Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously.  ~ Vanna Bonta

Everyone uses cinnamon whether in savory foods or sweets.

It is a sweet spice that even children love. Native to the Malabar Coast of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma it has been used since ancient times in Egypt and China.

In fact, the healing benefits of cinnamon are even mentioned in the Bible. It was considered more precious than gold. The Roman emperor Nero burned a large supply of cinnamon at his wife’s funeral. Some say it was his guilt for murdering his wife.

Today, 80% of the yield of cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. Cinnamomum Verum is said to be the true cinnamon. Cassia is another form of cinnamon that is primarily grown in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

It was used for embalming in Egypt and as a meat preserver in other parts of the middle east. Today it is used in curries, stews and meat dishes for its versatile flavor and for the way it combines with other spices.

In Ayurveda, it is used as a digestive aid. Its warming sweet spicy qualities are great for those who require more digestive fire.

Because of its warming qualities, cinnamon is a perfect spice to use in the winter season. In ancient times cinnamon was brewed into tea and served to women in labor to enhance contractions.

There are many studies showing that cinnamon can help with diabetes. Although that may be true, spices are powerful medicine and they potency is best absorbed by the body when cooked with other spices and foods.

Simply by adding a teaspoon of cinnamon, your smoothie will not have the same benefit as adding the cinnamon to your oatmeal with cardamom and clove. Think synergy when you think of spice medicine.

Cinnamon can be purchased in the form of sticks or rolled bark and as a powder. The powder is used in baking.

The sticks can be used for delicate flavoring of rice and curry dishes. The best way to store cinnamon sticks is to put them in a stainless steel container and place it in a cool, dark place. When cinnamon sticks are cooked in warm oil along with other spices, its flavors and medicinal properties are released.

Cinnamon-flavored breakfast? Try this Spiced Oatmeal.

Ingredients:

1 cup steel cut oatmeal

2.5 cups of water or almond milk or rice milk

1 tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp cardamom powder

3 tbsp turbinado sugar

1 apple peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup slivered almonds

2 tbsp ghee

 

Preparation:

Heat the ghee in a medium sized pot and add the raisins, almonds, apple, cardamom and cinnamon. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the water or nut milk and bring to a boil. Add the oatmeal and sugar and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook till soft and mushy about 15-20 minutes on low heat. Serve hot with more hot milk on top.

This is a great breakfast for the winter season. Alternately you can use quinoa.

Published at Rebelle Society