Organic and fair trade whole mace.
What is nutmeg and what are nutmeg benefits? Ground nutmeg and mace are from the same fruit.
The nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans) bears the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices: nutmeg and mace. Both offer a warm, sweet and aromatic flavour. However, mace has more potency. While nutmeg is quite affordable today, a few hundred years ago a small bag of the delicious spice would have provided its owner with lifelong financial independence!
The nutmeg tree is a fruit-bearing evergreen that can grow up to 60 feet tall. Although it can take a full 7 years for the nutmeg tree to bear fruit, once it starts it doesn’t stop! The tree can bear fruit for upwards of 90 years and will often produce enough for three harvests within one growing season.
The fruit of the tree is about the size of an apricot, splitting open when ripe to expose a single hard egg-shaped nut known as nutmeg. A lacy reddish flesh called aril, referred to as mace, covers this hard nut. This coating is collected, dried and sold either in strips or finely ground.
Growers know the dried nut around the seed is ready to be broken open when shaking it produces a rattling sound. The revealed nutmeg seed is roughly 1 inch long and ¾ of an inch wide and weighs about 1/4 - ½ ounce. The dried seeds are then ground and used as spice.
At Kurundu we not only offer the more common nutmeg powder, but we also sell the whole seed with and without the shell.
A good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium, nutmeg is also rich in many B-complex vitamins including vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and many flavonoid antioxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin. Nutmeg has an ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value of 69,640 as based on the TEAC (Trolox equivalanet antioxidant capacity) unit of measure. This means that for every teaspoon, or 2 grams, of nutmeg you receive a TEAC value of 1,393.
The most active part of the nutmeg plant, however, is its essential oil which can be used to treat joint and muscle pain, remove toxins from the body, dissolve kidney stones and relieve infections. Heart problems can be alleviated by nutmeg too, as the spice increases blood circulation and stimulates the cardiovascular system.
A natural brain booster, nutmeg oil contains the compounds myristicin and elemicin, which have been found to have both soothing and wakening effects on the brain. Better concentration and lower stress levels are provided through increased circulation and direct brain stimulation that alleviates mental exhaustion.
Also good for digestion, nutmeg helps rid of gas and stomach aches and can provide relief from vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence. Mix nutmeg powder (about 5 to 15 grams) with apple or banana juice as a remedy for diarrhea and indigestion.
While there are many health benefits of nutmeg, nutmeg can be toxic in excess. Never consume more than 30 grams (around 6 tablespoons) in a day. If pregnant, consult your doctor before use.
In the Kitchen
With their warm sweet flavour nutmeg and mace are a great addition to desserts such as custard, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and cinnamon rolls. Add nutmeg to coffee or sprinkle a bit of nutmeg in your holiday eggnog.
Nutmeg can also be used with vegetable dishes. Simply add powder or for a richer, fresher flavour grate or mill dried whole seeds and add at the last moment of cooking.