Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices for cooking and baking across many cultures and cuisines. Although best known for its synergy with apples and brown sugar, cinnamon is one of the most versatile spices around!

It is excellent in pancakes, waffles and muffins; cakes, pies and cookies; or in savory curries and Moroccan dishes. But is there more to this sweet, flavorful spice than its great taste and aroma? Keep reading!

Health Benefits:

Cinnamon has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat nausea, indigestion, colds, and other ailments. And now recent studies are beginning to confirm the health benefits of this popular spice:

  • One of the first studies on cinnamon, published in 2003, found that the spice can help reduce fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, and total cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • A 2010 study found that cinnamon inhibits the growth of tumor cells!
  • Studies also suggest that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, and could potentially be effective against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, among other conditions.
  • Just a whiff of cinnamon helps improve brain function and memory, according to a 2004 study.
  • With proven antibacterial and antifungal properties, cinnamon is also an effective, natural food preservative.
  • And finally, cinnamon is a good source of calcium, iron, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Note: Most of these benefits can be achieved from just 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day. So sprinkle and enjoy!

Use It!

Without further ado, let’s get to the recipes! Here are 20 delicious ways to reap all those impressive health benefits:

Cookies + Bars:

  1. Molasses Ginger Cookies
  2. Pecan Spice Delight Cookies
  3. Cinnamon Raisin Bars

Cakes + Pies:

  1. Spicy Gingerbread Cake
  2. Festive Apple Cake
  3. Ginger-Streusel Pear Pie
  4. Raw Caramel Apple Pie
  5. Grilled Apple Pie with Vanilla-Coconut Whipped Cream
  6. Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  7. Apple Crisp Cheesecake
  8. Pumpkin Cheesecake With a Gingersnap Crust

Breakfast:

  1. Sweet Potato Pancakes With Cinnamon Maple Sage Butter
  2. Yeasted Pumpkin Pancakes
  3. Sweet Potato Waffles
  4. Oatmeal Muffins
  5. Carrot-Apple Muffins
  6. Healthy Oats Squares with Coconut and Dates

Miscellaneous:

  1. Raw Spring Power Applesauce
  2. Allergy-Friendly Holiday Nog
  3. Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas

What’s your favorite way to use cinnamon? Share it in the comments section below, or send us your favorite recipe!

Image Credit: artizone/Flickr