turmeric can be eaten raw, but it is way more common to find it as a powder. It is not the best-tasting vegetable, so you should not have high expectations.

If you still plan to eat it raw, consider the options of using it in a salad or a fresh smoothie, don’t just eat the root as it is since you may be disappointed.

I hope that I have given you some good ideas about using raw turmeric and what you should expect from it.

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