Its smell is comforting and the flavour it gives to food is second to none. Add in the health benefits and Cinnamon is definitely a spice worth using. Did you know that Cinnamon dates back thousands of years and is high in antioxidants? One teaspoon contains calcium, iron, fibre, manganese and many vitamins.Throughout the centuries it has been used in ancient civilisations in perfumes, oils and as a health remedy; it can help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and relieve digestive problems.
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Cinnamon derives its name from an evergreen scented tree called genus Cinnamomum and the spice is taken from the inner bark of the tree. There are several different types of this tree grown for its cinnamon and they are all members of the laurel family.
The finest grade of Cinnamon is called True/Ceylon Cinnamon and originally comes from Sri Lanka, a beautiful island off the southern tip of India, where it is still grown today. Ceylon became a Republic in 1972 and changed its name to Sri Lanka ("Venerable Island"). Much of the cinnamon available in conventional supermarkets, is its cousin called Cassia Cinnamon which is mostly grown in Indonesia and China.
The main difference between these two cinnamons is their naturally occurring levels of Coumarin. The amount of coumarin is relatively low in True Cinnamon but in Cassia Cinnamon the levels are higher and when consumed in high amounts coumarin can damage the liver in susceptible people and is a danger to those on blood thinners. The best advice when buying Cinnamon is to look at the label for the words Sri Lanka / Ceylon / True; buy from a reputable shop where they can tell you its origin. Our Organic Ground Cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka.
On entering a kitchen everybody immediately recognises the aroma of Cinnamon; many associate it with Christmas, it’s added to Christmas Cake and to Mulled Wine in stick form. However it can be used all year round in Sweet and Savoury foods - from cakes, buns & breads to stir-fry, stews & even cinnamon flavoured alcohol; you can also enjoy its flavour and goodness in tea!
Advice: Consume in moderation and talk to your doctor if you are on medication.
Submitted by Sunniva Egan-Kenny
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