Monday, July 20, 2009

Nutmeg

I'm going to assume that we are all familiar with the distinctive taste and smell of nutmeg. In the winter it reminds us of pumpkin pie, sweet potatoe pie (in the south anyway) and cinnamon buns. I personally don't use it very often, but I've found other wonderful uses for it such as homemade cake doughnuts, cream sauces, spice cakes and fruit based breads (ie banana, zucchini, etc) and muffins.

Ground nutmeg can be purchased at the dollar tree for $1, and it's fine for awhile, then you have to replace it because it does lose it's flavor. Well, I do something a little different that is worth it in both taste and money.

First of all, I have a nutmeg grater - these tools can be purchased anywhere from $1 to $40 depending on how fancy you want to get. I personally have a Microplane nutmeg grater that I got for about $5. And I buy whole nutmeg. Whole nutmeg is literally the whole nut - dried. You get about 10 in a little glass jar for about $3.50.

I have had my nutmeg for 2 years now and I'm still grating on the first nut (I'm about halfway through it). You see, when you grind your own nutmeg, you don't get the flavor loss issue because your whole nuts don't expire and each time you use it it's a fresh grate. It also takes less because fresh grated has more explosive flavor than powdered. The smell is also phenomenal, and has a subtle sweetness to it.

Come to think of it, I bet if most of you checked your kitchens, you probably have a nutmeg grater, or some variation of it in your home already, maybe as just a plain old box grater - one side of it has very tiny compacted protrusions that most people don't have a clue what to use it for - so use it for nutmeg.

But please don't tell me you've paid $40 for a nutmeg grater - that's just not a 'money saving mommies' thing to do :)

1 comment:

StephG said...

I wouldn't be able to force myself to spend $40 on a grater!!! Eeek!!! Unless, of course, I was independently wealthy and then I'd buy you one too :)
I love nutmeg though. I think I'll go look for the whole ones just to have on hand. Much tastier!!!