I’ve always been fascinated by nutrition and the positive effects that food can have on our health. We’ve all heard about blueberries being a super food, and know we should eat more fish. Interesting….but I’m especially fascinated when I learn about lesser-known health benefits of foods (including herbs and spices). For instance, cinnamon has many incredible qualities beyond its comforting, warm flavor.
Eating cinnamon can actually help to control your blood sugar levels. This study also showed that it can also help control levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol. I love cinnamon, so how to incorporate more into your diet? A friend once suggested I sprinkle it in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -it sounded strange, but it was great (I’m now allergic to peanuts, but it’s equally great with sunflower seed butter, which I now eat) – almost anything that you would eat with peanut butter is great with cinnamon. Cinnamon is also a great addition to french toast batter, just sprinkle a little in with your milk and eggs. Try sprinkling it on fall/winter veggies like squashes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins - it’s a great pairing whether you are roasting, pureeing, sauteeing or incorporating the veggies into a soup. Cinnamon is a great addition to baked goods, too. I recently made some raspberry-oat muffins that included cinnamon and it added a wonderful depth of flavor to my muffins! It’s great in other baked goods, too - add it to brownies for Mexican brownies, or hot chocolate for Mexican hot chocolate. (You can heat the milk on the stove with a cinnamon stick in it for great flavor). You can even sprinkle some in with the ground coffee in your coffee maker to brew cinnamon flavored coffee!
Check back in the next few weeks as I talk about onions, coffee, and other foods!