Dear Cinnamon

Dear Cinnamon,

Cinnamon.  Your sweet-smelling nostalgic scent, how I love you so.  This sounds like a love letter.  In a way, I guess it is.  I’ve always loved the taste of it, and after putzing around the internet a bit to see what kind of benefits (if any) it might be able to provide my body, I was happy to learn that it might be good for my health after all.  

According to WebMD.com, “Lab studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria.” Another interesting fact I stumbled across, “Some research has found that a particular type of cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.”  Sounds pretty good to me!  Especially because I’ve been using it for the delicious taste all these years.

If you’re a fan of cinnamon like I am, here’s some ideas I came up with so you can enjoy this spice year-round.

Coffee!  I love, love, love to add a dash of cinnamon to the top of my cup ‘a joe.  Just remember to stir it in before you take that first sip.  Otherwise, you could choke!  Remember that dopey cinnamon challenge that was circulating on the internet a while back? I’ve accidentally inhaled it and definitely not on purpose.  Not fun.

Shakes!  Whether you make your own (like I do) or you’re into Shakeology or some other brand of shake, adding a pinch of cinnamon gives your shake an extra ZING!  I guess there might be some flavors that might not complement the taste of cinnamon, (aka there might be some nasty combinations out there) but I personally love it in my own shake recipe which uses banana, peanut butter, & vanilla almond milk.  It would work in vanilla and chocolate flavored shakes along with some fruit shakes, emphasis on the word “some.”  Of course, banana, obviously apple, peach, blueberry, but get crazy and test it out in a small batch before you ruin the whole serving.  I’m telling ya, it makes lots of flavors pop!

Peanut Butter!  I am OBSESSED with this snack, especially in the fall.  I cut up my favorite apple (at the moment, it’s Gala) and in a small bowl I mix a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter, a squeeze of something sweet like agave, real maple syrup, or honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  I love the texture when I mix it all up because the peanut butter thickens so well and makes an awesome dip for my apples.  It’s like autumn in my mouth.  Please try it!  You won’t be sorry.

Yogurt!  Adding cinnamon to your favorite yogurt can really perk up your spoonful of creamy calcium!  Again, like the shake, it depends on the flavor you’re enjoying, but OF COURSE plain or vanilla yogurt is a perfect choice, but please get adventurous.  You never know what yogurt flavor will mesh with cinnamon until you try.

Sweet Potatoes!  This just screams holiday dinner.  I make sweet potatoes year-round.  My mom loves to roast them in the oven in big chunks.  She gets creative and adds different toppings depending on what she has in the pantry, but cinnamon is always the first to be sprinkled on top.  Then comes nuts, either walnuts or pecans typically, sometimes a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and butter if she’s feeling indulgent.  Amazing side-dish during any season of the year!

Bread & Butter!  Sprinkling cinnamon directly on toasted bread of any kind gives it a subtle sweetness and aroma I adore.  Or, you can add it to the butter itself before spreading it on your carb of choice.  Either way, the flavor will stick!

Cocktails!  This time of year my husband and I enjoy hard cider very much.  Maybe a little too much.  Ha.  As I’m writing this list I’m realizing I’ve never tried adding a pinch of cinnamon to the cider.  Need to try this STAT!  I bet it will be amazing because apple and cinnamon have always been besties.

There are many more ways to enjoy cinnamon then just the obvious “applesauce” and “apple pie filling.”  Try it in your coffee, your shakes, peanut butter, yogurt, sweet potatoes, bread and butter, and cocktail recipes.  I’m sure you’ll be transported to memories of holidays and cozy times.  

Cinnamon, I will always love you.

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