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How appropriate that my “punk-rock-gluten-free Betty Crocker” daughter keeps me well-stocked with high quality sweet spices. She’s more on the spicy side than the sweet side, but she definitely knows where to buy the best spices and herbs. And when and how to use them. I’m still waiting for a photo and post of her famous apple crisp (hint, hint).

So, what do you know about cinnamon? Other than you used to mix it with white sugar and sprinkle it over buttered white bread and broil it in the oven for a treat when you were little. Ugh, and to make matters worse, the bread was probably Rainbow Bread. A high gluten, low value treat. Well, if nothing else the cinnamon at least provided a boost to something that was totally devoid of nutritional value.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known and is indigenous to Sri Lanka. It was treasured as a flavoring, sought-after as a medicinal herb, and even used as an embalming agent (probably limited to royal mummies). Legend has it that the Roman Emperor Nero burned a full year’s supply of cinnamon at the funeral of his wife in 65 AD. Sweet tribute. Cinnamon is also mentioned in many classical writings as well as several places in the Bible (don’t ask me where).

On to the nutritional benefits of cinnamon, which are numerous. I’ll list a few of the reasons I like it, other than the wonderful sweet – and even savory – taste.

• helps reduce fasting blood glucose levels in diabetics
• helps reduce triglycerides, LDLs, and total cholesterol
• works as a circulatory stimulant
• has antibiotic abilities
• is anti-ulcerative
• helps with digestion
• is a carminative (fancy word for helps relieve gas and bloating)
• is a diuretic

The healing abilities in cinnamon come from three essential oils found in the bark: cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, along with some other good substances. So, use it in baking; sprinkle it on hot cereal; use in curries; and add it to smoothies, teas, and other beverages.

healthier cinnamon toast
• one piece gluten-free bread (millet, Montina, etc.)
• drizzle with flaxseed oil
• sprinkle with cinnamon and a touch of organic brown sugar
• broil until lightly browned

Here’s to a sweet and spicy life!
Melissa

7 Responses to “cinnamon and spice and everything nice”

  1. Cindy says:

    You found my favorite sweetener! Cinnamon is just sexy… I add it to almost everything from soups, stews, and casseroles to desserts, chocolate, smoothies….well, anything. But probably not horseradish kale…uhh, no that’d be yuck.
    Please send a link when your daughter makes that recipe! It sounds delicious. Does she have a blog? I think I remember you talking about that before…? Or I dreamed it?
    Can I request that you Melissa-fie some pumpkin [dessert] with cinnamon now? I’m really pushing for this recipe since I am at the mercy of fast food here. Nothing like our good ole gf df blah blah food, of course

  2. Melissa says:

    Where are you? CT? Generators, solar cells, ions? Do these other scientists know you’re moonlighting as a gluten-free chef/food blogger? Even now, while you’re supposed to be focusing all your brain power on split pole magnetic doo-dads.

    As for your question about Tevis having a blog. I would say, yes, you dreamed that up, but I can’t imagine when you have time to sleep. She dabbles in the idea of opening a GF bakery in Chicago. She has celiac too and makes great GF goodies. I keep bugging her to take photos and add some recipes here. I think she has a good pumpkin muffin one. (Do you Tev? Make some and post the recipe for Cindy. She’s busy being an astrophysicist this week and didn’t bring her Easy Bake Oven with her.)

    Have fun, Cindy and be careful playing around with those charged particle beams.

  3. Tevis says:

    Hi Mom and Cindy,

    I do have an amazing recipe for pumpkin bread, but it’s filled with cream cheese (so it’s not that healthy). And, I don’t have the recipe here at work, but I could post it tomorrow or Friday for you. It really is amazing. Also, if you like dark chocolate I have a great one for dark chocolate peanut mini loaf cakes. So good!! Maybe sometime I’ll have to make a guest post on my mom’s blog.

  4. Tevis,

    YES! YES!
    I think that covers it.

    Oh, those chocolate mini cakes so great too.. I’ve gone all week with no wine (I’m probably better off) and no cocoa powder. Or komboucha or probiotics or kale, collards, bison, grass-fed beef…. ah, you get the idea. I’m a little edgy so your mini cakes sounds delish’. Can you give a nut-free option for those? I can’t do nuts right now and I am plenty nuts on my own without adding them to my diet.

    Melissa,
    How’s that fat post coming? I’m psyched! Have a great one ladies!

  5. Melissa says:

    Cindy – How is the “youngest astrophysicist at Yale with all the big boys” doing?! I’m impressed with you, girl!

    I got totally sidetracked and won’t have the fat and oils post ready for another day or two. I’m working on a slide presentation on celiac for a group of nutrition students and have been preparing for that. I’ll share some of the information with you if you’re interested. Anyway, I have too much going on right now! (I’m almost embarrassed to be whining to you about too much going on. Sorry, I say as I slink away.)

    Oh, also – I’m having my whole website/blog redone so it will be much more user friendly! Yeah! It should be finished soon. You’ll have to come to the unveiling party! GF cupcakes and red wine.

  6. Tevis says:

    Hi Cindy,

    I will get together both of those recipe’s and send them your way. The dark chocolate loafs are amazing and I add peanuts, because that’s the only nut I’m not allergic to, however, I’ve made them “nut free” a couple times and they are amazing.

    Honestly, I don’t think I could live with out dark chocolate, cinnamon and kale. I seriously eat kale everyday, it’s so wonderful. Where are you that you can’t eat any of these good things?

  7. Cindy says:

    Hey, I’d settle with the new website.. but if you’re cooking gf cupcakes and servin’ wine I’m on a flight to Co! Oh come on- I know you’re busier than I am. Take the fact that I have the luxury to ogle your food and posts while working as evidence. Yes, I’d love some info from your presentation. You should post your presentations (PDF your slideshows?) on your blog. You provide excellent expert advice and information- most people just write books and charge $$, so I appreciate you sharing all your knowledge!

    Tevis, I adore kale and it loves me back. We have a kale-cindy’s tummy love affair going on… my tummy cheats on kale often with collards, though. It is all a messy situation when Jon asks what’s for dinner and I say “kale [collards], for extra special tummy lovin’”… I don’t think he appreciates that. Oh yes, please please please send dark chocolate recipes…. I would start hitchhiking to South America right now if I thought I’d actually get there and they’d let me sit like a fat happy cow, gnawing on cocoa beans all day. Ahh, that’s the life. Seriously, I am in a state of serious Mg deficiency here and I am getting crazy for plain unsweetened cocoa powder.

    Oh, and Tevis MAKE A BLOG! POST YOUR STUFF! We’d love to add you to the community and it’d be a great way to start up some momentum for when/if you open that bakery!

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