Spice Up Spring With Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been associated with improved health and blood sugar control

It’s easy to use cinnamon to bring more spice and health benefits to your life

More typically associated with the fall and winter months for its warm, aromatic flavour, cinnamon is a spice worth using all year ’round. In addition to giving a tasty boost to many foods and drinks, cinnamon has been associated with improved health and blood sugar control.

Although further studies are needed to confirm the precise role of cinnamon in lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, working as an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid in the body, there appears to be a connection. Cinnamon is a natural source of healthy antioxidant nutrients worth using if you’re a fan of the flavour.

Cinnamon comes from the bark of a small evergreen tree. The bark is dried in the sun, where it curls up into the cinnamon “sticks” available in the spice aisle. The cinnamon for sprinkling is simply the ground version of these sticks. In cooler weather, a cinnamon-scented curry dish or warm cinnamon oatmeal cookies fresh from the oven can really hit the spot.

Other great ways to enjoy cinnamon, even in the spring and summer months:

  • Sprinkle it on cold oatmeal, Mueslix or an overnight oats parfait with fruit and nuts.
  • Sprinkle some on an afternoon latte, cup of tea or iced tea.
  • Boil two or three cinnamon sticks in a cup of water for five minutes. Allow to cool, then combine this mixture with cold soda water and real fruit juice to make a summery punch.
  • Make snack crêpes: Sprinkle crêpes with a little cinnamon and roll into a log.
  • Try a sprinkle of cinnamon on grilled white fish or salmon served with a fruit salsa.
  • Refrigerate bananas for a couple hours before eating: enjoy a cold banana with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Core an apple, slice into rings and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Make homemade maple cinnamon-toasted almonds and enjoy straight up as a snack or mixed into a trail mix for an energy boost on summer hikes and outings.