Whole Nutmeg


Try whole nutmeg! It’s easy to grate nutmeg and the taste and fragrance of ground vs whole can’t be compared. Nutmeg is inexpensive and is sold whole in most grocery stores as well as bulk food outlets.

I found this vintage spice jar with a “Nutmeg” label, just perfect for storing my whole nutmeg.

Nutmeg, which is the seed from the nutmeg tree, loses its flavor quickly once ground, which is why grinding your own adds such a special touch to your favorite recipes.

It helps if you have a special nutmeg grater. It’s a spiky grater with fine holes. If you don’t have a nutmeg grater, you can get away with using the finest blades on your regular kitchen grater–but a nutmeg grater is inexpensive (you can get one at Wal-Mart) and is useful for other things such as zesting oranges or lemons or grating chocolate and garlic, so get one!

This one has a tray attachment, with measurements, to hold the nutmeg as it’s grated.

One whole nutmeg will grate into approximately two to three teaspoons. Freshly ground nutmeg is stronger than store-bought–use half of the recipe’s requirement when using fresh. (Did you know that nutmeg is actually toxic? Don’t go crazy with it.)

Store whole nutmeg in an airtight spice jar, away from heat. Whole nutmeg will keep for a long time, and it’s fun to grate your own! It’s one more little step to being closer to your food, and it’s just the kind of cheap thrill I’m into.

I love nutmeg!

Not THAT Nutmeg! (I mean, I love you, too, Nutmeg, but I wasn’t talking about you. This is a post about food!)

I mean THIS nutmeg.

Pictured: Drunken Rum Cookie Logs.

What do you think? Have you ever grated your own nutmeg? Wanna try it?


  1. SkippyMom says:

    We gave my Mom a set of those jars [new] as a gift when we were kids – what memories that pic’ brought back.

    Have you ever tried grating your own ginger for homemade ginger ale? Yummmmmmmmy!

  2. Sheila Z says:

    Happy New Year’s Eve.
    Party Hearty!

  3. beekudzu says:

    I love nutmeg. (And Nutmeg.) I’ve never grated it, but I think I’ll give it a try. I made Grandmother Bread yesterday and almost succeeded! It’s still a little heavy, but I’m going to keep trying! You should have seen my first attemp. Not a pretty sight.

  4. ticka1 says:

    What a great idea. I love to bake and using fresh nutmeg would be awesome. Thanks for the suggestion.


  5. Rachel from Maine says:

    I do love to grate whole nutmeg, but I just have to say that the real Nutmeg is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!! :wave:

  6. Okie Sister says:

    That makes me want to try it.
    And it just so happens that I ran out of nutmeg.
    And it just so happens that I need some for my eggnog tonight.
    I hope I have a grater already because I don’t do W-Mart. I like the measurements on that one. Maybe I can order one online.

  7. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Okie Sister–the one I have is by Farberware, if you want to get one just like it. (I do love the attached measuring tray!) I’m sure they sell Farberware at other stores and probably online!

  8. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Suzanne, you might get me interested in cooking again. Well, maybe. I can get my baking thrills vicariously through you! I’d rather look at the 4-legged Nutmeg – she looks so sweet and patient in the photo that I suspect it’s a stand-in. A stunt Nutmeg!! :catmeow:

  9. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    I have grated fresh nutmeg and I swear it’s so wonderful that it’s an aphrodisiac. Isn’t there some way that they can make a cologne from it? I love the other nutmeg too but I can guess that she’s not quite as pleasantly aromatic.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  10. Lynn Jones says:

    How did you get my mom’s nutmeg jar? She didn’t even tell me she’d gotten rid of it. If it is vintage she should have given it to me. Hey, what’re you doin callin my mom’s spice jar vintage anyway? A friend gave me a grinder with nutmeg in it from Harry & David that is nice too.

  11. Becky says:

    I have never seen whole nutmeg. It’s one of those things you use and just don’t think about where it comes from.
    Thanks for enlightening me. I will have to try it in it’s whole form, just to see the difference in the flavor.
    Happy New Year, Suzanne to you and everyone at Stringtown Rising Farm!

  12. Melissa's Cozy Teacup says:

    yes! I have grated whole nutmeg (and my finger nails!!) I finally broke down and bought some when it was on sale. It makes everything it touches taste like Christmas!

