Why is Nutmeg so popular?

07 Dec 2017
9108 VIEWS

Ever imagined holiday feasts without nutmeg?

Me neither.

Be it those delicious pumpkin pies or savoury meat dishes, a dash of nutmeg surely adds a whole new complexity to the dish.

The popularity of nutmeg can be traced as far back as 15th century. This aromatic spice had left the world explorers fighting over it.

Nutmeg was brought to Europe during the middle ages by the Arabs. The name Nutmeg, is derived from the old French, meaning the “Musky Nut”. Although, nutmeg today is quite affordable, centuries back it was heavily prized and owned only by the rich. The nutmeg trade was a very serious affair back then.

Nutmeg originally is native to the Spice Islands [Moluccas] of Eastern Indonesia. It’s scientific name is Myristica fragrans and it belongs to the family, Myristicaceae. It is an evergreen tree, standing 50 meters tall. The first harvest of the fruit takes place after seven to nine years after planting!

Nutmeg comes with its fair share of benefits. It is not only used in culinary world but also in the field of medicine.

You can experiment with nutmeg in your kitchen. It has a strong fragrance and slightly sweet taste. It is widely used in Asian and Western cuisines. It is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, confections, puddings, pies, potatoes, meats, sausages, vegetables, and beverages such as eggnog, coffee etc.

Nutmeg includes beneficial components like dietary fiber, manganese, thiamin, Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper and Maceligan.

Medicinally, the following are few of the many benefits of Nutmeg:

The essential oil, (Maceligan) is used as a stimulant and it helps in relieving stress.

It is also an effective sedative and has Anti-inflammatory properties.

It helps in relieving body pains, muscle ache toothache and it also acts as a muscle relaxant.

Nutmeg benefits the skin as well. It’s Anti-inflammatory and stimulant properties work wonders on the skin.

Nutmeg also helps in alleviating indigestion, flatulence, constipation etc. And plays a role in detoxification of the body.

However, when consumed in large amounts, nutmeg has psychoactive effects and is also know to be an hallucinogen. It may also cause convulsions, palpitations etc. During the 19th century, nutmeg was also used as an abortifacient, to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

With such long standing history an en number of benefits, no wonder this holiday spice is so popular.

Here, are few delicious recipes which can be prepared using nutmeg:

Spinach, Potato, and Nutmeg Soup

Ingredients:

  • Potato [peeled and halved] - 1 medium
  • Milk- 1/4th cup
  • Fresh spinach- 1 cup
  • Onion (chopped) -1 medium
  • Ground nutmeg- to taste
  • Vegetable stock5: 1 cup
  • Salt- as per taste.
  • Black pepper powder- as per taste
  • Oil- 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a nonstick pan, add the chopped onion and cook until tender.
  2. Add cooked onion, spinach, potato, nutmeg to make puree.
  3. In a sauce pan add the puree, vegetable stock and allow it to cook for 20mins.
  4. Add the milk and stir continuously.
  5. Season with salt, pepper powder and nutmeg powder to taste.
  6. Pour in a bowl and ready to serve

 

Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • Whole egg- 1
  • Milk- 1 cup
  • Sugar- 2 tsp
  • Nutmeg- 1 tsp 

Method:

  1. In a bowl beat the egg and sugar to form soft peak.
  2. Add nutmeg and milk in a separate bowl and mix well them well.
  3. Add the beaten egg to the milk and pour in a serving glass. Refrigerate it for 30-40mins
  4. Sprinkle nutmeg powder on top and serve chill.

 

NUTMEG COFFEE

Ingredients:

  • Coffee powder- 1/3th tbsp
  • Milk- 1/3rd cup
  • Sugar- 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg powder- a pinch
  • Water- 1/4th cup

 Methods:

  1. In a saucepan add coffee powder, sugar, milk, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and water. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolve and the milk is about to boil.
  2. Turn off the flame and pour the coffee in a mug.
  3. Sprinkle nutmeg powder and serve hot.

 


RELATED POST