by Melissa Chichester
Sugar and spice and everything…cinnamon? That’s right – today we are talking about one of the world’s most ancient and beloved spices. Cinnamon has been enjoyed and cultivated for thousands of years.
At one time, it was considered a luxury good as valuable as gold, silver, and ivory.
Plus, it was used by ancient Egyptians in perfumery, as an anointing oil, and more. Today, cinnamon is one of the most popular spices on the market not only for its comforting and warming aroma but its numerous health benefits.
Fast-forwarding from ancient times to more recent times in history, Christopher Columbus thought he found cinnamon in North America, but he was wrong. Instead, in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) in 1518, Portuguese traders discovered cinnamon’s whereabouts and conquered the global cinnamon trade. For nearly 300 years, cinnamon continued to be highly coveted, but as cultivation spread, other flavors popped up to compete.
Cinnamon is one of the most common culinary spices in use today, loved for its ability to enhance the taste of savory and sweet dishes all over the world. Cinnamon can be used in just about everything. It is as complementary to baked goods as it is to meats. It is also used in coffee drinks, teas, hot chocolate, and coffee. Saigon cinnamon is the type found in most grocery stores. Ceylon cinnamon is typically more expensive and does not have as strong of a flavor as Saigon cinnamon.
As a whole herb, cinnamon may have antioxidant properties** It is also known for its use in supporting sugar metabolism.**
Cinnamon may also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a normal range.**
In supplement form, it is easy to get a daily dose of this nutritious herb, rather than only relying on small amounts from foods alone.
Cinnamon use goes beyond culinary uses and supplements. It is also a popular essential oil used for purifying and stimulating the senses. Cinnamon is a staple scent for fall-themed candles and other aromatherapy products!
Are you feeling inspired by the season and all of the coziness cinnamon inspires? We recommend this nutritious Apple Cinnamon Smoothie that is easily customizable with your favorite apple type!