“People love cinnamon. It should be on tables at restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime anyone says, “Oh this is so good, what’s in it?” The answer invariably comes back – Cinnamon… Cinnamon. Again and again!” – Jerry Seinfeld –
Ahhh…cinnamon, one of my favorite spices. Now, if you’re thinking about adding cinnamon to your daily routine to keep your fasting blood sugars in check, you should know that the studies referencing cinnamon’s benefits were tested at levels up to 6-grams per day (about 2.1 teaspoons per person). I don’t know how you feel about that, but to me, that’s a lot of cinnamon! My “Chef Senses” are tingling and I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to take more than a sprinkle of cinnamon on your morning oatmeal to start reaping the rewards of this tasty bark.
Nothing brings warmth and comfort to a dish like the exotic aroma of cinnamon. For me, there is little better than a fresh apple pie laden with cinnamon, or a super-small bite of the super-sweet mixture of walnuts and cinnamon that is baklava. But if you’ve only tasted cinnamon’s sweet-side, you’re missing out on a lot. And let’s face it; if you’re trying to control your blood sugar with cinnamon, sprinkling some on your dessert probably isn’t going to be the solution for you.
Cinnamon has a robust history as a savory spice in the traditional cuisines of the Caribbean, China, Greece, India, Mexico and North Africa. By adding a few teaspoons of cinnamon to dishes that traditionally are already low in sugar, you can get the benefits without the spikes…
For a Moroccan twist on fruit, try: Orange slices dusted with cinnamon and topped with toasted almonds and rose-water (optional).
Chinese 5-Spice is made of: Cinnamon, Star Anise, Fennel, Cloves and Pepper. It’s great on grilled chicken or thrown into a fresh vegetable stir-fry!
Looking to spice up your next roast? Add a large cinnamon stick to your braising lamb or beef. A bit of cumin and oregano will really bring out the earthiness of the meat and whisk you away to the Mediterranean!
Mulligatawny Soup, an Indian favorite includes lentils, vegetables and potatoes and is flavored with curry, coconut and cinnamon.
Known for putting cinnamon in Churros and Chocolate, in Mexico it is also an accompaniment to roasted sweet potatoes.
With the holidays coming, why not brew your own Chai Tea? Take some cinnamon, clove, fennel, ginger, and cardamom and brew it with your favorite tea. Sweeten it up with some low-cal sugar substitute and low fat milk for a treat that you’ll want to make a nightly habit.