Spice of the Month: Nutmeg

by in Healthy Recipes, December 8, 2011
Nutmeg is available whole or ground; whole is much more potent.

It just wouldn’t be the holidays without this warm and nutty spice. Impress friends and family at the dinner table with some trivia. Did you know nutmeg is actually the seed of a type of tree?

Nutmeg Basics
Cut open the fruit of a tropical variety of evergreen tree and you’ll find this inch-sized brown seed. It doesn’t look like much but this little baby packs in warm and earthy flavor when it’s freshly grated. Ground nutmeg is also widely available, but isn’t as potent.

Native to Indonesia, the Caribbean and part of India, the outer covering of nutmeg is cultivated as an entirely different spice known as mace.

Nutrition Info
One tablespoon of nutmeg has just shy of 40 calories, 1 gram of fiber and B-vitamins like thiamin, B6 and folate. You’ll also find minerals like copper, iron and potassium.

What to do with Nutmeg
Use nutmeg to add a spicy, sweet kick to baked goods. Banana, pumpkin, apple and carrot get along famously with this sassy spice. Sweet foods love nutmeg but so do creamy dishes like fettuccine Alfredo, mac and cheese and creamed spinach. You’ll find it in lots of holiday recipes; everything from pumpkin pie to green bean casserole.

Shopping and Storage Tips
Store seeds or ground powder in a cool dry place. Refresh supply every 6 months to ensure the best flavor.

Recipes to Try
Lowfat Green Tea, Honey and Nutmeg Smoothies
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Creamed Spinach
“Old Bay” Grilled Steak Fries
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Lightened Up Fettuccine Alfredo
Sweet Potato Casserole

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