Cinnamon is a rich smelling spice that is actually the inner bark of various tropical shrubs and trees. We usually buy it from the store after it has been dried and ground up.
This common spice has actually been around for over four thousand years and has been considered prized treasures in many nations and empires over the years. Historically, cinnamon was used for many purposes:
- Aging meats
- Providing flavor to foods
- Burned for the aroma (smell)
- Doctors used to give it to their patients for snakebites, colds, and freckles
- Used to treat diarrhea
- Fight bad breath
- Traded for treasure
And the list goes on. Cinnamon has been around for a long time and it has been treasured throughout the years. Now we have modern science to actually test it and see what the true benefits are!
Did you know? There is a spice that is very similar to cinnamon called cassia (sometimes called Chinese cinnamon). Cassia looks similar, grows similarly, and tastes similar to cinnamon but it is much cheaper to grow. In fact, the ‘cinnamon’ you buy from the store is sometimes actually cassia, or cassia mixed with cinnamon to make it cheaper.
Historically, many people have believed that cinnamon has quite a few healing attributes, and current science is starting to show that this may be true!
Although not confirmed for sure in humans, there have been some animal studies that show cinnamon to:
- Lower bad cholesterol
- Improve blood flow
- Fight bad bacteria
- Improve type 2 diabetes
Egyptians treasured this spice, nations fought for this spice, and many cultures believe in some powerful healing properties of this spice. How do you use cinnamon? Here are a few ways to add some spice to your life.
- Add to hot chocolate
- Popcorn topping
- Add to Indian dishes
- Top Hawaiian pizza
- Add to oatmeal
- Put in meat marinades
- Add to smoothies
- Add to baked dishes
- Homemade granola
- Sprinkle over sweet potatoes
- Sprinkle over grapefruit
Varieties to Try
Cinnamon does not come in many varieties, but you can buy it in stick form or powdered form.
Use the sticks by adding to cider or soups while they are cooking (and then remove before eating), and use the powder on just about anything else
Get ready for a Halloween treat this Wednesday’s Recipe!