Healthy Spice: Cinnamon

By November 18, 2016blog

Most derived from the inner barks of the Cinnamomum trees found in Asia Cinnamon is one of the most widely used spices in the world. There are two types of Cinnamon -Ceylon (most recommended by scientists if you consume high quantities) and Cassia (still natural, but has a higher concentration of cinnameldehyde).

80-90% of Ceylon cinnamon comes from the farmlands of Sri Lanka and 80% of the Cassia variety comes from Indonesia.

As always be sure to select the fair trade and organic varieties when possible.

 

The benefits of Cinnamon… 

Some of the popular benefits of cinnamon are listed here. There is scientific evidence on some of these, and others have been practiced in many cultures for generations.
  • Revs up your metabolism – when you consume cinnamon your body is better able to burn carbs giving them less time to transform into fat.
  • It reduces blood sugar – making it the best known anti-diabetic natural spice. Maybe there was a reason why our great-great-great-great-great grandmothers thought of adding cinnamon on top of sweets after all.
  • It is full of anti-oxidants to clear your body of harmful free radicals such as polyphenols.
  • Has strong anti-inflammatory effects – use it after workouts to help with recovery.
  • It may cut the risk of heart disease –  a recent study showed that 120mgs of cinnamon a day reduces LDL and triglycerides while increase HDL!
  • And more…

Uses of Cinnamon… 

The best part for the last…
Increasing the amount of cinnamon in your diet is easy since it is one of the most volatile spices that can go with pretty much everything sweet!
  • Add it to your favorite coffee drink
  • Make black cinnamon tea – 1/2tsp grated cinnamon stick, mixed with your favorite black tea, 1tsp honey + 1/2 tsp grated ginger.
  • Add (more) to your apple pie!
  • Add into the ginger, lemon tea we featured a few weeks ago! yummy!
  • Use a cinnamon stick to stir your coffee or drink instead of a plastic or wooden stick – it will taste better and reduce the waste!
And of course Cinnamon rolls! 😃
Do you have a favorite recipe to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Below is a recipe that we’ve used here at Z Club NY and it is absolutely delicious! Even try substituting the butter with all natural Coconut Oil and it is bliss!

Yields: 12 cinnamon rolls

for the dough

  • ¾ cup (180mL) warm nonfat milk (100-110°F)
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (24g) coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp (7g or one ¼-oz package) dry yeast
  • 2 – 2 ½ cups (240-300g) whole wheat flour

for the filling

  • 6 tbsp (72g) coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Lightly coat a 9”-round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and wait 10-15 minutes or until the mixture turns frothy. Mix in 1 ½ cups of flour. If the dough is still wet, continue stirring in flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead for 3-5 minutes or until the dough springs back most of the way when you gently press your index finger into it. Let the dough rest while preparing the filling.
  4. To prepare the filling, stir together the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. On a clean, well-floured surface, roll the dough out into a 16×10” rectangle. Brush with the melted butter, leaving a 1” border on the two longer sides. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1” border on the two longer sides again. Carefully roll up the dough into a log, starting at one long edge and rolling towards the other one. Pinch the ends to seal. If the dough won’t stick together, gently brush the second longer edge with water before pinching to seal.
  6. Slice the log into 12 pieces using dental floss or a sharp serrated knife. Place the rolls into the prepared pan, and cover the pan with a clean towel. Set the pan in a warm, draft-free spot, and let the rolls rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-22 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the sides feel firm. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Notes: For a vegan version, substitute your favorite non-dairy milk and Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter.
{vegan, clean eating, low fat, low calorie}