Is Nutmeg a Nut or Fruit? We Have the Answer for You!

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Is Nutmeg a Nut? Or is it a fruit? If you are confused like many out there then we have the answer to your question with all the details!

What is Nutmeg?

Myristica fragrans is quite popular in Indian and Moroccan kitchens and people also use them while baking cakes and other desserts. However, many people keep guessing – Is Nutmeg a Nut? If you are one of them, we have the answer for you!

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What is Nutmeg?

Is Nutmeg a Nut or Fruit?

Nutmeg has been used as a seasoning for many dishes. You can find them in baked goods, desserts, and entrees. 

Nutmeg dates back to the first century A.D. when it was considered a treasured spice. It was a high currency for trade and was even the reason behind the war wherein the Dutch conquered the Banda Islands. 

Is Nutmeg a Nut?

Anyone with a tree nut allergy may be wondering – Is Nutmeg a Nut? Is it safe to eat Nutmeg? Regardless of what its name is, Nutmeg is not a nut. It is a seed. So, if you have a tree nut allergy, you can eat Nutmeg without risking an allergic reaction.

However, in case you are allergic to seeds, you need to check with a doctor or avoid eating Nutmeg as it is a seed. There is no reason to believe that one type of seed allergy indicates that you are allergic to all seeds.

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What Does It Taste?

Is Nutmeg a Nut 2
shutterstock/Mercedes Fittipaldi

Nutmeg tastes slightly sweet and nutty with a distinct and powerful aroma. This intense spice is not for those who do not like spicy or are sensitive to heat.

Nutmeg vs. Mace 

Although mace and Nutmeg both come from the same tree, yet are different from each other. While you can use the nutmeg seed as it is – whole or in the grounded form. The outer layer of a nutmeg seed is called the mace and is first removed and then crushed to make a spice red color.

Nutmeg is more delicate and sweeter in flavor with a milder taste than mace. Mace is spicier, and you can describe the taste as a mix of cinnamon and pepper. Although they grow together, they are seldom used together in any recipes.

Substitutions for Nutmeg

Substitutions for Nutmeg
shutterstock/Africa Studio 

If you are allergic to Nutmeg or cannot find Nutmeg in the house, you can use several substitutions.

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves powder
  • Allspice
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder

Remember to use these spices sparingly as they all are very intense.

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Benefits of Nutmeg

Benefits of Nutmeg

Although Nutmeg is commonly in use for its spicy flavor more than its health benefits, it contains an impressive number of potent compounds that can boost your overall health.

  • Rich in powerful antioxidants
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Can boost libido
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Can improve heart health
  • It can help in controlling sugar levels in the blood
  • Can uplift mood

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