Real Cinnamon

in Flavorings & Condiments,Recipes

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I’m feeling a little snookered.  What I’ve always thought was cinnamon is something called cassia.

On the right is cassia, what I’ve always known and loved as cinnamon sticks.

On the left is cinnamon.  Thin and brittle, unlike the thick, woody cassia on the right.

Most ground cinnamon is actually cassia, too.  Kroger Co., for example, reports that all of its cinnamon sold is cassia.

What’s the difference, besides the fact that they come from two different plants?  The taste is somewhat different, with true cinnamon having a milder and less bitter taste than its imitator.

What got me investigating is that cinnamon has been getting a lot of buzz because of its medicinal qualities.

If I was going to try and increase the cinnamon in my diet, I wanted to be using the right stuff.

While it’s tough to separate the science from folklore sometimes, here are some of the things cinnamon is purported to be good for:

  • lowering bad cholesterol
  • weight loss
  • assisting in blood sugar control in Type 2 diabetes
  • reducing arthritis pain
  • strengthening the immune system
  • relieving indigestion

The cinnamon is often combined with honey which also has many followers for its health benefits.

Of all the things out there supposed to be good for you, this has got to be one of the most delicious.

I don’t suppose they had cinnamon honey buns in mind when they recommended it for lowering cholesterol?

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