Learn About Nutmeg

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is a brown spice made from the ground seeds of the nutmeg tree, which is native to Indonesia.  While nutmeg usually comes in a powder form, it can come whole as the seeds.  Whole seeds will need to be ground down with a mortar and pestle or a grater.  Nutmeg has a strong, warm aroma, especially when freshly ground.  Nutmeg is a staple in certain spice mixes like pumpkin pie, jerk, and seven spice.

What Does Nutmeg Taste Like?

Freshly ground nutmeg has a more intense flavor than powdered nutmeg.  Nutmeg generally has a nutty flavor and is known for being warm.  Its flavor is strong and distinct and is often found in many fall dishes like pumpkin pie.

Learn About Nutmeg
Whole inshell nut, cracked and nutmeg powder in a wooden bowl and spoon on old blue rustic background close-up. indian spice.

How Do You Eat Nutmeg?

Since nutmeg is a spice, it is usually mixed into dishes. It can be used in both savory and sweet dishes and is often used in both. Common dishes made with nutmeg include pumpkin pie, eggnog, and gingerbread. Nutmeg is frequently paired with cauliflower or rice pudding for the flavor it adds. Tagines frequently include nutmeg as part of the spice blend. Nutmeg is an important ingredient in chai tea, tortellini, and haggis.

Where Can You Buy Nutmeg?

Look for ground nutmeg in the spice aisle of the grocery store.  Some grocery stores may not carry whole nutmeg, but it will also be in the spice aisle.

How Do You Store Nutmeg?

Store whole and ground nutmeg in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. Nutmeg should not be stored where the container will hold in moisture.  Store nutmeg away from light..

Fun Facts About Nutmeg

Whole nutmeg keeps almost indefinitely if stored correctly.  Nutmeg seeds are surrounded in a flesh called mace, which is ground into a powder and used as a spice just like nutmeg.

Did You Know?

Nutmeg used to be one of the most expensive spices in the world.

Recipes Using Nutmeg

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Make your own pumpkin pie spice to keep on hand. Mix ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves together and store in an airtight container. Use this spice mix in your next pumpkin pie or pumpkin bars recipe.

Banana Bread with Nutmeg

Add a twist to a classic recipe. Prepare your favorite banana bread recipe as normal. Measure out 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and stir into the mix. Bake the bread as directed until fully cooked.

Rice Pudding

Make a creamy dessert to treat yourself. Simmer milk, cream, sugar, and rice in a saucepan. Add in spices and seasonings and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve with freshly grated nutmeg over the top.

Roasted Cauliflower

Add flavor and spice to roasted cauliflower. Toss washed cauliflower with olive oil and salt. Spread into an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until soft. Sprinkle fresh nutmeg over the top before serving.


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