Nutmeg

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 23. Apr. 2020
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​Nutmeg might be most well-known for sweet autumnal dishes, however this versatile spice tastes great in savory dishes as well. In addition to its unique flavor, it also has a ton of health benefits. 

nutmeg

Nutmeg…

  • ...can help calm your nerves. Nutmeg contains the substances safrol, elemicin and myristicin, which can help ease anxiety.
  • ...can soothe a stomach ache. Nutmeg’s taste comes from a rich cocktail of essential oils including alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, which can help soothe the stomach. Naturopaths have used it for years to help ease stomach cramps, diarrhea and gas.
  • ...may help you sleep. In some cultures, nutmeg with warm milk is commonly consumed before bedtime. Simply boil 125 milliliters of low-fat milk, stir in 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, and drink it lukewarm.
  • ...makes you drunk faster. Mulled wine with a generous seasoning of nutmeg will intoxicate faster.
  • ...should be consumed in moderation. 4 grams or more of nutmeg can cause nausea, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness. 15-20 grams can lead to intoxication and heart problems.
  • ...is not great for those with histamine intolerance. Nutmeg is particularly rich in histamines, so those who suffer from histamine intolerance are better off bypassing nutmeg altogether.

What You Should Know About Nutmeg

The nutmeg tree has apricot-like, fleshy fruits that burst open when their seeds have reached full maturity, releasing the nutmeg spice. Nutmeg has been used for more than 2000 years it has been used grated as a spice and as a remedy.

Until a few centuries ago, nutmeg was an expensive treasure that was highly sought after for its healing properties and intense aroma. Today it’s a common spice that can be found powdered or whole in most grocery stores.

Origins

Nutmeg was originally only native to Indonesia, but now grows worldwide in tropical climates.

Seasonality

Nutmeg is available all year round.

Flavor

Nutmeg tastes slightly sweet, slightly hot and intensely spicy, especially if you utilize the whole nutmeg instead of the powdered iteration.

Find all our nutmeg recipes here.

How Healthy Is Nutmeg?

A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg not only tastes good, but also stimulates digestion. 
In the ancient Indian art of Ayurveda, nutmeg is one of the principle remedies for restlessness, nervous disorders and stomach cramps. Its essential oils also have a beneficial effect on the stomach and intestines. 

But beware: the dose of nutmeg can turn a slightly stimulating spice into real poison. From a quantity of 4 grams, nausea, dizziness and confusion may occur. 

Nutmeg Nutritional Info  
Calories 526
Protein 5.7 g
Fat 35 g
Carbohyrates 45 g
Fiber 4 g


Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

While ground nutmeg is easier to cook with, purchasing the nutmeg whole and grinding it fresh will yield a far more pungent, delicious flavor. 

Storage

In order to preserve nutmeg’s essential oils and flavor for as long as possible, nutmeg should be stored in a dark, airtight container.

Preparation

Simply grate the desired amount fresh from the nutmeg onto the respective dish. 

What To Make With Nutmeg

The sweetish-bitter and slightly pungent taste of nutmeg goes perfectly with vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, leeks and cabbage. Nutmeg is also an integral ingredient in classic dishes like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, béchamel sauce, and as cheese fondue. A hint of nutmeg also tastes great in many pasta dishes as well as meatloaf and meatballs. 

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