December 21, 2021 2 min read
Cinnamon is a fragrant and sweet spice that offers a warm taste to dishes it is used in. It is one of the oldest known spices, earning a mention in the Bible, was used by the ancient Egyptians, and has been spoken of in early Chinese botanical books. The spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is available as either a dried tubular form known as a quill or as ground powder.
Historically, cinnamon boasts a long history as both a spice as well as for its medicinal properties.
Traditional Chinese medicine extensively uses cinnamon for its warming qualities and employs it to
provide relief when tackling the onset of conditions such as the flu or a cold. Cinnamon is mixed with tea and ginger to provide relief. Cinnamon’s healing properties Cinnamon’s healing abilities come from the essential oils found in its bark. The oils in turn contain active components and other volatile substances that give cinnamon its many remedial properties. In addition, cinnamon is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, and manganese. The combination of fiber and calcium is beneficial for the prevention of many health conditions.
Nutritional profile and health benefits
On the nutritional front, cinnamon offers decent amounts of dietary fiber, which is paired with some supplies of iron, calcium, and manganese. There are negligible amounts of protein in cinnamon, and it is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, making it a good addition to meals for optimal health. There is evidence to show that using cinnamon frequently can offer certain health benefits such as
regulating blood sugar in individuals with diabetes, combating inflammation and fighting bacterial and fungal infections.
Storage and selection
Cinnamon purchased as sticks will store well for a longer period than the powdered form, but the powdered variation gives a stronger flavor. To store cinnamon, it should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container. The container should be placed in a cool, dark, and dry place where the ground variety will keep well for about six months and the sticks will stay fresh for about a year. The shelf life of stored cinnamon may also be extended by storing it in the refrigerator.
Cinnamon makes for an ideal addition to spice up meals and desserts used especially in winter. It is a versatile spice that can be added to anything from kids’ favorites such as cinnamon toast and cinnamon buns to making a warm soymilk and honey beverage. Ground cinnamon may also be added to dishes such as burritos, sprinkled on sautéed vegetables, or used in curries to give them a unique taste.
Traditionally popular options like apple pie often use cinnamon to give the dessert a flavorful kick.
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