Year of honey: week 6 - I've enjoyed cinnamon as a spice as long as I can remember, especially cinnamon sugar cereal & toast as a kid. As we navigated food allergies with our kids for so long, we stopped using most seasonings/spices because they were a luxury that we couldn't indulge in. Since the kids are outgrowing many allergies, we've been able to reintroduce so many things & explore uses instead of taking them for granted. At the same time, I had stumbled into herbalism & the idea of food as medicine. Knowing that culinary herbs, spices & seasonings could do more than add much needed flavor to our dishes was just the icing on the cake! Cinnamon is still one of my favorite spices & I love discovering more ways to enjoy it!
To make you’ll need:
~ 3-4 cinnamon sticks, broken up
~ local raw honey
~ sterile jar (I like to use recycled spice jars)
Place cinnamon pieces into sterile jar. Fill jar with honey. Stir to be sure any air pockets are released. Label jar with ingredients & date. Let infuse for at least a week. Give the jar a love flip top to bottom (& then bottom to top) once a day to make sure cinnamon stays submerged & any bubbles surface. You can start tasting at any time. When you like the flavor, strain & start adding to your menu! The longer it infuses, the stronger the flavor will be.This does not need refrigerated since no moisture was added.
Ways to use: Mix with teas, carbonated water/tonic, cocktails. Blend with your favorite vinegar to make salad dressing. Drizzle on fresh fruit, ice cream, biscuits. Bake with it to replace sweetener in recipe. Spread on toast or pop a spoonful right in your mouth.
Some benefits of cinnamon: antioxidant, lowers blood sugar levels, may help fight various types of infections & bacterial growth like listeria & salmonella (PubMed article).
Anti-inflammatory, improves insulin sensitivity, balance hormones & reduce risk factors of heart disease.
Main types of cinnamon:
Cassia - also called “regular” cinnamon.
Ceylon - known as “true” cinnamon, Ceylon has a lighter and less bitter taste.
Both types of cinnamon are fine to use. Cassia cinnamon is the most commonly found in stores. Cinnamon needs to have some caution with how much is used due to the coumarin levels (more info here). Ceylon cinnamon has lower levels of coumarin than cassia cinnamon. For more info on cinnamon side effects, check out this post.