image from Reddit
Good morning on this Wed morning. I haven’t posted for a week, but we were in Powell, Wyoming visiting our daughter Jennifer and her family. Had a great time, great visit and even had snow when we left Monday morning in the higher elevations. We drove for about 20 miles in snow packed roads but then it was gone. In Powell, they still had blooms and color as they haven’t had a hard freeze yet. Grass was green, and the farmers were harvesting sugar beet. Interesting to watch that process. Has anyone around this area grown sugar beets? I will need to research and see if we can. They look like large beets just brown. Now back to work, and the list for both Larry and I are long. We had this warm weather when we were out in Wyoming, and now we have it when we are back. I would say Indian Summer now. ENJOY because we know what is coming.
Interesting article about cinnamon….I love the scent of it for sure and it does make you think of fall. I found it interesting to use for control of ants on the counter and in a sandbox. Also it is from a plant which I find very interesting. Bark of that plant...pine tree.
Cinnamon is more than a delicious baking ingredient. It’s packs a surprising health punch, and is a natural tool in the garden. Learn more about cinnamon and where it came from—and its many benefits that will add some spice to your life!
Sure, pumpkin spice is super popular at this time of year, but what IS pumpkin spice? Well, it’s mostly cinnamon. Sure, there’s ground ginger and clove, but the dominant flavor profile is cinnamon.
Whether it’s apples, squash, sweet potatoes, mulled cider or wine, cinnamon is essential. Its sweet and warming ways lend beautifully to the harvesttime. From cozy autumn dishes to flavorful savory dishes, cinnamon’s warmth just fits the season.
But did you know that not all cinnamon is created equal? The most common one found in U.S. grocery stores and probably in your spice cabinet is cassia cinnamon—which is quite mild compared to some of the other types.
4 Main Types of Cinnamon
While there are hundreds of types of cinnamon growing in the world, there are four primary varieties that are sold commercially. These are Ceylon, Cassia, Korintje, and Saigon cinnamon.
All kinds of cinnamon come from evergreen trees in the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon itself is derived from the bark of the tree. The bark is harvested from the tree and laid out to dry in the sun. It is during this drying process that the cinnamon takes on its signature scrolled form. The cinnamon is either sold like this, ground, or the lesser quality is turned into pieces. All of the varieties mentioned look quite similar with the same roll-like quill. However, upon closer feel and taste, their differences begin to emerge.
Where Does Cinnamon Come From
Of the four varieties, there is only one “true cinnamon.” This is known as Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum). It’s less common in the grocery store and can be found at a speciality store. It has a more fragrant scent. It is light brown in color with a taste that is sweet and mild with a note of citrus.
Ceylon is grown mostly in Sri Lanka and is commonly found in kitchens throughout Mexico, India, South Asia, and Latin America. The quills of Ceylon differ from that of the other varieties. Ceylon bark is brittle and therefore easily broken.
The remaining three cinnamon varieties all fall under the category of “cassia.” This is the more common (and relatively inexpensive) type of cinnamon and what would most likely be found ground in your spice cupboard for baking.
Cassia is known for its hard, thick, dark-red scroll or quill. The most common Cinnamomum cassia (C. aromaticum) originates from China is simply referenced as “Cassia.” The second variety, “Korintje” (C. burmannii) originates from Indonesia. Both have a subtle sweetness and fragrance to them.
The third cassia, commonly called “Saigon” (C. loureiroi), is grown in Vietnam and has the most intense flavor of all. It is something like a fireball with its surprising heat paired with a sweet note that is just amazing.
3 Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has long been studied for its effects on helping to regulate blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, cinnamon’s scent is from the essential oils in the bark, called cinnamaldehyde. This is an antioxidant compound which can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Finally, there is some evidence that cinnamon may help reduce cholesterol. Studies show that daily consumption not only led to lower blood sugar but also a “statistically significant” decrease in total cholesterol, as well as LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Note: While there are many studies and anecdotal evidence that point to cinnamon’s efficacy, the exact mechanism of action is still unclear.
The cassia cinnamons have a much higher level of coumarin—a blood thinner that studies show is toxic to the liver—than the Ceylon cinnamon. It’s not something most people need to worry about as the risk for damage with normal or even much higher than normal consumption of cassia cinnamon is negligible. However, if you have concerns it is always best to consult with your physician for medical advice.
3 Cinnamon Uses for Plants and Gardening
Cinnamon is also a natural way to deter pests in the home or garden, especially ants who wander into your house. Sprinkle the spice on any paths leading into your home (or greenhouse). Also, if you have a sandbox, mixing in cinnamon will keep ants away.
Use cinnamon with new cuttings to stimulate their roots. Cinnamon is an anti-fungal agent. Just roll the cut ends in cinnamon powder before setting in soil.
Finally, cinnamon’s anti-fungal powers are helpful when starting new seeds and growing seedlings. Mix with water in a spray bottle to spray the potting soil and plant stems where they meet the soil. It will keep mushrooms and any fungus away to avoid damping off disease.
Ways to Add Cinnamon to Your Daily Diet
Whether using cinnamon for the taste of it or the health of it, there are many varieties to choose from and there is no right or wrong way to use it. Keep a shaker of cinnamon on your stove as you might salt or pepper! Here are some ideas:
Coffee: We often enjoy adding a small Ceylon quill to the coffee grounds to infuse a hint of the sweet, fragrant cinnamon flavor.
Tea: Cinnamon tea with honey is another beverage that is delicious and can be served warm or iced.
Make a batch of Chai spice (cinnamon is the main ingredient in most recipes), and add 1/8 teaspoon to a cup of hot black tea. Add a dash of milk, and/or sweeten to your taste. Yum!
Savory dishes: In India and Asia, it is much more common to use cinnamon in savory dishes than we do here. Try adding a cinnamon quill to your next stew or broth. Or, try Mother’s Lemon-Baked Chicken.
Tomato sauce: A modest amount of cinnamon in tomato sauce can be an excellent addition; this is a classic Greek style.
Of course, cinnamon is wonderful in warm oatmeal or we love a cinnamon butter spread on morning toast.
Give some zip to a standard batch of brownies with the addition of a 2 to 3 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 to 2 teaspoons of chili powder, and a dash (or more) of cayenne.
Enjoy classic autumnal baked goods like pumpkin pie, apple pie and sweet potato pie that just wouldn’t be the same without the sweet warmth of cinnamon.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/cinnamon-star-spice-fall-season
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.