By Veronica De Lira, Arizona State University Nutrition Student
When people think of nutmeg it usually gets associated in one way or another with the holidays; however, much more exists to nutmeg than simply being known as a holiday spice.
The best part: we can uncover a variety of health benefits to nutmeg!
According to indepthinfo.com the history of nutmeg use goes way back to the 1st century, where it was a popular solution for medicine. 1 In Ancient India, nutmeg was seen as a remedy for, “headaches, fever, and bad breath,” and known for helping stomach problems and as good aphrodisiac as well. 1 While nutmeg is known for its medicinal qualities it is important to note that unhealthy consumption of nutmeg can lead to “poisoning as it is toxic” according to indepthinfo.com. 1
Health Benefits and Characteristics
According to organicfacts.com, nutmeg when consumed correctly can be beneficial to ones health in the following ways 2:
- Serves as a pain reliever especially for joints
- Helps maintain digestive health
- Keeps the brain healthy
- Rids the body of toxins
- According to organicfacts.com, “nutmeg can induce cell death in leukemia cells” 2
- Can help insomnia
According to organicfacts.com, “Consuming too much nutmeg can lead to serious health problems it is important that you consume with caution and in small quantities”. 2
How can I purchase nutmeg?
- As a nut
- Powder form
How do I cook with nutmeg?
When cooking with nutmeg it is often used as a spice to season or mix within the ingredients and very little is needed, as nutmeg can be strong. Plus there are negative effects it can have if overused. Favorites that can incorporate nutmeg:
- Bananas foster
- Rice pudding
Recipe To Try
This is a good recipe that everyone will surely enjoy from foodnetwork.com by Gale Gand Nutmeg Cheesecake: 3
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 pounds fresh cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (pulse whole graham crackers in a food processor)
Thickly brush a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 of the melted butter and place in the freezer to harden, about 10 minutes. When hard, repeat to make a thick coating of butter.
Adjust your oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese until fluffy and very smooth. Beat in the extracts, nutmeg, sugar, and salt. One at a time, add the eggs, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Pour into the prepared pan and place the pan on a double-layer sheet of aluminum foil, with at least 3 inches of foil all around the pan. Fold the aluminum foil up around the sides of the pan.
Fill a roasting pan large enough to hold the cake pan with hot water to a depth of about 1-inch, then lift the foil-wrapped cake into the roasting pan, keeping the foil turned up so that it prevents water from overflowing or seeping into the cake. The foil should not be closed over the top of the cake. Be careful not to tear any holes in the foil!
Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and dry to the touch, though still a bit soft in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. It should “shimmy” a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools.
Remove the pan from the water bath, remove the foil, and let cool at room temperature 15 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 hours before removing the cake from the pan.
To remove the cake from the pan, first remove the sides. Cover the surface with plastic wrap. Place a large plate over the cake, then flip the cake over and onto the plate, tapping if necessary to help the cake come away from the pan bottom. If tapping doesn’t do the trick, try a blowtorch or stove burner to warm the bottom of the pan to loosen it.
Remove the pan bottom and evenly sprinkle the exposed surface with graham cracker crumbs. Place a serving plate over the crumbs and flip the cake again so that the crumbs form the bottom crust and the top is covered with plastic. Cover, refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.
“Unique Beverage Syrup Highlight: Nutmeg Facts & Trivia.” Amoretti Store Blog. 28 June 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. http://amorettiblog.com/unique-beverage-syrup-highlight-nutmeg-facts-trivia/
- “The History Of Nutmeg.” The History of Nutmeg. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. http://www.indepthinfo.com/nutmeg/history.shtml
- “Health Benefits of Nutmeg | Organic Facts.” Organic Facts. 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/nutmeg.html
- “Nutmeg Cheesecake : Sweet Dreams : Food Network.” Nutmeg Cheesecake Recipe : Food Network. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nutmeg-cheesecake-recipe2.html