Nutmeg – the nature’s bounty

Nutmeg is the seed of nutmeg tree, egg­shaped. Nutmeg harvesting takes place 7 – ­9 years after planting. The trees reach full production after 20 years. Nutmeg tree is important for two species, derived from the fruit nutmeg and mace. Several other commercial products are also produced from the nutmeg tree which includes essential oils, extracted oleoresins and nutmeg butter. Nutmeg plantation is a good agricultural business.

a1Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen tree native to the Molucca islands – Myristica fragrans. Although the tree takes seven years to bear fruit, it grows up to 60 feet tall. As the tree produces both nutmeg and Mace, it is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices. The fruit splits into a scarlet outer membrane which is the mace and an inner brown seed­ Nutmeg. Nutmeg plantations are seen in areas of Indonesia and Grenada. Compared to mace, nutmeg is more sweeter. It is also grown in Kerala – a state in Southern India. Nutmeg is also well known for its medicinal properties. It has been used as a costly spice in medieval cuisine, as flavorings, medicines, preserving agents. Now, it has been widely used to flavor curries and other food products. It is also used in preparation of beverages and drinks. Nutmeg is used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

To use nutmeg for recipes, you need to grate them to powder form. To grate a fresh nutmeg, use a micro­plane grater. Simply grate the whole fresh nutmeg on the surface of micro­plane grater. And if you grate more than you need for recipes, then store the excess in an airtight container. Now I will tell you one yummy spicy nutmeg recipe for your dinner – Spicy nutmeg chicken drumsticks.

Check this out.

Ingredients:

olive oil – ¼cup, brown sugar – ¼cup, garlic – ¼ cup, onion – ¼cup, pepper 1 tsp, ginger powder 1 tsp, cinnamon ­1 tsp, dry chili peppers ­1 to 2 crushed, and finally nutmeg 2 tsp.

Preparation:

Put all these ingredients in a pan and stir the mixture in low-medium heat. Add the chicken legs to the stirred mixture. And stir once again for 5-­10 minutes till the chicken legs turn brown. Once the chicken turns brown, add dark dark rum of ½ cup, soya sauce – 1/4 cup and the required hot water to cover the chicken to boil and stir well. Now add sauce thickener to 1-­2 tbsp. Sauce thicker is made by adding 1 tablespoon cornflour with quarter cup of cold water. Now keep aside this mixture in low heat simmer for 30 minutes. Broil or grill these chicken legs until it turns crispy. Boil the remaining liquid for 2 minutes so that it can be used for dipping sauce. And finally the tasty crispy spicy nutmeg chicken drumsticks are ready.

nc1Nutmeg tea is one of many teas that posses herbal properties and benefits for increasing health. However, nutmeg tea lovers need to be aware of the fact that over dose of this product may cause dangers. Nutmeg can lead to death if proper administration is not taken. If you can adjust properly to the nutmeg amount to meet with your body’s metabolism and weight, you can enjoy the benefits of nutmeg without worry. And if you wish to be on the safer zone, then nutmeg has many medicinal qualities. Nutmeg can be used externally as a medicinal wash on the skin. Nutmeg tea helps fight against athletes foot and skin infections. So by this, you can get rid of internal side effects of headache, convulsion, hallucinations, delirium and dehydration. However these side effects are extremely rare and occur only when nutmeg is overused for improper purposes. Children and pregnant women should avoid nutmeg tea. Despite the rare side effects, nutmeg tea is actually considered to be a safe beverage. Make sure you buy nutmeg tea from a reputable source of herbal products.

Nutmeg cookies are holiday treats especially for Christmas. These are the perfect cookies for decorating. Get into the world of cookies and enjoy this delicious sweetie nutmeg cookies. To make a nutmeg cookie, you need the following ingredients:

1 cup milk, 1.5 tbsp lemon juice, 6 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1.5 cup margarine, 2 cup white sugar. 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 350 degree and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now whisk together milk and lemon juice in small bowl. Set aside this for a few minutes to sour. By the time it takes to get sour, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Beat the margarine and sugar with an electric mixer in another large bowl until it turns smooth. Beat the first egg into this margarine mixture until it is completely blended and then beat in the vanilla with the second egg. Mix this into the flour and stir in soured milk mixture till it is incorporated. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic and freeze until firm for 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a heavily floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Now they can be rolled down to balls arrange cookies on to prepared baking sheet. Bake until cookies are golden brown about 10 minutes. Yummy, tasty nutmeg cookies are ready. Enjoy this holiday season with nutmeg cookies.

a8Nutmeg oil is derived from the seed of the nutmeg tree fruit. The fruit when dried produces nutmeg seed and mace ­the covering. The health benefits of nutmeg oil come from its medicinal properties such as its role as a sedative, stimulant, relaxing, anti-­inflammatory, antiseptic and bacterial substance. Following are the benefits of nutmeg oil:

> Pain relief: nutmeg is an effective medicine for treating your muscular and joint pain as it is an excellent sedative. With its anti-­inflammatory properties, massaging nutmeg oil on the affected areas will give you relief from arthritis, rheumatism and lumbago.

> Regular menstrual cycle: some women face menstrual irregularities and suffer from menstrual cramps. Nutmeg oil helps women to reduce the associated symptoms of periods like mood swings, depression and hormone imbalance.

> Indigestion: nutmeg is well known for treating stomach aches and removing gas from the stomach and intestines. Therefore nutmeg oil is good for indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea. It should be applied in low doses only.

> Blood circulation: nutmeg oil is a good stimulant as it is a relaxing agent comforting your body. It helps to increase blood circulation.

> Respiratory problems: nutmeg oil is used an important ingredient in many cough syrups and cold rubs as it helps in relieving congestion and cold symptoms. It is also said that nutmeg oil is used for treating asthma.

> Brain tonic: nutmeg oil stimulates the brain and thereby eliminates mental exhaustion and stress. It is also believed that nutmeg oil improves the quality of your dreams making them more intense and colorful. It is also considered to be a good remedy for anxiety as well as depression.

> Heart problems: for those who have heart problems, here comes nutmeg oil to help you. It stimulates the cardiovascular system and is therefore a good tonic for the heart.

> Bad breath: the woody touch of nutmeg oil helps to remove bad breath. It is also added as an important ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes to give a fresh smell and energetic feel.

> Liver tonic: nutmeg oil treats people suffering from liver failure. The oil is capable of removing toxins from the liver thereby making it a good liver tonic.

> Kidney support: as it helps to dissolve kidney stones, it is an effective treatment for kidney diseases.

Nutmeg’s sweet distinctive flavor is traditional in gingerbread, eggnog and rice pudding. Known as a popular spice around the world, nutmeg is well known for its many health benefits. It has been used as a remedy for various ailments to improve your health.

About the author: rajeev@design2host.net

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