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5 Unexpected Uses For Nutmeg

Kindi Lantz October 03, 2019

Using Fresh Nutmeg in Food and Beyond

When fall rolls around each year, there seems to be a resurgence of nutmeg in dishes and beverages across North America. While cinnamon almost always gets the glory in the naming of such concoctions, nutmeg almost always accompanies it. It’s perplexing to say the least—not that it matches the autumnal flavor profile or that it nutmeg and cinnamon are a common pairing, but that it is seemingly reserved for just one season each year. Nutmeg is such a phenomenal ingredient that can (and, in my opinion, should) be used regardless of which season it is!

On most other continents, nutmeg is actually found in many signature dishes that are eaten year-round. When all you’ve known is nutmeg in cinnamon-spiced creations, though, it’s hard to imagine it used for much else. Let’s get you started with 5 unexpected uses for nutmeg, both in and outside of the kitchen.

How To Use Nutmeg In Unexpected Ways

Seasoning sauces

Nutmeg contributes a deep, nutty, and somewhat sweet flavor to anything it is added to. As such, it is fantastic in sauces, both savory and sweet! Some of the most common it enhances are cream sauces and include béarnaise and the base for stroganoff, but don’t stop there! Try kicking your white wine cream sauce up a notch with a pinch of this fragrant seed from an Myristica fragrans tree and serve it over white fish, grate a bit of fresh nutmeg into caramel sauces and serve it over ice cream, or add a couple of teaspoons to your homemade barbecue sauce a slather on grilled meats.

Use it to sleep better

Nutmeg is believed, by many, to help folks relax and experience a level of mental and physical calmness when consumed. Some Ayurveda practices recommend drinking warm milk with nutmeg before bed to fall asleep more easily and get a better night’s rest.

Sprinkle it on fruit

Make ordinary fruit extraordinary by grating fresh nutmeg over top prior to sinking your teeth into it. Whether crisp and tart or incredibly sweet and juicy, a sprinkling of nutmeg atop fresh fruit will enliven the flavor of any fruit!

Make beads

Whole nutmeg is just gorgeous! I especially love the appearance of it when the ends have been grated, with multiple shades of brown appearing in wavelike patterns. Use a small drill bit to pierce through the whole seeds or pieces that have already been grated. The result is a gorgeous bead perfect or for making your own jewelry. You then have a great DIY gift for your favorite culinist.

Treat bad breath

Many studies have shown that nutmeg possesses the ability to cleanse, killing bacteria (even gingivitis). These antibacterial properties make it an exceptional candidate for neutralizing odor. As such, it is a common ingredient in all-natural toothpaste. Make your own DIY paste of baking soda, stevia leaves, and grated nutmeg or carry slivers of nutmeg to suck on after your morning cup of commuter coffee or the garlic topped French fries you just couldn’t resist.

These five uncommon uses for nutmeg are a good way to get started at integrating more nutmeg into your life but this great little seed is capable of much more than what’s listed in this post. Do you have any favorite nutmeg applications? Let us know in the comments!

You can find top-quality, organic, whole nutmeg here.