Nutmeg-more than just a spice for Eggnog

whole-and-grated-dried-nutmeg-seeds

Nutmeg is an amazing spice that should be used more often. So if you had too many glasses of eggnog over the holidays, do not be too hard on yourself. The nutmeg can clear up your skin, improve memory, aid digestion, relax muscles, treat anxiety and depression, and act as an aphrodisiac. The spice can also decrease cavities and bad breath through its antibacterial properties.

 

Nutmeg is rich in copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, volatile oils, beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin.
Nutmeg contains the volatile oils Myristicin and Elemicin which studies have shown stimulate the brain. “Myristicin found in nutmeg has been shown to inhibit an enzyme in the brain that contributes to Alzheimer?s disease and is used to improve memory.” Complete Well Being

Nutmeg oil mixed with honey can treat nausea, indigestion and other intestinal issues. Ask a loved one or massage therapist to rub in the oil over your sore muscles and painful joints.The oil may help your arthritis and Rheumatoid pain as well as gout.

You do not want to overuse nutmeg. I have read you should not eat more than 6 tablespoons a day which is pretty hard to do. Nutmeg is strong and you do not need much to flavor your pumpkin bread, squash, eggnog, soups and other treats. If you are pregnant, you may want to avoid nutmeg since it inhibits prostaglandin production and may cause a miscarriage.

Nutmeg trees are evergreen and native to the Indonesian Molucas Islands also referred to the Spice Islands. The left picture shows the apricot size, nutmeg seed with the vibrant red spice mace coating the nutmeg seed. The right picture shows how the nutmeg and mace changes after it has been dried and ready to be grated. The dried mace is a wonderful spice in apple pie.

To use nutmeg, buy them whole and grate them using a microplane. It is very easy to do and you should get more vitamins than from previously ground. Enjoy some more eggnog or make a loaf of healthy, pumpkin bread. The spice compliments squash and pumpkin.

Here is a good recipe to try if you are still craving Eggnog from the Holidays. It will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth and you can feel good about eating it due to all the nutmeg!!

The Ultimate Cookbook

Eggnog French Toast
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups refrigerated eggnog
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 (l-inch) thick slices French bread
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Rum Syrup

Combine eggnog and nutmeg in a shallow dish. Place bread slices in dish, turning to coat. Melt butter in a large skillet. Remove bread slices from eggnog mixture, allowing excess to drain. Cook in skillet 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve immediately with Rum Syrup. Yield: 4 servings.

Rum Syrup

1 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons light rum or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; cook over low heat until heated, stirring often. Yield: 1 1/4 cups.

Hugh Montgomery
Birmingham, Alabama

References:

Some of the nutmeg pictures are from Martha Stewart and Nutrition and You.
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/nutmeg.html
http://completewellbeing.com/article/a-nutty-affair/
http://www.themarthablog.com/2008/01/nutmeg-and-mace.html

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Recipe by Back To Organic at http://backtoorganic.com/nutmeg-more-than-just-a-spice-for-eggnog/