Sunday, 5 December 2010

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Cinnamon/Kanel/桂皮[guì pí]



Serving Ideas:
1. Enjoy one of the favorite kids' classics - cinnamon toast - with a healthy twist. Drizzle flax seed oil onto whole wheat toast and then sprinkle with cinnamon and honey.

2. Simmer cinnamon sticks with soymilk and honey for a deliciously warming beverage.

3. Adding ground cinnamon to black beans to be used in burritos or nachos will give them a uniquely delicious taste.

4. Healthy sauté lamb with eggplant, raisins and cinnamon sticks to create a Middle Eastern inspired meal.

5. Add ground cinnamon when preparing curries.

Nutritional Value:
Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium and iron.

Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating. It is also helpful in lessening inflammation.

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Additional Information:
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known. It was mentioned in the Bible and was used in ancient Egypt not only as a beverage flavoring and medicine, but also as an embalming agent. It was so highly treasured that it was considered more precious than gold. Around this time, cinnamon also received much attention in China, which is reflected in its mention in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, dated around 2,700 B.C.

It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available in its dried tubular form known as a quill or as ground powder. The two varieties of cinnamon, Chinese and Ceylon, have similar flavor, however the cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly sweeter, more refined and more difficult to find in local markets.

Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. Cinnamon has also been valued in Traditional Chinese Medicine, for its warming qualities. In these traditions, cinnamon has been used to provide relief when faced with the onset of a cold or flu, especially when mixed in a tea with some fresh ginger.

Cinnamon's antimicrobial properties are so effective that recent research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives.

References:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=68

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