Cinnamon has always been an instant classic. With a recognizable smell and flavor profile and a number of functional benefits when consumed, cinnamon is a multipurpose spice that can be incorporated in a number of ways to boost your meals. From dessert recipes like sticky buns and snickerdoodles to side dishes, and even gluten-free options, cinnamon can play a starring role in a wide variety of meals.
There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is often referred to as “true” cinnamon, whereas cassia cinnamon is the more common variety, often used as everyday cinnamon. Keep reading for eight inventive recipes to bring cinnamon to the forefront of your diet and how these recipes can offer you digestive, metabolic, and antioxidant support.
What Are the Benefits of Cinnamon?
Cinnamon isn’t just good for its flavor — it has many benefits that make it even more special when it’s sprinkled atop a favorite latte or shining as the main spice in a cake or smoothie. Cinnamon has powerful properties that can boost antioxidants, support your metabolism and digestive system, and help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon shines when it comes to antioxidant support. In a study where cinnamon was compared against several other spices — including “superfoods” such as garlic and oregano — cinnamon outranked them all in terms of antioxidant activity. Cinnamon is packed with powerful antioxidants, which, when consumed, help your body fight off the harmful presence of free radicals and other toxins that might negatively impact your cell growth and maintenance.
Kroma’s Spicy Passion Latte contains cinnamon alongside cacao, maca, and reishi for energy, libido, and youthfulness-supporting benefits! Indulge in a cup of our hot chocolate equivalent and enjoy your enhanced sizzle.
Metabolism and Blood Sugar Support
Keeping your metabolism functioning should be a priority, and embracing nourishing foods to support your metabolism is easier than you might think.
One of our favorite benefits of cinnamon is how it can support your metabolic functioning. In one research study, cinnamon was found to increase insulin sensitivity, which can support weight management.
In the same research study, it was also discovered that cinnamon may support healthy blood sugar. If your blood sugar gets too high or too low, your body can experience distress.
Naturally support your blood sugar by incorporating cinnamon into your daily routine, whether it be with a cinnamon-spiced beverage, spruced up breakfast porridge, or delicious dessert for a special occasion.
We incorporate cinnamon into our Vanilla Cinnamon Plant Protein Smoothie so you can enjoy a delicious treat that helps maintain healthy blood sugar, provide an extra protein boost, and support your energy.
If your digestive system is not functioning properly, it can drastically throw off a number of other systems. Your digestive system is highly sensitive, so it's critical to support it with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
With properties that can fight against inflammation, cinnamon is more than just a flavorful spice. Since your digestive tract can be sensitive to changes in diet and lifestyle, incorporating cinnamon into your daily routine can be a relatively low-effort yet high-impact way to add support to your overall system.
Healthy Cinnamon Recipes
While cinnamon is generally healthy, it is sometimes tempting to include large quantities of sugar alongside cinnamon. When used in baking, cinnamon's flavor can be highlighted (but often overshadowed) by the presence of sugar or other sweeteners. Maybe you love classic cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and churros but want something healthier.
Here are eight healthy recipes that either incorporate or compliment cinnamon, and some of the functional ways that it can support you and your overall wellness.
1. Porridge or Oats
There’s something nostalgic and comforting about porridge, isn't there? A warm, home-cooked take on the breakfast classic filled with fresh fruit, a drizzle of maple syrup, and freshly toasted seeds or nuts.
At Kroma Wellness, when we think about porridge, we aren’t thinking about a lukewarm take on Goldilocks and the three bears. We have crafted our Super Porridge using a modern take on oats that offers a protein-packed lineup of nuts, seeds, and superfoods packed with antioxidants.
That said, one of the best things about porridge is being able to incorporate fresh toppings like fruits, nuts, dairy-free yogurt, a hint of maple syrup, or seeds. This is where cinnamon comes in, as it offers a flavorful boost to even the most plain porridges. Adding cinnamon to our Super Porridge will have you craving seconds, even though its protein and nutrient-packed profile will keep you feeling full with sustained energy throughout the day.
2. Baked Oatmeal
Unlike stovetop oats, baked oatmeal combines all the oatmeal ingredients into a baking tray and then cooks them in the oven. Don’t worry, topping lovers; you can still cover your oatmeal once it exits the oven.
