Cinnamon: A Super Spice - Culinary Therapy

Cinnamon: A Super Spice

This week you’ll find me in the kitchen baking. I love autumn soups, breads, desserts, and spices that add warmth and comfort as the weather turns cooler. When it comes to warming autumn spices, particularly beneficial is cinnamon.

Cinnamon is one of our oldest spices, used in ancient Egypt and early China as a flavoring for beverages and as a medicinal herb. It was commonly used during the Middle Ages in casseroles and mince pie.

Today in Western cuisine, cinnamon is typically used in desserts. But it’s actually a very versatile spice, used in many different types of cuisines including Indian, Moroccan, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, Greek, and Chinese. Given its health-supportive properties, we could really benefit from using cinnamon more liberally.

What makes cinnamon a super spice? Its incredible health benefits include:

  • Useful in treating diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • Increases the secretion of digestive juices, alleviating intestinal gas
  • Helpful in ulcer treatment
  • Relieves symptoms of arthritis
  • Supports the treatment of Candida/yeast
  • Supports blood sugar regulation (eliminating the highs/lows in your day)
  • Helpful in alleviating sweet cravings
  • Provides anti-inflammatory protection

Buying, storing, and preparation:

Cinnamon can be purchased as a powder or as a stick. Store the powder for up to 6 months. Cinnamon sticks will stay fresh up to 1 year (if kept in a sealed container).

Quick serving ideas:

  • Sprinkle on breakfast cereals and oatmeal
  • Add 1 tsp to your favorite autumn smoothies. Here’s mine!
  • Add it to your favorite apple or pear dessert, or try my Cinnamon Apple Crisp
  • Bake with it in breads and muffins.  Try my Pumpkin Bread recipe here
  • For a savory twist, add 1 tsp to your favorite roast
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on sweet potatoes, carrots, or butternut squash
  • Add cinnamon sticks to the liquid when preparing poached fish or chicken
  • Add cinnamon sticks to warm apple cider or chai tea

Feeling sick? Try this simple Cinnamon Elixir: Combine a 1 inch slice of fresh ginger, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a cup of hot water. Let simmer for 15 minutes, take out the ginger. Enjoy!

Your Simple Action Plan:

This week, experiment in your kitchen with cinnamon. What’s one way you can bring cinnamon into your fall menu? Try a savory recipe, a breakfast smoothie, or a soothing cinnamon elixir.

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