Thursday, 22 August 2013

Spices - Cinnamon

Hi peeps!

So far in our "Herbs and Spice Rack" we have taken a look at Rosemary, Basil, Thyme and Tarragon. I think its about time we start on the spices now and I am going to be dedicating each Thursday from now on to adding another Herb or Spice to our H&S Rack.

The first spice we are going to take a look at is Cinnamon. Here are some interesting facts about this healthy and versatile spice by Nancy Lopez-McHughes:

Cinnamon is a favorite spice of many. These are 10 cinnamon facts you should know.

1. Cinnamon is the inner bark of cinnamon trees.

2. Cinnamon is a spice which can be used on savory or sweet foods.

3. “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.”

4. “Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly.”

5. There are four varieties of cinnamon. The most popular being Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. The varieties differ in texture, color and slight flavor differences.

6. In Chinese medicine cinnamon has been used to treat colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual cramps and in weightloss.

7. Cinnamon has also been used in Ayurveda to treat diabetes and to improve digestion.

8. Additional studies have been done on the health benefits of cinnamon. Some have shown that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, smelling cinnamon stimulates brain activity, it is a natural food preservative, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory.

9. Cinnamon contains manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and zinc.

10. Attempting the Cinnamon Challenge is not only stupid but can be dangerous. *Here I add that it was Craig (my husband) who introduced me to the Cinnamon Challenge on Youtube. While he was researching some of the world's hottest chillies with regards to the Scoville scale; he came across the Cinnamon Challenge and showed me a few videos of some people trying desperately to scoff down a giant tablespoon of pure ground cinnamon. As Nancy suggests, this Challenge is dangerous; peeps have had collapsed lungs and severe poisoning so please don't try it ~Chef Shants*

As for the recipe, check out this beaut...
Annie's Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips
Ingredients:
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
8 ounces raspberries
butter flavored cooking spray
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Totally yummy idea, right?! Absolutely lovely for an appetizer. Thanks to allrecipes.com for this one ;-P.
Have an awesome day further, peeps!

Spicy Cinnamon hugs*
Chef Shants xxxxx

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