I’ve been learning about different spices and I started looking into nutmeg. I was curious about whether nutmeg fruit can be eaten.
I did some research and here’s what I found.
Other questions I had t were whether nutmeg is a fruit or a nut, what the difference is between nutmeg and mace, and whether nutmeg has any medicinal qualities.
In this article, I will explain the answers to all of these questions and more.
Is Nutmeg a Fruit or Nut?
If something is a nut then the word nut is typically at the end for example a pistachio nut.
However, nutmeg has a nut at the beginning of its name. So, I was curious, is it a fruit or a nut?
The seed is about the size of a quarter but is completely round and slightly oval in shape.
It is also dark brown in color.
The best flavor comes from fresh nutmeg.
The nutmeg seed itself can be stored for a long time in a mason jar in the fridge.
To get fresh nutmeg simply take a nutmeg seed out, and slice off a part of it and grind it up in a pestle and mortar.
Or simply grind the nutmeg into fine pieces by using a grater.
Nutmeg is versatile and can be added to virtually any dish.
Particular favorites are dishes like pumpkin pie, pot pie, and even oven-roasted vegetables.
Especially together with rosemary and whole cloves of garlic.
The nutmeg fruit itself can also be used as a spice, however, it adds a slightly different flavor.
Each kind of fruit and herb tree absorbs different nutrients, therefore, it can be beneficial for your health to eat a wide range of spices including nutmeg, and nutmeg fruit.
Not to mention the flavor benefits.
What Is the Difference Between Nutmeg and Mace?
A common herb that is associated with nutmeg is mace.
But, how closely related are they and how are they produced?
The flavor of nutmeg is delicious, however, it can be quite overpowering in some dishes.
And therefore, you may opt to use a more subtle nutmeg flavor and mace is ideal for that.
Mace can be used in the same way that nutmeg is used
Mace is sold in ground form, however, its flavor isn’t as good.
It’s typically rare to find mace outside of regions in which it is grown.
Which are typically tropical regions that don’t experience a winter.
However, if you come across fresh mace you can also finely dice it and use it as a spice or garnish.
For example, you can add 5 to 10 strips on top of a salad.
Or, add strips to the outside of a roasted chicken where the flavor will soak in.
Does Nutmeg Have Any Medicinal Properties?
Nutmeg has an interesting history where it was very expensive because it was in limited supply.
However, it was also popular because of its purported health benefits.
So, what are the medicinal properties of nutmeg?
Therefore, nutmeg all around is a winner.
And if you don’t already include it in your diet then you should give it a go.
I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the taste.
Another way to consume nutmeg is as a tea.
But, it’s generally accepted that the most delicious nutmeg is that ground right before using it.
Whole nutmeg is typically readily available at the local grocery store.
It can be kept in the cupboard or the fridge.
Then as you need it you can take one out and grate it to produce a fine powder.
Nutmeg is known have hallucinogenic properties when consumed in higher dosages
And has been compared to the heavily regulated LSD hallucinogenic drug.
In certain jurisdictions such as countries in the Middle East nutmeg is banned, as it is treated similar to other hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, or magic mushrooms.
Quite a large dose of nutmeg needs to be consumed to get any of those hallucinogenic effects, therefore, it’s very unlikely to produce any effects when used as a spice PLUS attempting to consume in high dosages is dangerous – DONT DO THAT PLEASE.
Can I Use Expired Nutmeg?
You may have some nutmeg that has been sitting at the back of the pantry, and it’s since past its use-by date.
However, expired nutmeg is safe to eat.
Some people are of the opinion that the oils evaporate and that the flavors go with them.
Certain people also think that it can give you a stomach ache.
Therefore, a taste test should indicate if it has retained its flavor and you can technically consume it.
But, it’s generally not recommended.
What is the edible part of nutmeg?
A nutmeg tree can grow incredibly large with a height of 60 ft (2 meters).
Therefore, it can also produce a tonne of fruit. But, are all parts of the nutmeg edible?
The flesh is not nice to eat on its own.
However, it can be juiced and mixed with sweet-tasting flavors such as banana, honey, sugar cane juice, or raw sugar.
But, you can thinly slice the nutmeg and use it as a garnish.
What is mace from nutmeg used for?
Mace is one of those spices that you don’t hear much about so I wanted to know what mace is used for.
Here’s what I found…
Once it has been collected from the nutmeg fruit it can be kept in the fridge.
Where it can be sliced thinly and used as a herb or spice much like turmeric, or cardamom seeds.
Can I use mace instead of nutmeg?
I often follow recipes from cookbooks I have lying around or that I look for on the internet.
And I thought that mace and nutmeg kind of tasted the same.
But, can you use mace instead of nutmeg?
But, if you try the same recipe with mace you may find it’s more delicious.
And at the end of the day, it depends on your palette.
Can you grow nutmeg at home?
Since nutmeg is so versatile, I was curious about growing my own nutmeg tree and how easy it is to grow one.
The time it takes for nutmeg to produce fruit is on the high end.
But, it can be worth the wait since one tree would produce more than enough nutmeg for a few households.
It also keeps really well.
It’s estimated that a mature nutmeg tree will produce 2,000 or more fruit a year.
That’s 4 nutmeg fruits a day.