Even though some of the wide-ranging benefits of cinnamon are commonly known nowadays, I feel that health-conscious cooks should do more to embrace all of the goodness of cinnamon as they do with any other interesting or healthy ingredients. For instance, foodies rave about kale nowadays, but its health inducing benefits will never change its blatant taste. However, try spicing up your baked kale chips with some cinnamon and only then you can praise the true goodness of kale.
Thus, I think cooks could experiment with cinnamon more. There are so many ways to get creative and add the wonderful taste of cinnamon to any dish. For your inspiration, I summarised below some of the most common ways I boost the goodness of my meals, snacks and drinks with cinnamon:
One of my favourite breakfasts (or snack or any-time-of-the-day meal) consists of baked banana with nut butter. However, I feel that its goodness wouldn’t rise to the same level without my generous amount of cinnamon sprinkle which I add just before serving it.
I find plain yogurt quite bland and because I don’t enjoy the sugar-processed ones, I started topping it up with fruits and cinnamon – this takes plain yogurt to the highest level.
I don’t normally have toast, but I would like to try seedy, rye or sprouted bread, baked with coconut oil and topped with ground walnuts and the glorious cinnamon.
Crumble for breakfast?
I really enjoy healthy dessert(y) breakfasts such as blackberry and apple crumble – easily made by boiling a good portion of these fruits whilst tossing a cup of oats in coconut oil, before baking them together. At each step of this process, I sprinkle some cinnamon. Once the crumble is ready, I infuse some more cinnamon on top of it, for some heart-warming flavour, which fills my kitchen with the most glorious smell of baking.
I enjoy a hot drink with my breakfast and I got into the habit of savouring it with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I even take cinnamon to work to add it to my morning coffee (my work colleagues were slightly intrigued by this at first). Even though I started preferring coffee to tea, I will always love this cinnamon tea – try infusing the tea bag for longer, as this will create a stronger taste, which will leave a nice, subtly sweet flavour in your mouth after every sip.
However, if you don’t drink tea or coffee, you can get creative and make a delicious milkshake – for example, you can blend a banana, a handful of cashews (or cashew nut butter) with a cup of hot milk and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Gloriously good breakfast in a cup!
Nutty brown rice pasta
The best cinnamon(y) dish that I came up with is nutty brown rice pasta. To my taste, this simple dish is heaven. It’s so easy to make, too. After boiling the brown rice pasta, leave it in enough water to cover it, then add one or two tablespoons of raw cacao, a similar portion of ground walnuts (or pecans), a teaspoon of honey and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Then bake it, until it solidifies, or until your kitchen starts smelling of cinnamon(y) goodness.
I make my own nut butters out of every kind of nuts: almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts. They are all amazing and so easy to make if you have a good food processor (like Magimix). However, my nut butters wouldn’t be as gloriously good, if I didn’t mix a tablespoon of cinnamon in them which perfectly complements the nutty texture with its rich flavour.
I add a good sprinkle of cinnamon to brownies, both whilst making them to round up the delicious mixture, and at the end, when they’re ready to be enjoyed, to remind myself (and anyone else having them) of the special ingredient that makes them so … delicious!
Let’s put cinnamon back on the plate it originated form – Asian dishes. Sprinkled over mild curries, along with coconut flakes, it adds a delicious finishing touch to any curry dish.
As you can see, it has become my ritual to add cinnamon to almost anything I consume. I started to believe that my meals or drinks wouldn’t be complete without a good sprinkle of cinnamon.
I feel that cinnamon defies the conventional mantra that you can only indulge in the things you enjoy in absolute moderation. To me, cinnamon is like a glorious sneaky teat that I can have whenever I want. However, I don’t need much of it to get my cinnamon fix, and there are no side effects to consuming it (I’ve not heard of anyone allergic to cinnamon or becoming fat after consuming it).
For all these reasons I felt that this incredible wonder of nature, cinnamon, rightly deserves its own blog post. If you are a cinnamon enthusiast like me or, after reading this, you wish to increase your cinnamon intake, you might want to check out the gloriously good products from http://www.cinnamonvogue.com/