November 21, 2019

Spice It Up: Nutmeg

Spice It Up: Nutmeg

Nutmeg and Mace

Nutmeg comes from an Indonesian tropical evergreen tree that actually produces two spices, nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is the pit, or seed, of the fruit, and mace is the lacy bright red webbing that surrounds the shell of the pit. The mace is typically removed, dried and ground into a spicy and pungent powder that is used for baking and is often found in doughnuts. The nutmeg seed is dried slowly over an eight week period and can either be left whole or grated into a powder. Cultivating nutmeg is a true test of patience as the nutmeg tree takes seven to nine years to produce fruit after being planted.


Spice It Up: Nutmeg

History

Nutmeg has been a wildly popular spice long before we were putting it in our eggnog. Evidence suggests that it was used as early as the first century A.D., although it didn’t reach its peak popularity until the 1500s. It has long been popular for its culinary uses, its hallucinogenic effects and its believed medicinal purposes  it was thought to help ward off the plague and heal stomach ailments.

At the time, it was only found on a small Indonesian island where it was very sought-after, and therefore very valuable. In the 1600s, the British and Dutch fought a long war over who would control the island and monopolize the spice. The Dutch ended up gaining control and in exchange gave the British control over what is now modern-day New York. Later during the early 1800s, England temporarily gained control over the islands and they were able to transplant nutmeg trees to be grown elsewhere, namely the country of Grenada. This is why today you can find a nutmeg fruit image featured on the Grenada national flag. Indonesia and Grenada still dominate the production of nutmeg today, although it is also grown in New Guinea, the West Indies and even in Florida.

Spice It Up: Nutmeg

Uses

Nutmeg is a strong spice with a pungent fragrance and slightly sweet taste, so a little tends to go a long way in cooking and baking. It’s extremely popular for baking and in warm winter beverages, but it can also be used in savory dishes. It’s great in sauces, over vegetables, in sausage, in meat rubs, and sprinkled over potatoes. Nutmeg goes well in creamy or cheesy dishes such as alfredo, because the spiciness adds depth and creates a great contrast against the richness of the cream. It is also popular in masala and curry blends.

Dried nutmeg, while convenient, tends to lose its flavor more quickly than whole nutmeg, so it’s best to purchase it in small amounts. Whole nutmeg has a much longer shelf life and can easily be grated into dishes for delicious fresh flavor.

Spice It Up: Nutmeg

Simple Ways To Spice It Up

  • Sprinkle nutmeg over a fruit salad
  • Mix nutmeg with cinnamon and serve over cooked apples or baked pears
  • Add nutmeg to scrambled eggs or mix it into your quiche recipe
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg into your pancake, waffle or french toast batter
  • Sprinkle nutmeg over vegetables before roasting them - it goes particularly well with sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, cabbage, and broccoli or cauliflower
  • Add nutmeg to your sweet potato or yam casserole

Get Inspired

Spiced Roasted Persimmon Slices

Persimmons naturally have a sweet tender flesh that is delicious by itself. This recipe gives you the option to enhance those natural flavors with a variety of different spices.

Spice It Up: Cinnamon

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole

This modern twist on a classic casserole is full of vibrant fall flavors. The sweetness of the apples, the tart and tangy flavor of the vinegar, combined with the buttery flavor of the squash makes for a delicious dinner that can stand alone or play the supporting role at a family potluck.

Spice It Up: Cinnamon

Spiced Hot Fruit Bake

Spiced baked fruit is an easy recipe to do and warms your home with the flavors of fall. Serve over ice cream, you morning oatmeal or eat by itself for a lighter sweet treat.

Spice It Up: Cinnamon

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Who isn't a fan of the pumpkins pice latte? The moment temperatures drop below 70 we rush off to our local coffee shop to order one - but with this recipe you can easily make and enjoy one in your own home!

Spice It Up: Cinnamon

How To Add Farm Stand Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood. You can even get your whole office in on the fun with our office snack packs. Find more information about our office deliveries here.