However, one of the best things about baked oatmeal is that you can combine all your ingredients, bake it, and serve it for a brunch or family gathering effortlessly.
Let cinnamon shine as the star of this show by incorporating it into your oatmeal before baking. Then, once cooled down a bit, sprinkle some atop along with some fresh fruit.
3. Baked Cinnamon Apples
Like baked oats, you can put whatever you like into this sweet treat. Core the center of fresh apples, and place whatever fruits, spices, or nuts into them that you’d like. We suggest letting cinnamon be the star of the show, filling the core with a generous amount, tossed with dried fruits and nuts of your choosing.
Baked apples are easy to make, bake, and serve to house guests, or enjoy them as a sweet — yet healthy — alternative to a sugar-filled dessert. Store any leftovers in an airtight container to enjoy another time.
4. Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
We know apple pie can seem tempting, but once you try a healthier, more nourishing alternative, you might not turn back.
To make cinnamon swirl banana bread the healthier way, swap out all-purpose flour for almond flour, and skip out on adding additional sugar to the recipe — ripe bananas are sweet enough! You can also mix in chopped pecans, cranberries, and warming spices like nutmeg. Add as much cinnamon as your heart desires and enjoy.
5. Cinnamon Banana Smoothie
Is there anything that cinnamon doesn't work with? Smoothies, a breakfast favorite and a mid-afternoon snack that never fails to bring energy into the day, can always be made better with cinnamon. The cinnamon banana smoothie is a favorite, especially when used with a base of coconut water and some peanut butter added in for protein.
Try adding a few shakes of ground cinnamon either atop your smoothie, or before blending, to incorporate the flavor more evenly. Combined with the banana and peanut butter, your body will be just as pleased with how the smoothie tastes as it is with its functional support.
Our Cacao-Banana Plant Protein Smoothie is perfect for this recipe, featuring Chocho plant protein and Ceylon cinnamon.
6. Chai Tea Latte
While our Change Your Life Chai Latte doesn’t contain cinnamon, there’s nothing better than adding cinnamon for an extra boost. Chai, brimming with flavor from traditional Masala chai, monk fruit, and turmeric, is given an extra edge when you include cinnamon. Warm, full-bodied, and filled with functional ingredients, our chai is sure to change your life.
One of the best things about our Change Your Life Chai is that it offers you a morning or mid-afternoon boost of caffeine but leaves you feeling sustained because of the functional ingredients included in its recipe. With cordyceps and reishi mushrooms, this chai is no ordinary beverage; it offers immunity support and stress relief.
7. Cinnamon Raisin Sweet Potato Muffins
It may come as a shock, but you can make muffins from sweet potatoes, and they make a nutritious alternative to sugar-filled options like donuts, French toast, or homemade cinnamon rolls.
Mash up your baked sweet potatoes with plenty of cinnamon, some almond flour, raisins, coconut oil, and a non-dairy milk for a fiber-filled snack. Whether you enjoy them at room temperature or fresh out of the oven, these muffins will make sure you don’t miss that buttery, carb-loaded coffee cake or Cinnabon.
8. Superseed Oatmeal “Pancakes”
If you have a sweet tooth that gets the best of you at breakfast time, we can help. These superseded oatmeal pancakes (but not really pancakes) are delicious, satisfying, and good for you — what more could you ask?
Simply add a cup of oats, your favorite non-dairy milk, a few tablespoons of flax seeds and chia seeds, and some cinnamon to your blender. Blend it all together for your “pancake” batter, and add to a pan as normal.
You can make this recipe even easier by opting to use some of our Super Porridge, loaded with almond meal, hemp seeds, and Chocho plant protein.
The Bottom Line
You really can’t go wrong with cinnamon, especially if you are using fresh and organic cinnamon to fold into classic recipes, incorporating it into functional beverages, or sprinkling it atop fruit. Whether you’re looking to add some color or sweetness to your lifestyle, cinnamon can support your metabolism and digestive system in addition to bringing flavor to recipes across your diet.
Differentiation of the four major species of cinnamons (C. burmannii, C. verum, C. cassia, and C. loureiroi) using a flow injection mass spectrometric (FIMS) fingerprinting method | NCBI
Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents | NCBI
Medicinal properties of 'true' cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review | Biomed