  13. Karen B says:

    :hug: Thank you for a wonderful year of stories, recipes, pictures, and many-many-many laughs! Happy New Year!

  14. jayedee says:

    just stopping by to wish you a late merry christmas and an on time happy new year! :chicken:

  15. Ginny Manor says:

    I grate nutmeg at least once a year for a Christmas jam cake. My grater is very old, tapered in shape, can be hung up, and even has a hinged compartment at the ‘top’ to store the whole nutmegs!

  16. megan says:

    My grandmother has those spice jars! I don’t remember seeing them the last few times I was there. I wonder if she’s packed them away? I should try to get my hands on them. Hmmm…

    I love nutmeg, too. It’s great in fresh alfredo sauce, too. Wow, I’m hungry now 🙂

  17. Lena says:

    I havent’ ever grated my own nutmeg – but the vintage spice jar that you pictured really picqued my interest. Just to show you how “vintage” I am, at one point in time I had an entire set of those jars with that same type of label. 32 jars I believe. In my young “wifehood” (Is there such a word?) I purchased new containers and sent all the “vintage” ones to the second-hand store. Maybe you have one of that set (snicker)!

  18. Suzette says:

    I haven’t used anything but whole nutmeg in years. I love that fresh-ground taste! I use a nutmeg thingy from Microplane. It’s a little tear-shaped plastic container with a built in grater for a lid. The container holds a few nuts. You take one out, grate what you need and then either spoon out the gratings or shake them out over your eggnog, etc. I love it! I had to buy mine directly from Microplane…couldn’t find one locally. It is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

  19. MARY says:

    :biggrin: Happy New Year!! Best wishes for a happy, safe, fun, prosperous 2009!!! Freshly grated nutmeg is like freshly grated horseradish or cheese… it makes a world of difference. Throw a couple in a simmering pot with cinnamon sticks and orange slices, yummy!!! P.S. Good use for freshly grated nutmeg. The painkiller!!!!! 2 oz. rum, dark, 2 oz. pineapple, 2 oz. orange juice, 2 oz. coconut juice. Mix well, and top with grated nutmeg!!! Cheers!!!!! :butterfly:

  20. Matthew Burns says:

    I’m a huge fan of whole spices, they are just so much better than that ground dirt that they sell for spices in grocery stores. I buy my whole spices at the International Grocery store in Kanawha City. They are extemely cheap there and have a great selection. I just got a pound of whole nutmeg for $1.24. I also am a big fan of whole green cardamom. I was hesitant to go in the store but now I love it.


  21. MARY says:

    P.S. Coconut MILK, not juice!

  22. jane says:

    I have not grated fresh nutmeg either. but I love it too. I really like your grater too – so convenient.


  23. Egghead says:

    I have grated fresh nutmeg before. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the taste of nutmeg but I use it when it is called for in recipes anyway because my family likes it. But I do like your four legged Nutmeg. Cute! Happy New Year! :snoopy: :snoopy:

  24. Kris says:

    I had no idea too much nutmeg is toxic. But a little is all it takes anyway.

    Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife: Wow you really do like nutmeg, huh? Aphrodisiac, you say? Interesting.

    Working hard at http://www.sccworlds.com

  25. Leah says:

    I learn something new on your site everyday,thank you…..
    All my spices, dry ingredients for baking are in the cabinet above the stove/oven. Maybe I should rethink and move them some place drier.I know…I need help!Happy New Years Eve!! :friday: Everyone be safe.

  26. Amy says:

    I love nutmeg (the spice, not the goat. Though the goat is cute, too, but I wouldn’t cook with goat-Nutmeg, that would just be wrong). Yum. Now I have the need to go make beignets….

  27. Robin G. says:

    I saw the very first line and thought you’d roasted the goat.

  28. Brandy says:

    I had no idea nutmeg was posionous. I have a nutmeg grater, but I use it for grating the rind on lemons. *G*

  29. catslady says:

    I always wanted to grate my own but I never came across it – I should make more of an effort to find it! I like to put nutmeg and cin. on my french toast.

