This month’s herb is all about Nutmeg and what better way to celebrate Nutmeg than with Eggnog!
Nutmeg is often used in sweet, spicy dishes such as custards, pies, cookies and other treats as well as some savory dishes. We traditionally use Nutmeg this time of year for more than just his good taste; Nutmeg was added to food intentionally to spread ‘good cheer’ as he has an antidepressant effect on people.
Nutmeg is an evergreen tree known botanically as Myristica fragrans. He is in the Myristaceae family. Nutmeg is the seed of the Nutmeg tree. Mace also comes from the Nutmeg tree and is the red coating that wraps around the hard shell of the Nutmeg seed. Nutmeg is native to the Banda Islands in the Spice Islands of Indonesia.
Nutmeg contains folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.
Energetically, Nutmeg is pungent, warming and drying.
Medicinally, Nutmeg is antibacterial, antidepressant, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, a circulatory stimulant, relaxant, a sedative and a stimulant.
Nutmeg has many active constituents which give him his medicinal qualities. The main active constituents are myristicin, elemicin and eugenol.
There are many ways to enjoy Nutmeg while gaining his medicinal properties: warm milk for insomnia, in all sorts of dishes for his carminative actions and in eggnog as an antidepressant! Why not make some homemade eggnog today and spread the good cheer?! Now that’s using your Nog(gin)!
To make your own eggnog, you will need:
4 cups whole milk, raw if possible
1 cup honey
8 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
Freshly whipped cream
Extra grated Nutmeg for garnish
Mix the milk and honey in a saucepan and heat until the honey thins. Turn off heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and begin pouring into the hot milk while still whisking the yolks.
Add the cream and Nutmeg.
Return the pan to heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Chill and pour into mugs. Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top of the eggnog and garnish with a sprinkle of grated Nutmeg.
You can find this recipe and many more along with lots of great information, games and more on the medicinal uses of Nutmeg in our ebook “Noticing Nutmeg.”