Nutmeg--nature's panacea?

Nutmeg--nature's panacea?

Nutmeg. You would have never thought that nature could produce such a powerful, passionate, mood elevating little spice, but it did! But need some background! Pay attention if want to add a little "spice" to your love life!

As the quintessential holiday spice, it is no surprise that nutmeg is derived from a deliciously aromatic evergreen tree. This evergreen tree has yummy smelling leaves with tiny yellow flowers and apricot -sized fruits that split to reveal the sweet, spicy nutmeg seed and its aromatic companion, aril, which is the red, lacy coating.

Nutmeg--nature's panacea?

The outer part of the fruit is fermented and used to create a brandy-type drink. The nutmeg and mace flavor sweet and savory dishes, popular throughout the world. Like the many other holiday spices, nutmeg has a variety of healing properties. Need help sleeping? Nutmeg is beneficial as a sleep aid, calms anxiety and muscles spasms. It can eliminate nausea (unless taken in high doses in which case it can cause nausea). Nutmeg can reduce diarrhea and ease indigestion. Are your joints stiff? Nutmeg has been noted as an anti-inflammatory for joint pain and gout and can also lower blood pressure. And this holiday spice enhances male fertility, as well as enhances--umm, how shall we say this--the organ associated with male fertility! Nutmeg can improve concentration (I am sipping a nutmeg, cinnamon, honey and steamed soy beverage as I type and am not remotely distracted by my kitty who keeps running across my keyboard!). Lastly, nutmeg is a wonderfully delicious spice that assists in lowering cholesterol. You MUST be careful not to overdo ingesting nutmeg though. **See below the recipe for specific guidelines of how little you really need and if you get too much, well, it's simply not a good thing.

The essential nutmeg oil is used to aid in overcoming addictions, guilt and depression, which can make it a great spice for those who often suffer from the holiday blues.

Umm, can you say wow?! How about whipping up a batch of nutmeg cookies this season? I'm not exactly Betty Crocker however I am highly motivated to prepare these little gems!

These nutmeg cookies are a perfect recipe for enhancing the holiday cheer!

  1. .5 cup butter, softened
  2. one and one-third cup sugar, divided
  3. two large eggs
  4. .5 cup sour cream
  5. one teaspoon vanilla
  6. two and three-fourths cup flour
  7. one and one-half teaspoons baking powder
  8. one-fourth teaspoon baking soda
  9. one-fourth teaspoon salt
  10. one teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, divided

Beat the butter at medium speed in an electric mixer until creamy, Gradually add one cup of sugar and beat well. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and three-fourths teaspoon nutmeg and stir well. Gradually add to the butter mixture and continue beating until well blended. Cover the dough and chill at least three hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine one-third cup sugar and one-fourth teaspoon nutmeg and stir well. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place two inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Grease the bottom of a glass and dip the glass in the sugar mixture and then press each ball flat. Bake for eight minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Remove cookies to wire cooling rack.

Per cookie: fats, 2 grams (34% of calories); calories, 58; cholesterol, 12 milligrams; carbohydrate, 9 grams; fiber, 0 grams; protein, 1 gram; sodium, 44 milligrams

As mentioned in my previous blogs this week, highly concentrated forms of nutmeg, such as essential oils, should only be used under the direction of a certified aromatherapist or naturopathic physician. Please note that taking too much nutmeg (one to three nuts or less) can cause side effects such as hallucinations, swelling and shock.

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