Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon, a tropical evergreen tree. There are two species: the Cinnamomum cassia (currently the most commercialized) and the Cinnamomum zeylanicum.
It is left to ferment for 24 hours, and the outer layer scrapes off. What remains, the inner layer is rolled up and allowed to dry.
This drying process (which can be in the sun) takes on its characteristic colour. This “cinnamon stick” is then used as-is or, more often, in powder form.
What are the Properties of Cinnamon?
- Cinnamon consume in small quantities. Therefore it does not provide nutrients in significant doses. The most exciting thing about cinnamon is the aromatic compounds.
- The aromatic essential oil constitutes up to 2.5% of its composition. The main compounds are cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol, and cinnamic alcohol.
- A lower proportion is trans-cinnamic acid, hydroxycinnamic aldehyde, o-methoxy cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic acetate, and the terpenes linalool.
- All these substances add great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power. In a comparative study with 26 other spices, cinnamon showed the highest antioxidant capacities above superfoods such as oregano and garlic.
- And also, it is so powerful that cinnamon can use as a natural preservative.
What are the Health Benefits of Cinnamon?
The medicinal use of cinnamon dates back thousands of years. It has traditionally used to treat respiratory, gynaecological, and digestive diseases.
It is currently used primarily as an anti-inflammatory, to improve cognitive function, and as a metabolism regulator.
1. Diabetes and Weight Loss
- Cinnamon has been shown in scientific studies to improve cells’ sensitivity to insulin and significantly improve blood glucose levels, even in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Also, cinnamon reduces the negative consequences of eating foods rich in fat, and thus, together with sugar, can promote weight loss.
- There is still another way that sugar helps you lose weight: use it to replace sugar.
- And also, a dose of 1 g is enough to obtain a positive effect on glucose levels.
2. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
- It also acts on the levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. A study concluded that with only 120 mg daily, positive effects could achieve.
- And also, it shows to reduce blood pressure.
- All these factors combined significantly reduce the risk of having a heart attack.
- However, it would be scarce for someone to ingest large enough to suffer any adverse side effects when used as a condiment.
3. Other Benefits
The tradition in Chinese Medicine reports that in addition to the medicinal uses mentioned above, cinnamon offers its properties to treat:
- Pain is caused by cold.
- Renal problems.
- Blood circulation.
- Inflammatory diseases
- And also, Indigestion
What are the Uses of Cinnamon?
The various preparations that can be made at home use to treat many diseases that relate to fungi and bacteria, such as:
1. Vaginal Infections
Make a wash with a litre of water with a tablespoon of crumbled cinnamon stick.
2. Foot or Nail Fungus
Make a foot bath with an infusion of two tablespoons of cinnamon stick dissolved in a few litres of warm water.
3. Respiratory Infections
Gargle with an infusion of it to treat angina, laryngitis, and pharyngitis.
4. Mouth Ulcers
Make mouthwash with a tea of half a teaspoon of cinnamon per cup of water.
5. Bad Breath
And also, make mouthwashes with a mixture of several tablespoons of this aromatic per litre of water.
Characteristics of Cinnamon
- The Cinnamon cassia is an evergreen tree that can reach up to 15 meters high. It has branches with double bark and very aromatic. Its natural habitat is South India or Sri Lanka, but it is currently grown in other warm places.
- Cinnamon comes from inside the tree’s bark and offers us a large amount of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, carbohydrates, fibres, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
- The use of this aromatic plant is ancient, since the Egyptians’ time, as can be seen in the drawings of the pyramids.
- It imports from China 2000 years BC, and already, then, it was used to embalm mummies. Later, in Greece and Rome, they used it to improve digestion.
- Research affirms that together with cardamom and pepper, they were the first spices used in the Mediterranean area.
- In the nineteenth century, it began to cultivate in other areas of the planet, and today, it is common to consume cinnamon in postrés, coffees, and chocolates.
Recipes with Cinnamon
1. Cinnamon Blueberry Rolls
- 500 g puff pastry
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 1/2 cups of walnut chopped
- 1/2 cup of Cajeta
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- And also, 2 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
- Roll out the puff pastry to a density of one centimetre; Try to do it in a rectangle shape.
- Spread the Cajeta over the puff pastry, distribute the walnut, blueberries, and cinnamon.
- And also, roll up and cut into pieces 7 centimetres wide. Please place them in previously greased cupcake liners.
- Varnish with the yolk and sprinkle the sugar over them—Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown at 180ºC.
- And also, mix the icing sugar with the water, break up all the lumps, pour over the rolls with the spoon’s help, and take them to the table.
2. Cinnamon Atole Jelly
- 1/2 L water
- 1/2 L milk
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water
- 5 tablespoons of gelatin
- 5 large strawberries, chopped
- And also, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a saucepan, the milk mix with the water, the cinnamon sticks, and the sugar. Place the pot over the heat and heat, frequently stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
- When it starts to boil, add the cornstarch and stir with a balloon whisk. Leave on the fire until the mixture thickens a little.
- Pour the gelatin into 1 cup of this hot mixture, stir and let it rest for 5 minutes to hydrate. And also, heat in the microwave for 15 seconds and incorporate it.
- And also, repeat until the gelatin is dissolved, return to the pot and mix very well.
- Pour into cups, cold, and refrigerate for 2 hours or until the gelatin sets. Garnish with the strawberries and powder with the cinnamon powder.
3. Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
*For the filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts
- And also, 1/2 cup vegan butter melted
*For the mass
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1/2 cup of refined sugar
- 1 sachet of dry yeast
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil
- 3/4 of a cup of coconut or almond milk
- And also, 2 bananas
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups of plain flour or almond flour
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup icing sugar
- And also, 1/3 cup of water
- Mix all the ingredients for the filling and reserve.
- Add the warm water with the sugar and yeast, rest for 10 minutes.
- In another bowl, place the coconut oil with the milk, bananas, and salt. And also, add the yeast and beat on low speed.
- Continuing to beat, add the flour, butter, and water little by little until you get a dough that comes off the edges.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let up in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- After a time, flatten it with a roller until you get a rectangle with a cm thickness.
- Spread the filling mixture over it.
- And also, roll up carefully. Cut up the roll into 12 equal pieces and site them on a tray with waxed paper.
- It covers with plastic wrap and let up for 30 minutes.
- And also, varnish them with butter and bake for 25 minutes at 180 ºC or until lightly browned.
- Mix the icing sugar with the water so that you have a slightly thick mixture. Decorate the cinnamon rolls with it and serve.
Cinnamon in the Kitchen
You’ve probably sprinkled cinnamon on rice pudding or added it to other desserts, cookies, or cakes, but there are different delicious ways to incorporate cinnamon into your diet.
Many traditional cuisines, such as Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and North African, use it as the main spice in savoury dishes.
Here are some ideas for quick recipes with cinnamon:
- Grind flax seeds, sprinkle them on a toast of whole wheat bread, sprinkle cinnamon, and finally drizzle it with a maple syrup drizzle.
- Dip a couple of cinnamon sticks in soy milk with a splash of agave syrup and heat it for a comforting drink.
- Add ground cinnamon to vegan burritos with black beans.
- And also, add some cinnamon to curry dishes.
Contraindications of Cinnamon
This aromatic plant greatly stimulates blood circulation, which is why it contraindicates in those with coagulation problems. Its use in pregnant women should also avoid or restricted.
And also, if you have any questions, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist. Although it is a natural herb, it can have unwanted effects on the body.
It is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. It can lower blood sugar levels, relieve heart disease risk factors, and have many other impressive health benefits.
And also, make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon or stick to small doses if you’re using the Cassia variety.
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