The Spice That Will Elevate Your Mashed Potatoes

Let's be honest. Mashed potatoes are already the main reason most people are willing to tolerate their families on Thanksgiving day. The joy of seeing that big bowl of creamy, rich goodness could give Christmas morning a run for its money. According to The Kitchn, There's a special spice that might be able to crank things up even further — nutmeg.

What do you call something that goes beyond perfection? Uber perfect? That's what adding nutmeg to your mashed potatoes can do for your next family dinner (via The Kitchn). Most home cooks are content with simply adding butter, cream, and maybe a little salt and pepper, but there are people like chef Bobby Flay who enjoy adding their own secret ingredient. Chances are, nutmeg isn't included on the list of cool and unique ways to cook mashed potatoes.

The humble spice is often relegated to sweets, pastries, desserts, and of course the Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, it can also be a great additive to savory dishes, and often serves as an unexpected compliment to creamier sauces as well.

The magic of nutmeg

Nutmeg is a spice that comes from the seed of the Myristica fragrans, a tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia (via National Library of Medicine). The popular spice has been used for centuries and is cultivated across the globe. Besides adding tons of flavor, it also has numerous health benefits. According to Healthline, Nutmeg has been shown to be rich in antioxidants, combat inflammation, and may even benefit heart health.

Slo Food Group suggests adding a pinch or two of ground nutmeg. Grating it fresh the next time you make your mashed potatoes will add a ton to the flavor profile. According to The Kitchn, nutmeg adds just the right amount of spice and warmth to balance out some of the creaminess in your dish without being overwhelming. It's the same reason that it gets added to cream-based sauces like béarnaise (via Slo Food Group). Nutmeg's subtle aroma, warmth, and mellow spice adds the perfect layer to these dishes and sauces. Just be careful not to add too much.