Nutmeg is one of these powdered condiments that we usually use to enhance or add flavor to our dishes. The particularity of Nutmeg is that it has a sweeter and more subtle flavor than the common nut, and in addition to that, it is also capable of adding color to the food when added.
Maybe you are organizing your condiment dispensary and then find out that some nutmeg has been stored for some time.
Or maybe, on the contrary, you are thinking of buying it. Still, you do not know how long it will last before it spoils, whatever it is. If you have these doubts, you came to the right place because you will find everything you need to know regarding its duration and preservation.
How to store Nutmeg
Nutmeg is an element of the kitchen that can become essential in some dishes and vital for its flavor to be correct. Still, this seasoning can only fulfill this mission if it is in good condition, which is why you should know how to store it properly.
Nutmeg is similar to the rest of the powdered spices in terms of the methods you must apply to store them without damaging them over time. The precautions that you must take with Nutmeg to keep it in good condition can be summarized in the following list:
Keep it in a good place.
So that Nutmeg does not spoil, it must be stored in an appropriate place that prevents it from being affected by factors that could harm it. The requirements of a suitable place can be summarized in that it must be cool, it must be dark, and it must be dry. In this way, the Nutmeg will be safe.
Keep it sealed
When you buy Nutmeg, it usually comes in packages that cannot be sealed once you have opened it, so what we recommend is that you pour its contents into an airtight container such as a glass jar with a rubber seal lid.
Keep it out of trouble.
When we cook, it is normal to add the ingredients little by little while the dish is cooking, so it is common to throw mincemeats and spices in a saucepan that emits steam. This steam can become a moisture source that can damage the seasonings dry and powdered if you’re not careful.
What you should do is pour the portion of Nutmeg that you plan to use into a spoon or small container that is dry and then pour that in the place where you are cooking to be able to keep it out of the problems.
If you buy whole nutmeg seeds to grind them and turn them into powder on your own, you should keep them in airtight containers not affected by humidity.
Can You Freeze Nutmeg?
As you may already know, if you keep a portion of food in the freezer, you can extend the time to last in good condition to consume it whenever you want. You may be thinking of applying this option for Nutmeg, but this is something that we do not recommend doing.
Low temperatures will not prolong the time that the Nutmeg will be in good condition. Therefore trying to do so would be useless. On the other hand, if you manage to do so, this could damage the Nutmeg you have stored because when it thaws, the moisture will condense and negatively affect it.
How Long Does Nutmeg Last
One of the strengths of Nutmeg is its long duration. Thanks to the drying process to which the nutmegs were subjected, they lack moisture. Although they can retain a minimum part of their natural oils, they are not harmful.
Nutmeg usually has a label outside its packaging that indicates the date until it is guaranteed to be preserved with its best quality standard. However, the reality is that once it has passed this date, it can still retain its flavor for some more time.
Nutmeg looks like another ingredient that goes through similar processes, cinnamon. When these have not been ground and are whole, they can last longer in good condition because the surface exposed to air and oxygen is less than that of dust, which is practically all of it.
In terms of duration, the whole Nutmeg can last for four years, and nutmeg powder can last two years. The difference is substantial, so you should choose the option that suits you best.
How to Tell If Nutmeg Is Bad
Because Nutmeg is a dry ingredient, moisture damage is not threatened, but it does not mean that it can’t spoil in general.
In general, when you are going to use Nutmeg, you should check it so that it is in optimal conditions for use, which is why you should look for signs such as lumps or the presence of mold or some organic substance that is growing in it.
If your Nutmeg does not have any of these characteristics, then it is probably in good condition. Still, if it has been stored for a long time, it could also have lost its flavor strength, and it would not be as effective to use it for cooking, and therefore you should also discard it.