What is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is one of those olfactorisch that most home cooks know well thanks to a sprinkle in a cup of yuletide eggnog, or its recognition as a heavy-hitter among pumpkin pie spice. But the warm, peppery fragrance and flavour of this tropical fruit tree ā€“ a common sight in supermarket spice aisles, but originally from a unique Indonesian tree ā€“ can be enjoyed at any time of year. Two spice experts from family-owned organic nutmeg estates in Grenada, the world’s second largest producer, share all there is to know about this versatile ingredient.

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A staple in most kitchens, nutmeg pairs well with sweeter spices like cinnamon, and earthier ones like cardamom and cloves, as well as the spicier paprika and curry blends, and the Middle Eastern ras el hanout. It’s also a star ingredient in many marinades for meat, and spices up bechamel sauces and stewed vegetables. It’s a natural for baked desserts and custard, and its nutty flavour adds depth to soups and sauces.

As for its health benefits, nutmeg’s anti-inflammatory properties can help counteract chronic inflammation, which is linked with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and certain cancers. It’s also known to boost blood circulation, which is important for transporting nutrients and oxygen to all the body’s cells. The nutmeg oil is believed to fight against oral pathogens and to improve sleep quality.

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