Cinnamon for Health
Cinnamon for Health: cinnamon is a brain booster. Yes, it’s true – simply breathing in that aroma can make you sharper! Yet it also has a calming, soothing, homey effect.
You can also make a wonderful hand and foot massage oil by mixing a bit of cinnamon in canola or grape seed oil.
Sprinkle a bit on your morning cereal to lessen the need for sugar and to keep blood sugar stable. It also helps lower cholesterol.
Where does cinnamon come from? It is actually the bark of an evergreen laurel tree. There are many kinds of cinnamon and its cousin cassia. Purists think the best cinnamon comes from a certain area in Vietnam.
But you should always buy cinnamon in small amounts unless you use it a great deal since it will lose its potency over time. Give it the sniff test – if it’s fresh, you’ll know it.
Cinnamon isn’t for sweet dishes alone. We know it tastes good in sweet dishes, like cakes, puddings, cookies, breads. Stir a cinnamon stick into your morning tea or coffee. And if you drink Chai tea, cinnamon is a main ingredient.
It’s also the main spice I use when I make baklava. In a couple of weeks, I’ll have almost 2 dozen of my family members over Sunday to make our Lebanese version of this pastry. The little ones get to grind up cinnamon sticks in my coffee grinder and they just love that.
But I like to use it in savory dishes, too, like chicken with chickpeas and cinnamon and green beans with lamb.
Store it like other herbs and spices, away from heat and light.
Cinnamon Hot Fudge Sauce
A great gift from the kitchen!
1/3 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Couple dashes salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about a generous cup and you can use your favorite chocolate morsels)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa and salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and butter. Let stand a few minutes then whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Cool to warm before serving.
Store in frig up to 1 month and rewarm before using.