Great Ape Cook-Off Round 4: "Turmeric Time"

Great Ape Cook-Off Round 4: “Turmeric Time”

Turmeric is a root, related to ginger, and is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has a beautiful, bright yellow color and has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds. New health benefits for turmeric are still being researched in modern medicine.

Can the chefs prepare this healthy ingredient in a dish that the chimps will love?


What did you make?

Jen: I made sweet potato tumeric hummus, as sweet potato and hummus are some of my favorite foods and they’re super healthy! Sweet potato is loaded with vitamin A and tumeric is known as a superfood due to its anti-inflammatory properties. I roasted sweet potato with curry and tumeric first. I then blended that with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and cumin. I was getting a little frustrated as the blender kept getting stuck, and I even accidentally set off the fire alarm from the motor getting overheated! Eventually it all smoothed out and the tumeric gave it a beautiful bright yellow color.

Kaleigh: I made a Turmeric milkshake. I make this for myself fairly often. I mixed almond milk, turmeric, black pepper, vanilla, date pieces, and chia seeds in the blender and…well…that’s it! It’s super simple. The turmeric adds a unique, but not overpowering flavor and the black pepper increases the bio-availability of the turmeric to increase it’s health benefits. The chia seeds help thicken the milk shake and are a great source of protein. The color of these milk shakes ends up gorgeous.



What did the chimps think?

Jen: I served the hummus with carrot sticks and chow biscuits. Emma sniffed hers and literally shook her head no and walked away. CJ quickly snagged hers and enjoyed it under her blanket in one of the outdoor tunnels, and even went back for seconds and took Emma’s! Patty, Topo, and Herbie loved theirs- so much so they bypassed the carrots and ripped open the cups to go in face-first. This made for some adorable turmeric “mustaches”. I was really happy how this came out- just be careful when eating because turmeric stains everything it touches yellow!

Kaleigh: The chimps went nuts when they saw what I was handing out. I was glad Emma liked it, as she is such a picky eater. Emma and CJ both made happy “yum” noises and Herbie really took his time, sipping at his milkshake and savoring it. Topo was thrilled with his milkshake, chuckling as he drank. Turmeric is especially helpful for him to have in his diet, as it can reduce inflammation and pain related to arthritis. I will definitely be working more turmeric into his meals now that I know he enjoys it. By the time I had passed the milkshakes out to each chimp, Herbie was waiting with an empty cup and a bright yellow milk mustache asking for seconds. I was happy to oblige. 

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And the winner of The Great Ape Cook-Off Round 4: “Turmeric Time” is…



Tune in next week for our Chick Pea Challenge!