Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sneaky Nutrition - Cinnamon

I'm sure that cinnamon is by far the most used spice in this house. We wouldn't dare eat applesauce or oatmeal without sprinkling some on; it's a must for any recipe with pumpkin, apples, peaches, or pineapples. And rice pudding has gotta have it, in my book. Next to vanilla, it's my favorite smell. I had a "cinnamon bun" candle burning in our house a little while ago, and what a wonderful aroma to comfort the spirits, particularly on a cool fall day. For me, I think of nutmeg as cinnamon's most faithful companion, but there are times when allspice or cloves are a better choice, or even all three. Have you ever tried sprinkling some cinnamon and nutmeg on baked yams? Try it--I think you'll like it and realize that you don't need all that sugar and syrup that we use for candied yams.

Well, today I thought of making a post about this wonderful spice, because I was told it was good for diabetes. This immediately got my attention because my husband and I are both candidates for this malady. This sent me to Google (which is celebrating its ninth birthday today if you're interested) to check on this. I found out that tests have pretty much proven that cinnamon is helpful with blood sugar levels and other factors which would make it beneficial for a person with Type 2 diabetes. It also has many other health benefits such as aiding in food digestion, helping blood circulation, boosting brain activity, and quite a few others.

Then, at one site, I was checking on its nutritional stats. Here's what I found listed there for daily percentage values:

Iron 211%
Vitamin C-47%
Calcium - 122%
Vitamin K - 52%
Potassium - 20%

This was pretty exciting until I saw the serving size: 100 grams! To put that all in perspective, a teaspoon equals about 2 grams. In other words, we get very little nutritional value in the spoonful or two that we put in our pumpkin pie, but from what I've been reading today, it certainly has other benefits which hopefully add up over a period of time. So I would recommend that you sneak some cinnamon in every chance you get.

So my recipe this time is a good one for this season, my favorite time of year. Anything pumpkin goes well from now until January (and beyond), so here's a healthy cookie for your kids to snack on. Plenty of Vitamin A, C and fiber. Just so you know, I cut back on the honey and butter, substituting applesauce for some of the butter:


1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspon ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins (opt.)
1 cup chopped nuts (opt.)

Preheat oven 375 degrees.

(1) Cream together honey and butter in a large bowl. Add egg and pumpkin, mixing well. Add vanilla.

(2) Sift together baking powder and soda, flour, allspice, and cinnamon. Graduallymix into butter mixture. Fold in raisins and nuts.

(3) Drop by teaspoonfuls onto sprayed baking sheet; flatten with back of a spoon.

(4) Bake until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.

They may not be as popular as the chocolate chip ones that you get at church socials, but you feel better about serving them to your loved ones at home. Hope you enjoy them!


Cathy said...

Maxine, that does look like a healthy and tasty recipe. Oh, and the doctor that is in the Parade and on the Fox News recommended putting cinnamon in coffee. I can't remember the reason, but it was for the health benefits. I don't know if he said 1 tsp. or more. I used to do that, before changing to tea.

Maxine said...

I know, Cathy. I once had an employer who put cinnamon in his coffee while he was brewing it. Actually, it had a pleasant taste. I had forgotten about that and may try it soon.

Beka said...

Mmmm... that pumpkin cookie recipe sounds good. I might have to try that soon.
I want to know: how would one go about consuming 100 grams of cinnamon? If we could figure out how, we'd be quite healthy! :-)


I love cinnamon. I have read the same thing about diabetes. My husband and I are currently trying this to see if it works any. I sure hope it does. Have a good weekend, my friend. connie from Texas

Daughter of the King said...

WE have been adding this wonderful spice to our coffee for months now after we read about the health benefits...great post Maxine...feels like fall over here..and the smell of cinammon makes it seem ever more so.

sparrow's song said...

I had to laugh at your photo. It reminded me of a stranger who happened to come by as I was taste testing a sample of food at the deli. As she walked up, she said to me, 'What you eatin' good?" I busted up. Now we say that here at home.

A candidate? That would be me. It's my battle everyday. Thank you for the reminder; I did read that about cinnamon.

The recipe sounds super yummy. I thoroughly enjoy my family enjoying my homemade baked treats. I might give you credit but I'll have to think on that. *wink*

Hope your weekend is seriously blessed.

Elise said...

These. Look. So. Good!!!

And I will gladly sneak some cinnamon in wherever I can - I already put a teaspoon and a half into all of my chocolate chip cookies, along with half a teaspoon of nutmeg. They're my secret ingredients, although not any longer! :)

Vicki said...

I'm gonna jot that recipe down and try it soon. I LOVE cinnamon on practically everything, Maxine, and have a hankering for some pumpkin cookies right about now:-)