The Best Nutmeg Recipes to Try This Holiday Season

Posted: November 17, 2022 12:56 pm

When it comes down to it, the food we consume during the holidays is a perfect combination of comfort, sweetness, and savoriness. There are certain dishes that always shine during the holiday season that seems to match up with the festive spirit around Christmas and the winter holidays. And if we take a deep dive into what makes these dishes so delightful, we need to look closely at the ingredients.

Every November and December, there is one ingredient that is synonymous with the holiday season. We’re talking about nutmeg.

Think about all of the dishes that you and your loved ones put together that require a shaving of nutmeg or a dash of ground nutmeg. Even if a particular dish does not call for nutmeg to be a primary ingredient, there are recipes that can absolutely benefit from adding a little nutmeg to the mix. For nutmeg aficionados and anyone looking to spice up their holiday kitchen game, we have put together some of the best nutmeg recipes that you need to try this holiday season.

What Is Nutmeg?

First of all, let’s discuss what nutmeg is so everyone understands what we’re working with. Nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica tree. This tree is native to Indonesia but also grows in other areas of Southeast Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. The nutmeg tree produces two different spices – nutmeg and mace.

Nutmeg is the inner kernel of the seed and is about the size of a large olive. Once the outer shell of the seed is removed, this inner kernel can be grated or ground to create nutmeg powder. Mace is the lacy covering that surrounds the nutmeg kernel. Mace can also be grated or ground to create a powder but is more commonly used in its whole form.

Nutmeg Flavor Profile

When it comes to flavor, nutmeg is sweet and savory with a slightly spicy kick. There is also a hint of bitterness that can be detected in nutmeg. So, basically, it has a wide spectrum when it comes to flavor and taste. This spice is often used as an aromatic to add flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. You’ll find nutmeg in pies, cookies, cakes, coffees, eggnog, teas, curries, and even some savory meat dishes.

Nutmeg Recipes

Now that we know a little more about nutmeg, let’s get into some recipes that will help you make the most of this holiday season spice. Ideally, you want to use fresh nutmeg in your recipes, which will require you to grate the nutmeg yourself. You can find whole nutmeg at your local grocery store near the spices. If you cannot find whole nutmeg, you can use pre-ground nutmeg, which is also sold in just about every grocery store around. Just keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly less potent.

Eggnog

If we’re talking about nutmeg and we’re talking about the holidays, then you know eggnog is going to be on this list. Eggnog is a holiday tradition for many people and there are different ways to make this creamy beverage. You can make eggnog from scratch or you can buy it pre-made at the store. If you’re feeling ambitious, we suggest giving this recipe a try.

Ingredients:
• 1 quart whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 8 egg yolks
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

Instructions:
1. In a large pot, combine the milk and cream and heat over medium heat until steaming.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
3. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly.
4. Pour the mixture back into the pot and cook over medium heat until thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the nutmeg.
6. Pour into glasses and garnish with additional nutmeg.

Pumpkin Pie

Oh yes. We can’t mention the holidays without mentioning pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is another holiday all-star that just begs for a little nutmeg. This classic dessert is made even better with a little freshly grated nutmeg on top. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try making your own pumpkin puree.

Ingredients:
• 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
• 2 cups pumpkin puree
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup evaporated milk

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and evaporated milk.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for 40-50 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool before serving. Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving, if desired.

Nutmeg Bundt Cake

This nutmeg bundt cake is a wonderfully moist and flavorful cake that makes for the perfect holiday dessert. The addition of nutmeg to the batter gives this cake a delightful spice that pairs perfectly with the sweet glaze. Best of all, if you’re creating this from scratch, you’ll fill the entire home with a savory sweet aroma.

Ingredients:
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 4 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 tablespoons grated nutmeg

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Add the buttermilk and nutmeg and stir until well combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

French Toast with Nutmeg

This nutmeg-spiced French toast is the perfect holiday breakfast. The addition of nutmeg to the egg mixture gives the bread a wonderful flavor that pairs perfectly with the syrup. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even try making your own syrup from scratch.

Ingredients:
• 8 slices of bread
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions:
1. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.
2. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and nutmeg.
3. Dip each slice of bread in the mixture, making sure to coat both sides.
4. Place the bread on the griddle or skillet and cook until golden brown, flipping once.
5. Serve with syrup and butter.

Nutmeg Donuts

These nutmeg donuts are a memorable treat for any holiday gathering — or simply enjoy these with the family on a chilly morning. They’re light and fluffy, with just the right amount of spice. And they’re fried, so you know they’re good. If you don’t want to fry them, you can always bake them instead.

Ingredients:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
• 2 eggs, beaten

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, and eggs.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
4. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out with a donut cutter and place on a lightly floured baking sheet.
5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the donuts until golden brown, flipping once.
6. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Curry

If you’re looking for a savory dish to make this holiday season — and you are looking to be adventurous — look no further than curry. This Indian-inspired dish that will warm up the bones on a chilly night is full of flavor and can be made with just about any protein you like. We suggest chicken or shrimp.

Ingredients:
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon grated ginger
• 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 can (15 ounces) of coconut milk
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1-2 teaspoons grated nutmeg, to taste

Instructions:
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and salt and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, tomato paste, sugar, lime juice, and nutmeg and stir until combined.
5. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
6. Add the chicken or shrimp and cook until cooked through about 5 minutes.
7. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Spice Up Your Holidays With Nutmeg

The holidays are meant for baking and cooking and celebrating the spirit of the season, and these nutmeg recipes are just the beginning of what you can do with nutmeg. This versatile spice can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike and can really take your holiday cooking to the next level. So don’t be afraid to get a little adventurous this holiday season — your taste buds will thank you. Merry cooking!

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