NUTMEG: A BLESSING IN SPICE!
Introduction to Nutmeg
Nutmeg is the seed of the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans. The fruit that contains the seed initially has a peach-like appearance. The nutmeg seed or kernel is encased in a reddish net known as the nutmeg mace. Each of these has an exceptional taste and application.
Nutmeg is one of several beautiful spices (Masala) that not only offer flavor but also have numerous medical advantages. It has a distinctive nutty and smokey flavor and is quite versatile. Sprinkled on warm beverages like lattes and eggnog to give it an earthy nutty flavor, nutmeg is also used in baked goods, curries, desserts, and other dishes. Nutmeg's inviting aroma has spread to many nations and sparked several battles. It is so much more than we may be aware of. So let's learn more about this brown seed.
History of Nutmeg
While most of us now consider nutmeg to be a part of our culinary legacy in the desi kitchen, one question that may arise in your mind is where nutmeg was initially cited in history. There are several theories.
Some credit Pliny, a Roman author, wrote of a tree bearing nuts with two flavors in the first century A.D. in his writings. Another strange myth claims that before ascending to the throne, Emperor Henry VI nutmegged the streets of Rome in the 15th century. Others argue that it was brought to Constantinople by Arab traders in the 6th century, while others placed its origin in the 1600s when nutmeg waged wars. That's right; you read that correctly. Half a kg of nutmeg, more valuable than gold, was bartered for three cows. The Dutch massacred and enslaved the Banda natives during their conquest to control nutmeg production during their win.
It was a precious commodity. From an exotic spice in the kitchen to a natural remedy in folk medicine, it still has a distinct position.
Nutrition Values of Nutmeg
As per USDA, the nutritional value of nutmeg as per 100g:
Energy: 525 kcal
Protein: 5.84 g
Total lipid: 36.3 g
Carbohydrate: 49.3 g
Total dietary fiber: 20.8 g
Water: 6.23 g
Saturated fatty acids: 25.9 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 3.22 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.35 g
Vitamin C: 3 mg
Thiamin (B1): 0.346 mg
Riboflavin (B2): 0.057 mg
Niacin (B3): 1.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.16 mg
Folate: 76 μg
Choline: 8.8 mg
Vitamin A: 102 IU
Beta carotene: 28 μg
Vitamin E (Gamma tocopherol): 0.53 mg
Calcium: 184 mg
Iron: 3.04 mg
Nutmeg: Your Friend in the Kitchen!
Nutmeg or Jaiphal Powder is a well-known spice that has numerous culinary applications. It can be used alone or combined with other spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves to improve the flavor. Nutmeg, as was previously noted, is highly adaptable and may be used in various dishes, including drinks, baked goods, curries, rice dishes, and desserts. Here are some recipes that use Nutmeg.
- Beverages: Add some nutmeg powder to hot cocoa, latte, cinnamon milk, turmeric milk, masala chai, or any milkshake or smoothie that contains nuts it will give your drink a rich flavor and freshness.
- Baked Food: To enhance the flavor of pies, cakes, cookies, and bread, add a dash of nutmeg powder.
- Meals: Freshly crushed nutmeg elevates the flavor of any vegetable or paneer curry and rice dishes like pulao and biryanis.
- Desserts: A sprinkle of nutmeg enhances the flavor of milk-based Indian sweets like Kheer, Mysore Pak, Besan Halwa, Laddoos, etc.
Health Benefits of Nutmeg
DISCLAIMER- This blog does not provide medical advice. It is strictly meant to be an informational and recipe blog only. Please consult your physician or medical expert for information on what works best for you.
- Full of Antioxidants: Nutmeg contains a lot of antioxidants that may shield your body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. It may reduce stress and delay the beginning and progression of numerous diseases, including cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and others.
- Anti-inflammatory: The volatile oils of nutmeg have anti-inflammatory properties that are highly effective in treating joint and muscular pain as well as swelling, sores, and inflammation. Chronic inflammation also contributes to heart disease and diabetes; thus, eating nutmeg is a fantastic method to mitigate these chronic diseases.
- May Treat Insomnia: Nutmeg has a relaxing impact on the body when consumed in tiny doses. It may relax the body and may also encourage sleep.
- May Aid digestion: The essential oils of nutmeg alleviate digestive difficulties such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and stomach problems. The high fiber content of nutmeg helps with bowel movements and may eliminate bodily gas.
- May Be Good for Brain Health: The nerves in the brain are stimulated by nutmeg, which may reduce tension and weariness while eradicating anxiety and despair. It may act as a sedative to calm the body. When the body is stressed, it may help to lower blood pressure. It may improve focus as well.
- May Improve blood circulation: Nutmeg is a rich source of calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and many other vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy bodily function. They may help the heart perform efficiently by regulating blood circulation, controlling blood pressure, and relaxing blood vessels.
- May Be Suitable for Skin: Nutmeg is good for the skin because it may fight bacteria, may reduce inflammation, and may efficiently heal clogged pores, acne, and blackheads, leaving the skin clear, young, and beautiful. It's a fantastic ingredient for a face mask.
- Dental health: Nutmeg may help the body detoxify by removing toxins from the kidneys and liver. Since nutmeg oil has antibacterial characteristics that help remove bacteria and leave the mouth feeling fresh, using toothpaste and gum pastes containing nutmeg oil may help us get rid of bad breath. Additionally, treating the root issues by coating the tooth with nutmeg-containing gel may prevent pain and swelling.
Summing Up On Nutmeg Powder
Get the nutmeg Masala powder, which has a distinct, powerful scent and a warm, somewhat sweet flavor. You can use one of the most versatile spices in savory and sweet foods. With a profusion of flavors, sweet-sharp, aromatic, and evocative, it will remind you of black pepper, citrus, or anything tropical, rich, and soulful.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are some of the cosmetic applications of nutmeg?
The leaves and bark of the nutmeg tree contain essential oils used to make soap, candles, ointments, and other products, in addition to being used medicinally.
Is nutmeg effective against acne?
Yes, nutmeg and black pepper can be combined in equal amounts and applied topically to treat acne. For more information, consult your dermatologist.
Can nutmeg be used in cough syrups?
Yes, nutmeg has expectorant qualities and is a component of cough medicines. It is helpful in aromatherapy as well. However, more research is needed to determine its benefits for humans.
What other names are there for nutmeg?
Other names for nutmeg are jaatipatree, jatiphal, myristica, myristica fragrans, and myristica officinalis. It is sometimes referred to as nux moschata, jatiphala, muscade, and muskatbaum.
Is nutmeg found in India?
In India, nutmeg is grown in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, and North East India.