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Cinnamon an ancient and fabulous spice

By Saskia Ostermeier May 12, 2020

Who doesn't like apple pie with a bit of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon adds a nice taste to a variety of recipes. Cinnamon does much more then just adding taste. It is one of the spices which has health benefits for us people.

  • What is Cinnamon?
  • Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices around.
  • Nutrition value of Cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon as a supplement for blood sugar
  • Recipe basic Greek tomato sauce with cinnamon and oregano

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon a spice with health benefitsWho doesn't know them? The brown, rolled up Cinnamon sticks, which you can buy at the supermarkets?

 

Cinnamon is a collective name of the bark of 4 plant varieties. These are all small evergreens: Cinnamomum verum, C. cassia, C. loureiroi, C. burmanni.

The name Cinnamon points to the way the bark rolls itself up during the drying processing as a hollow tube. Cinnamon comes from the Greek word 'kinnamon' which means sweet wood. Originally it comes from Ceylon, but nowadays India, Indonesia or Madagscar are exporting it as well.

“This spice has been around for hundreds of years”

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices around.

Cinnamon is ancient, it was already mentioned in the year 1700 before Chr  on the earlier Egyptian hieroglyphs. Even in the Bible in Exodus the Lord ordered Moses to use Cinnamon  with the tabernacle when the children of Israel  were anointed. They say that the Romanian Emperor Nero burnt at the funeral of his wife a year supply of Cinnamon.

So we honestly can say it's one of the oldest spices. Throughout history it has been used in a variety of ways. The Arabs used it as a spice and as a supplement to aid digestive system. In the Middle Ages it was prescribed for the same reason and in the Renaissance  it was thought to help heal the Black Plague.

The explorers of the Golden age often had cinnamon as the first on their list. In 1505 the Portuguese gained power over Ceylon and forced the reigning Kings to pay them with huge amounts of wild cinnamon trees.

The Dutch took Ceylon from the Portuguese and took a world leading monopoly position in the trade of Cinnamon. The English tried to take this monopoly from the Dutch, but this didn't lasted long.  

“Cinnamon is more then just a seasoning spice”

Nutrition value of Cinnamon

An old trick when selling your property is to bake the day before an apple pie with cinnamon. The delicate aroma appears to improve the overall feel of the home. Cinnamon is a lot more then just a seasoning spice. The compound Cinnamaldehyde is responsible for the delicious flavor and odor.

Cinnamon has a high nutritional value as it contains important minerals like; Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium. And the vitamins; A, C, B2 and B6. Besides that it's full of polyfenolen which are anti-oxidants, to fight the free radicals in our body. Cinnamon also contains terpenes, eugenol and coumarin.

Cinnamon is therefore not only fragrant and very tasty, it also contains all kinds of good substances for our body. Incidentally, pregnant women are not recommended to eat a lot of cinnamon. This has to do with the substance coumarin, which is toxic to our body in large quantities.


Cinnamon as a supplement for blood sugar

So Cinnamon is tasty and healthy. However, you may be one of those people who can't appreciate the taste but would like to take advantage of the health promoting qualities of this spice. 

"Have you ever added oregano and a good pinch of cinnamon to your tomato sauce?"

Recipe basic Greek tomato sauce with cinnamon and oregano

In Greek cuisine, the combination of oregano and cinnamon forms a classic base. The flavors are combined in many savory dishes.
Have you ever tried to add a good pinch of cinnamon and oregano to your tomato sauce? This gives a nice, warm and sweet kick.
Underneath a recipe for a basic Greek tomato sauce
 
Greek tomato sauce with oregano and cinnamon
 Ingredients:
  • 1 can of tomato pieces, pressed through a sieve, so without seeds.
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint, removed from the sprigs
  • pepper & salt to taste
  • olive oil
 Preparation:
    • Fry the onion all around in a little olive oil
    • Add the can of tomato pieces
    • Add the cinnamon stick, the leaves of oregano and mint
    • Add 1-2 cups of water
    • Bring to a boil over medium heat
    • Simmer for about an hour
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    Delicious with Greek meatballs, rice or fried potatoes.
    We do have a supplement with Turmeric, Ginger and Cinnamon, which is used to support healthy blood sugar levels or a natural way to lose weight..

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