  30. Patty says:

    I am intrigued. I’m going to have to buy some now. I’ll bet the Mennonite store here has it. I love any excuse to go in there and get the bulk cocoa and flavored licorice laces and other cool stuff. Now I’m going to look for stuff like whole nutmeg and other stuff I’ve probably looked right over. I have learned so much on this blog! 🙂

  31. Susan says:

    We always grate our own nutmeg. I’m glad you did this post to show how easy it is to do!

    To All,
    The New Year brings the promise of hope and change. May all the changes be great and may hope go with you always! Happy New Year!

  32. Pete says:

    If you can’t find or don’t like the made specifically for it nutmeg grater or microplaner, an ordinary rasp (or file) from the hardware store will work. They come in small sizes which are much handier in the kitchen. If you want to have some real fun, ask the hardware guy for a bastard rasp… :rockon:

  33. Traci in GA says:

    I have never ground nutmeg!!! Didn’t even know you could!
    Just wanted to say I have been enjoying your site for a while but I really liked your holiday & Christmas posts. Your tree and decorations were wonderful and meaningful. I also enjoyed Morgan’s American Girl story. My mom always ‘put things up’ for us, so we wouldn’t destroy them… She also “kept” these things for us because they were important or special. But now, I have no memory of them!
    Happy New Year!!

  34. Sky says:

    Vintage spice jars had plastic stoppers? You guys must REALLY be young! :rotfl:

  35. Sky says:

    Or…. is that ground glass? :yes:

  36. Jodie says:

    Woah! Leave Miss Nutmeg in her pen or new goat house! Love the Goatly photos. The babies are gettin’ big. I love nutmeg the spice. Not enough to buy a grater and grate it. I would consider making my own cinnamon if it was cheaper, ’cause my Chef (hubby) uses cinnamon in everything. One of the next little goats should be called Cinnamon.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s already 2009 somewhere so I’m going to bed soon. I’m bushed after watching the very expensive repair guy install a new hot water heater so my chubby hubby won’t be grouchy and can have his shower with warm water. The dishes, clothes and everyone appreciates the hot water heater now. Not the cat, she doesn’t like hot water… but everyone else. And then my WORK LAPTOP committed suicide. It would display my puppy & kitten wallpaper but GO NO FURTHER! I had to drive into work and give it to the nice ‘geek squad’ that we have to fix stuff.

  37. Fran says:

    I am again inspired by you, Suzanne! Thanks for the demo. Toxic, you say? There’s an idea you could use in a book down the road!!!

    Hope you have a fab New Year! Looking forward to reading all about it. We got your calendar in the mail the other day and 49 and I will enjoy all the critters throughout 2009! There were a lot of “Awwws” as we looked through it!
    :cowsleep: :sheep: :chicken: :woof: :purr:

  38. Christy O says:

    I do wanna try it! I’ve been wanting to grind my own spices, I had no idea I could get a cheap grinder at
    Walmart. :catmeow:

  39. Becky says:

    That is the only way I have ever used nutmeg. I have an old fashioned nutmeg grater, with no fancy measuring device, so I just guestimate. Learned it as the only way to do it from my mom years ago.

  40. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Try grating a little into the coffee ground basket of your coffee maker in the morning. VERY yummy!

  41. Marie in PA says:

    I rec’d a whole nutmeg in a spice gift basket. It has the red mace around it. I can not find how to separate them and or how to open the nut?
    Can you help me?

  42. Glasslass says:

    Well this is way after the post but I learned from my grandmotheer who was a Chef that to keep Nutmeg indefently store the glass jar in the freezer. I put the glass jar with nutmegs, grater in freezer bag and it always taste fresh.

  43. Trina says:

    I have always hated nutmeg until I tried fresh.Your right when you say it doesn’t even compare. And I just use a microplane to grate mine.

  44. Jane L says:

    Marie in PA, just hammer the nut gently and remove the hard shell (with mace – unless you use mace of course.. which you can!). The interior nut is grated. I use a regular grater for mine.

    The last time I was in Barbados my cousin and I went to Welcshman Hall Gully, which is this very tropical, moist area where hundreds of nutmeg trees are. I picked up about 50 (the mace makes them easy to spot) and brought them back to Miami. Unfortunately, every time I reach for one, it’s rotted!! Those must have been on the ground for a long time so last night I bought (grated for 79c compared to $6.99 for 3 or 4 whole! Outrageous!!

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