Nutmeg is an aromatic spice from the seed of a variety of trees in the genus Myristica. It can be differentiated from mace, which is a similar-tasting spice.
The difference is that mace is made from the aril or the dried lacy reddish covering of the nutmeg seed.
This makes the plant the only tropical fruit that one can extract two different spices, taken from different parts of the plant.
This evergreen tree is indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (Spice Islands) of Indonesia, where it is known as Pala.
It is also popularly cultivated on Penang Island in Malaysia, in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. It is also widely grown in Kerala (Malabar) in southern India.
The fruit bears a seed which grows to about 2 to 3 cm long. The fruit can be first harvested after 7 to 9 years after planting. The trees do not reach full production until after twenty years.
After harvesting the fruits, or to be more precise, drupes, the outer coat or husks are removed then discarded. This reveals the crimson red aril mace.
The mace is unwrapped carefully and processed separately. On small-scale production lines, the nutmeg kernel is then dried under the sun for several days to weeks. Large-scale commercial settings would normally do this quicker using drying machines.
Whichever method is used the kernel ends up shrinking and sounds like a rattle when shaken. At this moment the shell is cut open and the kernel can be taken and stored.
Most nutmeg is sold ground in powdered form. One can also opt to buy the kernels whole. It is better to buy the kernels whole as powder forms can easily be adulterated with other inferior quality nutmeg varieties or other impurities. If not then buy the powder from reputable sources.
At home, store both forms of the nutmeg in an airtight container and keep in a cold, dark and dry place. This way it will keep for several months.
Uses of Nutmeg in the Kitchen Setting
Nutmeg can be added to dishes during the cooking process according to A recipe is a set of instructions that describe how to prepare a culinary dish and covers the ingredients and method. It consists of the name of the dish, the time it will take to prepare, the individual ingredients and the amounts needed to make the dish. Instructions covering the preparation method, the number of servings the flavor and texture... More. It is advisable to add it to your dish towards the end of the cooking process to retain the best flavor.
Furthermore, the kernels are preferred when making dishes. These retain the essential oils as opposed to the fine powder.
The essential oils help lend a richer flavor to the A recipe is a set of instructions that describe how to prepare a culinary dish and covers the ingredients and method. It consists of the name of the dish, the time it will take to prepare, the individual ingredients and the amounts needed to make the dish. Instructions covering the preparation method, the number of servings the flavor and texture... More. In general, you want to grate or mill the dried kernels just before being added at the last minutes of cooking.
Nutmeg can be added to A sauce is a liquid or semi-solid food served on other foods or used to cook other foods. Sauces are not normally served as foods on their own. They are used to enhance other dishes by adding flavor and texture. The sauce is derived from the French word salsa which means salted though they may be sweet or savory in... More, stew and Soup is a liquid that can be eaten as a complete food. It can either be thick or clear and can be served hot or cold with accompaniments such as crouton or bread buns. Soup may contain solids such as seafood or meats depending on the type. Clear soups are either bouillon and consommé while thick soups can be thickened... More preparations as well as confectionary. it also goes well with vegetables and comes out great in starches such as mashed potatoes.
it is also one of the spices found in curry spice mixes where it is used to To marinate is to soak food in a seasoned liquid for some time before cooking. The fluid usually acidic is used to impart flavor or tenderize the food item with which it is applied to. The liquid is called a Marinade and the process is called marination. The liquid used to marinate is usually made from ingredients such as lemon... More meat and poultry dishes.
It can also be processed into Nutmeg Butter is a dairy product. It remains solid at room temperature and is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. This is done in order to separate butterfat from the buttermilk. It is best used as a bread spread. Other uses include cooking especially baking, sauce making and pan frying. It is also used melted as a condiment... More and used a replacement for cocoa Butter is a dairy product. It remains solid at room temperature and is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. This is done in order to separate butterfat from the buttermilk. It is best used as a bread spread. Other uses include cooking especially baking, sauce making and pan frying. It is also used melted as a condiment... More.
Health Benefits of This Spice
Nutmeg is known for its antioxidant, disease preventing, and health-promoting properties.
It contains no cholesterol and provides just 26 A calorie is a unit of energy used in several fields. It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at one atmospheric pressure or the pressure at sea level. When relating to food, Calories with capital "C", also known as the food calorie the same energy as 1000... More. It is rich in fats and Oil which is also called Cooking oil or Edible oil is a plant, animal or synthetic fat used in food preparation. It is used in frying, baking and other forms of cooking as well as where the food preparation does not require heat such as in salad and dip. It is usually in liquid form at room temperature. Some varieties... More as well as Carbohydrates, Protein and dietary Fiber also referred to as dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. It comes either soluble in water or insoluble. They are normally resistant to absorption in the human digestive tract. They are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps increase bulk in ingested foods, softens stool and shortens the total time... More.
As a source of vitamins, it is a decent source of the B-complex vitamins such as Folates are also known as Folic acid or vitamin B9 is good for DNA synthesis and is essential for alleviating Anemia and in pregnant women infant neural tube defects. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Folic acid can be found naturally in leafy green vegetables. Steam cooking helps retain more of the vitamin during cooking. You can also get it from... More, Niacin is also known as Nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 and is useful for the prevention of nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches and exhaustion. It is also useful in the regulation of high cholesterol in the system. It an be found mainly in protein foods like liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes.... More and Pyridoxine is also known as pyridoxol or vitamin B6 and can be gotten from fruit, vegetables, and grains. It helps prevent confusion, ulcerations, conjuctivitis, intertigo and neuropathy among others. Alcoholics and the elderly are usually the demographics that tend to have increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency.... More. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Thiamine or Vitamin B1 helps prevent disorders like beriberi and korsakoff's syndrome and can lead to metabolic coma and death. Yeast, yeast extract, pork, whole grain brown bread and other cereals are good sources of vitamin B1.... More and contains some amounts of Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2 helps prevent migraines and is good for cellular respiration. It can be found in eggs, milk, meat and green vegetables. Deficiency results in symptoms similar to Pellagra. Others include chapped lips, red tongue, sore throat, inflammation of the mouth and scaly rashes on private parts.... More.
It also provides fair amounts of Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds like retinol, retinoic acid provitamin A carotenoids like beta-carotene and is important for growth, immune system and good vision especially in low-light and color vision. It can be found in several foods including liver, cod liver oil, carrot, green vegetables, butter, milk sweet potato, Cheese and fish among others.... More and Vitamin C.
As for minerals, nutmeg is an excellent source of Copper and Manganese. It is also a rich source of Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. It also provides large amounts of Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium.