Here at the Garrod house, the one spice we use every day is cinnamon. I sprinkle it on top of my morning latte, I bake it into my favourite protein breakfast cookies (click here for recipe) and I often use it in other baking and cooking recipes. We love the sweet and earthy flavours and the health benefits are pretty awesome too!
Cinnamon helps to slow down the digestion of food which helps to lower your blood sugar levels. It has been shown to help glucose metabolism and body weight. It contains a variety of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium and it has antimicrobial properties which makes it terrific for colds and the immune system
Are You Using True Cinnamon?
Most Cinnamon in North America is the Cassia variety. The scientific name is Cinnamomom cassia also known as Cinnamomom Zaromaticaum. True cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon which is native to Sri Lanka and is a little more difficult to find and it is more expensive. It's scientific name is Cinnamomom Zeylanicum or Cinnamomom Verum.
If you are a daily user of cinnamon like me, it pays to use Ceylon over Cassia.
Ceylon cinnamon is sweeter and has much more aroma than the common Cassia cinnamon but the important difference is the presence of the chemical called coumarin, a natural plant chemical that acts as a blood thinner. Cassia cinnamon has a much higher concentration of coumarin. Anyone taking prescriptions for blood thinners should not be using common cinnamon. Courmin has also been shown to be toxic to the liver and kidneys.
If your bottle or package of cinnamon does not indicate Ceylon, Cinnamomom Zeylanicum or Cinnamomom Verum then it is Cassia cinnamon.
If you are having trouble finding true cinnamon in your local area, please leave me a comment and I would be happy to share where I purchase mine.