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 think the nutmeg tour is the only thing to do in Grenada besides diving. I did that tour (on horseback) 20 years ago!

  2. Thank You for the great description on grating nutmeg. Went to another site to find out how– but sometimes it is better to actually see how to do it. Happy Thanksgiving!!,

  3. I am 100% with you here! My ground nutmeg used to be something I pulled out once a year for pumpkin pie. Once I discovered grating it fresh, there was no going back. I love putting it in smoothies in the morning because the smell is so amazing!

  4. I just scrape the nutmeg with a paring or steak knife. It grates very easily. I bought my whole nutmeg at Sprouts which is a grocery like Whole Foods. I love it.
    I make a delicious warm drink from almond milk, a little honey, and freshly grated nutmeg.

  5. Whenever I need nutmeg, I use my vegetable peeler to shave off a little from the whole “nut”, that way I am not worried about it going off, since I take just what I need. I never bought a special tool for this, though I wonder, if I ever decided to grate my own cinnamon (from sticks), I should look into purchasing one.
    BTW, thank you for your amazing site. A Shabbat guest once brought an dessert to our house and told us it was from your site. I decided to look at the site and ever since I have been hooked!

  6. I was looking around the web, there are all these warnings about it being a hallucinogen, even in small amounts. I am not certain if it is only when mixed with alcohol, but there are/were warnings (depending on what you read) about using it while pregnant. Any comments on that? I’ve used it forever and a day, but in such small amounts, and from the store–where it is probably old and weak. Never knew until your article that I could grind my own!

    • Heidi, I haven’t ever heard this regarding intake of nutmeg in small amounts. If planning on consuming this, or any herb or spice, in larger amounts, it is best to consult with a health practitioner.

  7. Hi Elana,

    I use an old wooden nutmeg grinder handed down from my grandmother. But you can buy them nowadays made out of acrylic. It is a very efficient way to be able to grind nutmeg as you need it. I don’t like to use the store-bought ground nutmeg – it does not seem to have the same flavour.

    • Gabriele, it’s like they’re totally different things, the pre-ground nutmeg and the freshly ground :-)

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