When we think of festivals, we think of good food and good times. But there is one more thing that makes our festivals memorable. Can't seem to visualize it? Then maybe you should try to think with your nose!
Recall the sweet fragrance of Thanksgiving's pumpkin pie, or the tempting smell from Christmas's eggnog.
Can you finally guess what we are talking about? It's nutmeg!
This is one spice you just can't make any festive recipes without!
Whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas, you need to have nutmeg in your kitchen pantry!
But did you know that you can use nutmeg for so many other things as well! You don't need to wait around for the festive season to roll in to use this wonderful spice! With so many health benefits that come with nutmeg, you'll be missing out if you don't include it in your daily life!
is nutmeg actually a nut?
The simple answer is no, nutmeg is not a nut. The longer answer is that since nutmeg is a dried seed that is grounded in order to use it as spice.
Nutmeg has long been treasured for its distinct fragrance and flavor by all around the world, with European traders going to the far corners of the South Pacific to get the coveted nutmeg.
Nutmeg is considered native to Indonesia, more specifically the Maluku Islands in Eastern Indonesia. People of Indonesia have traditionally used nutmeg not only for cooking purposes but also for medicinal purposes thanks to its healing properties.
But this is enough about nutmeg. What about the plant that grows nutmeg? We say it is as fascinating as the spice it produces. Nutmeg trees can grow really tall, like we are talking about 66 feet tall trees here!
And it is on these trees' branches fruits grow from which nutmeg comes, These fruits look like peaches and are called nutmeg apples, which the locals use to make jams or other sweets.
But for most of us what's important is the seeds inside the fruits, as they produce two types of spices for us, namely nutmeg and mace. When the fruit is ripe it splits open and comes open the seed, which is cleaned and dried out to finally get nutmeg. If you ever wondered why nutmeg is so expensive, now you know why!
Health benefits of nutmeg
Don’t mistake the size of nutmeg to mean it is not valuable in nutrition. The small nutmeg is actually packed with so many health benefits that we can’t even list all of them here! Still, we will list the most important ones for you which we think will be enough to convince you to go buy some more nutmeg for your kitchen!
Nutmeg helps deal with Insomnia
These days insomnia is the new trending health issue among our youngsters. Whether it's due to increased screen time or our modern stress-filled lifestyle, we cannot exactly tell.
But we can definitely tell you what can help you go to sleep early. Research has shown that nutmeg can have a soothing effect on us which can induce sleep, if we take nutmeg in small doses. If you cannot believe our modern researchers on this then maybe ancient Indians can convince you with their ancient medicinal practice called Ayurveda!
Just add a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg powder to your glass of milk and drink it daily before going to bed. Mark our words that you will fall asleep almost immediately and be in dreamland in no time!
Essentila Oils in Nutmeg
- What makes nutmeg so special is the essential oils it contains. These include names like myristicin, elemicin and safrole.
- These oils are said to have anti-inflammatory properties which can go so far as to even help you with relieving pain, such as joint pain and muscle pain.
- So if you have a particularly aching back after sitting on your chair for long hours, just get a bottle of nutmeg oil and get someone to give you a massage! Why spend hundreds of bucks going to a fancy massessue when you can get a massage right at home with a little bit of nutmeg oil!
Does Nutmeg Helps in Digestion?
- If you are one of the many who suffer from digestive problems like constipation and bloated stomach, then maybe it's time you add a bit of nutmeg in your daily diet!
- Nutmeg is rich in fiber which is already said to aid in the digestive process and ease your constipation.
- In addition to this fiber, nutmeg also contains powerful essential oils and antioxidants which are said to have properties that can relieve flatulence.
- In simple words, whenever you feel like your stomach is grumbling a little too much, just have a soup with a bit of nutmeg added in. You will find your digestive system settling down within mere minutes!
Does Nutmeg Makes People Happy?
- Many people have their own brand of comfort food after a particularly bad day to cheer them up. Some like to sit down on the couch with a tub of ice-cream while some like to order Chinese takeout.
- While all these options are nice, they are not exactly either and also do little to alleviate our mood. Not to mention the guilt all of us feel after having such calorie laden food! But don’t worry for we have something that is not only healthy but is also a great mood booster. That’s right, we are talking about nutmeg!
- There is a reason why nutmeg is added in every festive food. It just makes everyone happy! And this is also based on scientific truth, as nutmeg is believed to have antidepressant properties which can stimulate arousal in our brain. So if you ever had a downer of a day or are just feeling tired and not in the mood, just remember that a pinch of nutmeg can help!
Is Nutmeg good for Skin?
- Everyone is struggling with skincare these days. The constant smoke and pollution has not helped matters either, leaving all of us with dusty and acne filled faces.
- But can we trust all the fancy skincare creams that come packed with chemicals these days? Even those organic and herbal ones have preservatives! If you are looking for an alternative to all these mentioned skincare options, maybe you should give the all natural nutmeg a chance!
- Nutmeg contains essential oils that have anti-toxin properties, which means it can clear your skin of any toxins and wastes. Just take some freshly ground nutmeg powder and mix it with equal amounts of honey. Then apply it to your skin and leave it there for a few minutes. Wash it away and you’ll find yourself shining like the moon itself!
Usage of Nutmeg
Nutmeg is mainly used as a spice in our daily cooking, although you can also use nutmeg essential oil for perfume or massage purposes.
Either way, nutmeg is full of health benefits that everyone should take advantage of. But there is just one catch.
You should always use nutmeg in small quantities, and never large ones. This is because nutmeg in bigger quantities can actually cause you harm.
Nutmeg contains powerful compounds like saferole, which is great for you only in small doses.
If you take a lot, then you can get side effects like hallucinations, nausea and vomiting. But don’t panic about using nutmeg if you are new in the cooking biz. Just follow the recipe and its measurements and you will be fine!
Nutmeg Taste Profile
Nutmeg has a unique taste profile that can add to flavour if you use it in both sweet or savoury recipes.
Among sweet dishes you definitely should use nutmeg in pies, cakes and custards.
When it comes to savory recipes you can use nutmeg in curries, pork and lamb chops.
You can even add a dash of nutmeg to vegetables to give them a richer taste! You can also use nutmeg as a sprinkling to your drinks like tea, smoothies or shakes.
More Recipes with Nutmeg
- Easy Pumpkin Pie filling Recipe from Scratch
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Recipe
- Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk (Vegan)
- Apple Hand Pies in Air Fryer
- Creamy Shrimp Alfredo with Cream Cheese
Nutmeg is such a talented spice that you can make almost anything better with its tiny addition!
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