How to Grate Nutmeg

If you’re wondering how to grate nutmeg your prayers are answered! Nutmeg reminds me of the holidays. I use it in Eggnog, Pumpkin Pie, and Cookies. This warming spice is full of nutrient-rich antioxidants and is helpful for sleep and digestion.

I hadn’t seen whole nutmeg until my husband and I went to Grenada in the early 1990’s and toured a nutmeg processing facility. Yes I’ve been a foodie for decades! Nutmeg grows on an evergreen tree in warm tropical climates around the world. Scientifically known as myristica fragrans, these are the only trees to bear two distinct spices, nutmeg, the seed, and mace, a spice that comes from its dried shell.

After our trip, I began making small batches of freshly ground nutmeg. Grated and ground nutmeg are the same thing. My younger son and I made this video in 2011 when he was 11 years old.

I grate a batch of fresh nutmeg every few weeks and keep it in a small glass jar. You can grate nutmeg each time you need it, but I find that I don’t want to stop to grate spices when I’m cooking.

Buying ground nutmeg at the store is convenient but it doesn’t have the wonderful aroma of freshly ground. That’s because it is ground, then shipped to a store where it sits on a shelf and begins to degrade. That doesn’t mean it’s rotten or inedible, just that the nutmeg isn’t as fragrant or nutritious. This is similar to an apple that is cut versus a whole apple. Once you chop an apple it begins to turn brown as it oxidizes and decomposes.

I purchase most of my spices such as cinnamon pre-ground because I use them in great quantities and go through them very quickly.

Ready to learn how to grate nutmeg? Here’s what you’ll need!

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34 responses to “How to Grate Nutmeg”

  1. I used to grate fresh nutmeg for my coffee because it was very easy and tasted great. I stopped for a reason I can’t remember. Lately, when trying to grate nutmeg for a couple of different recipes, I’ve found the nutmeg very difficult to grate. I have 2 nutmegs (out of 3) left. They are probably about 3-4 years old. I read nutmeg can last up to 9 years. Do you think it has just become prematurely old?

    • Jill, I’ve used nutmeg that was older than that without any problems. Could it be that it was not stored in a sealed container in a dark, dry place? Or perhaps your grater is not as sharp as it once was. Those would be my first guesses. Feel free to leave more info on this and I’ll help you figure it out!

  2. My whole nutmeg was quite white inside, making for a very white & brown substance. I tasted it & it wasn’t bitter, so I used it in cookie batter. It was from India. Are there nutmegs that have browner interiors, and are they better?

  3. I micro planed nutmeg for the first time today. How far into the nut should I scrape? Is the middle just as good as the outside portions?

  4. What if your whole nutmeg still has the “Lacey” mace on the outside? Does it need to be removed? If so, how?
    Thanks, Jan

    • Jan, yes you need to remove the mace from the nutmeg. I haven’t ever purchased nutmeg with the mace on it so not sure how to go about that. If you do figure it out please stop back by and leave a comment :-)

        • John, thanks for your comment! I haven’t tried that so not sure. I use the nutmeg that I link to at the bottom of the post :-)

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