10 Ways to use Cinnamon: The Miracle Spice

10 Ways to use Cinnamon: The Miracle Spice

Mother Nature has given us foods with healing and helping properties. Cinnamon is one of these. Most of us are familiar with the lovely warm smell of cinnamon. Recently it has come into the limelight because more and more studies are being done on cinnamon and blood sugar.

Research has shown it can help diabetics lower their fasting blood sugars and foster sensitivity to insulin. Only small amounts of cinnamon, even a teaspoon per day, can help to make a difference.

Origins of cinnamon

Cinnamon is a bark of a tree, originally from India and Sri Lanka. This variety is called cinnamon ceylon. Cinnamon has a cousin, called cassia, which more commonly comes from China and Indonesia. Cassia has a more intense taste, but many of the same health properties. 

Uses of cinnamon

Besides its impact on insulin and blood sugar levels, cinnamon offers an array of other health benefits. It has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, helps heart health by lowering cholesterol, and is packed with antioxidants.

Here are some ways to add more of this marvelous spice into your diet.  It seems counterproductive to suggest sugar-laden recipes, so these suggestions focus on incorporating cinnamon throughout your daily meals and snacks.

You can adjust the amount of cinnamon to your taste. Start with a small amount and see how it affects the flavor of the dish. Experiment with the bark or cinnamon in powdered form.

  1. Add cinnamon to mashed banana and enjoy it spread on toast or crispbreads.
  2. Spice up your cereal or oatmeal with a spoonful of cinnamon.
  3. Experiment with cinnamon in your drinks. Cinnamon tea makes for a warming brew or a refreshing iced tea.  Sprinkle it in your coffee or hot chocolate and you may not need to add sugar.
  4. Mix in a spoonful of cinnamon with honey, chia- and flaxseeds into yogurt for a power-packed snack.
  5. Jazz up chopped fruits with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  6. Let cinnamon spice up your savory dishes. Use it to season squashes and sweet potato and you have a surprisingly satisfying answer to a sugar craving.
  7. Start a meal with a carrot or squash soup with a hint of cinnamon.
  8. Give a new dimension to vegetarian or meat chili, were half a teaspoon of cinnamon gives an enticing depth of flavor.
  9. Cinnamon goes nicely with lamb. Think internationally: try it in Indian curries, Greek Moussaka, Morroccan tagines and stews, and Turkish lamb kofte and pilaf.
  10. Add it to marinade mixes for chicken and pork.

A word of warning

Remember that more is not necessarily better, as excessive cinnamon consumption has been linked to liver damage. Consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or before taking any supplements.