Cinnamon, More Than Just a Spice

Imagine the aroma of cinnamon rolls being baked in the kitchen, giving you a relaxed, different kind of feeling that you wanted to rush into the kitchen and grab one roll immediately after they are cooked.  That's what anyone can think of when the word Cinnamon is mentioned.

But aside from tasting so good, Cinnamon is also beneficial to our health.  It can lower blood cholesterol, prevent blood clotting, and regulate blood sugar.  Smelling the aroma of Cinnamon alone has a good effect on cognitive functions and can boost our memory.  Cinnamon is also a good source of manganese, iron, fiber and calcium.  So next time you hear about Cinnamon, you will now think of it as something healthy and sweet.

Cinnamon is a spice that can be used in both sweet and savory foods.  It can be obtained from the inner bark of trees the genus Cinnamomum or Cinnamon trees. Due to its sweet and warm flavor, it is recommended to be used during winter, but they are available all through out the year.

There are two varieties of cinnamon namely Ceylon and Chinese.  Ceylon is a bit sweeter than Chinese and is more difficult to find in local markets.

Cinnamon can be bought in two forms, tubular or powder form.  The stick, tubular form can be stored longer but the powder form is much more flavorful than the stick ones.  When buying Cinnamon, make sure to smell it first to check for its freshness.

Store it in a tightly sealed container to preserve its freshness.  While ground cinnamon can last up to six months, its stick form can last up to one year if stored properly. Storing them in the refrigerator can prolong their life but always check if it still smells sweet.  If it doesn't, then it should be discarded immediately.   

There are a lot of recipes that can be spiced up by Cinnamon.  The classic Cinnamon Roll, which can really bring different emotions to the one eating it,  Cinnamon Apple Apricot Cake, Cinnamon Graham Crackers and many others that can satisfy your sweet tooth.  You can also use cinnamon for savory meals like Cinnamon Pineapple Pork, Pork Tenderloin with Cinnamon and many others.  

You can also use Cinnamon in quick and simple recipes.  You can sprinkle cinnamon powder mixed with sugar into a slice of toasted bread and start your day with a heart warming breakfast.  You can also sprinkle cinnamon powder into a cup of coffee and drink it like you've never had it before.  You can also simmer cinnamon sticks with milk and honey and enjoy a warm, tasty beverage.  You can also sprinkle ground cinnamon to black beans for a unique tasting nachos or burritos.

In any way you want, you can always enjoy the warmth that Cinnamon can bring.  No kitchen will be complete without the fresh aroma of Cinnamon.  Who could resist the sweet smell and the warm taste of Cinnamon?  Not just satisfying your cravings for sweet tasting food but making your body healthier is the edge of Cinnamon among other spices.

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