6 Creative Ways To Use Nutmeg In The Kitchen
Adding spices to food when you’re cooking can be a little intimidating if you don’t know where to start, but it could actually do wonders for your health and your taste buds. Spices help add flavor to even the blandest of foods (we’re looking at you, skinless chicken breast) without adding the extra fat and calories that come with olive oil and butter. One spice that gets a lot of attention around the holidays is nutmeg, a sweet spice that comes from Myristica Fragrans, an evergreen tree that’s native to Indonesia. Although people think of nutmeg as a spice that’s typically used for baking and to make eggnog, many forget that it’s actually very versatile and can be used to season a variety of dishes — from savory to sweet. Here are six alternative ways to add the subtle, sweet taste of ground nutmeg to your food. Enjoy!
1. Add it to pasta.
You can use nutmeg in savory dishes like pasta to add a little sweetness. Keep the recipe simple by limiting your ingredients list to pasta, butter, parmesan and nutmeg or kick things up a notch with this Orecchiette with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, and Caramelized Red Onion pasta recipe from Food52. This wintery pasta recipe calls for adding a teaspoon of nutmeg to its list of more savory ingredients that include butternut squash, kale and goat cheese.
2. Add it to your veggies.
Add a little seasonal sweetness to your veggies by seasoning them with nutmeg. This is a classic practice in Dutch cuisine, where nutmeg is commonly added to vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and string beans. You can also add nutmeg to sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, cabbage and spinach. Pat your veggies with butter or olive oil, season them with nutmeg and pop them in the oven for a week’s worth of roasted, healthy and delicious greens. Check out this Harvest Oven Roasted Vegetable recipe from A Spicy Perspective to take your nutmeg-seasoned veggies one step further. The recipe calls for seasoning squash, Brussel sprouts and onions with sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper and tossing them in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
3. Use it to season your meat.
You might typically opt to season your meat with more savory spices like thyme, parsley or cumin, but adding the sweet hint of nutmeg to your meat-based dishes like roasted chicken or pork will make them taste a little more festive. This roasted chicken with nutmeg and orange recipe from Genius Kitchen calls for seasoning your chicken with orange zest, nutmeg, butter, olive oil and salt. Combine the dish with a side of sweet potato and Brussel sprouts and you’ve got yourself the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold winter day.
4. Add it to your smoothies.
Add some spicy sweetness to your smoothies by incorporating some ground nutmeg. This spice will add a tangy taste that fruity smoothies don’t typically have. Try blending together two bananas, a cup of strawberries, cow’s milk or a milk-alternative like almond milk, a tablespoon of sugar, ground nutmeg and maybe some vanilla extract for a delicious snack or on-the-go breakfast.
5. Use it to make salad dressing.
Making your own salad dressing might sound a little too haute cuisine to you if you’re not super into cooking, but it could be the best way to guarantee that you’re keeping things healthy. Many store-bought salad dressings are loaded with sneaky fat and sugar not to mention a boatload of sodium, so making yours at home will give you more control over its nutrition profile. Adding ground nutmeg to your salad dressing will give it a slightly sweet flavor without adding extra calories or sugar. This Nutty Nutmeg Dressing recipe from Salad Every Day calls for making salad dressing with unsweetened almond milk, plain, low-fat Greek yogurt, fresh ground nutmeg, paprika, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. It’ll only take you 15 minutes to make it and it can easily be used on both salads and noodles.
6. Add a dash to your coffee.
Spice up your morning coffee by adding a dash of ground nutmeg to the mix. If you’re used to loading your black coffee with sugar to make it go down easier, swapping out the sugar and adding nutmeg will help you keep your coffee sweet while avoiding that sugar-rush and subsequent crash. Better yet, make an eggnog latte by adding store-bought eggnog and nutmeg to your typical coffee, garnishing it with a cinnamon stick and maybe some whipped cream for an extra indulgence. Not having to rely on a coffee shop to get your festive coffee drink fix will save you a ton of money.
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