This Spice Helps Boost Your Immunity & Health (Recipes Included)

Cinnamon is a spice that can add a bomb of flavour to any dish. We tell you why you should be eating more of this spice in your cooking and add to your health benefits.
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Ayurveda says it’s incredibly important that meals should have all six tastes in them – sweet, bitter, sour, astringent, salty and pungent. Colour me surprised. As a mother of two, I never gave it a single thought to cultivate them in my kids. 

Thankfully, as a baker and epicurean, I included them naturally in the dishes I cooked. But I do realise that for a lot of moms out there, personal preference can be a hindrance. 

For instance, if you don’t particularly enjoy the astringent taste, which is the flavour of dryness you get after consuming chickpeas, pomegranate or basil, chances are you are not going to include it in your daily meals. 

Then how do you cultivate all 6 tastes in your little ones? You use a little harmless trickery. And I am 100% sure that most mamas are vigorously nodding their heads right now. 

So, here’s my two cents on how to include the sweet taste in your children’s food without relying heavily on sugar. You use cinnamon. The many health benefits and qualities the spice has become the icing on the top!

Dalchini, A Little History For You

Cinnamon isn’t new, rather it is ancient, as in, 27th Century B.C old.  When it comes to cooking, there are 3 to 4 types of sharp spice, but the known ones are Cassia and Ceylon. In stores, it’s Cassia you’re more likely to find. FYI, it is the stronger version and perfect for baking, whereas Ceylon has a fruity zing.

Why Use Cinnamon In Your Children’s Food?

Throw a little bit of cinnamon in any dish, and it goes from meh to addictive. The sweet-spicy flavoured spice is a wonder.

But the enriching taste is not its only benefit.

  • Full of calcium
  • Vitamins A, B and C
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants

I’ve long used the warming spice in tea and coffee to ward off the freezing chill of winters. How does it warm the body? By stimulating blood circulation.

Besides the sweet taste and a powerful cosy punch, Ayurveda says the herb has special healing powers.  It strengthens ojas. In words you and I understand, Ojas is the factor that promotes immunity and vitality. Not just that, cinnamon also increases metabolism, which improves appetite.

Ever wondered why cinnamon is used in so many desserts? No, it’s not the unique taste, though I won’t deny that is a plus. It’s because cinnamon keeps blood sugar in check. Years before science proved it our bodies innately knew that pairing the spice with sweet foods is best. When you pair it with the right diet and workout, cinnamon helps manage weight. How? By acting as a digestive aid.

Cinnamon For Kids: Some Recipes

My love for cinnamon blooms because it is just so easy to incorporate into the daily diet. Yes, I do adore baking cinnamon rolls, donuts and chocolate chip scones liberally powdered with cinnamon, but that’s on days the sweet tooth craving hits my children.

The rest of the time, when real-life is knocking, and I have been working from the crack of dawn to 0-dark-thirty, I add the comforting spice to plenty of dishes and beverages.

For your little ones, I recommend:

  • A handful of teaspoons mixed in pancake or waffle batter.
  • A pinch of it in yoghurt served during meal times.
  • Sprinkled on top of freshly cut apples or nuts for a snack.
  • Add it to oats or oatmeal for added flavour.
  • Blend cinnamon powder in chocolate milk.

Tasha’s Inside Tip

The cinnamon sticks (oh, by the way, they’re called quills) last longer than powder though I have noted that powdered cinnamon has a stronger flavour. Lastly, if you have a newborn in your nest, please wait for 6 months before you include cinnamon in their food. 

Scroll Down For The Recipes

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

 

  • 1 Cup Almond milk (You can use any milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut oil (You can use any vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Raw sugar (You can use regular sugar)
  • 1.5 Tsp Dried Active Yeast
  • 2 Cups Wholewheat Flour (You can use all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Whole wheat Flour

Filling

  • 1/4 Cup Coconut oil, melted ( You can use butter here)
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2-3 Tsp Cinnamon Powder

Glaze

  • 1/3 Cup Icing Sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp Almond milk (You can use any milk)

Method

 

  • Heat milk, oil, and sugar in a small saucepan. Don't let it come to a boil. Take off the heat and cool.
  • When this mixture is just warm, sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is bubbly.
  • Whisk in the 2 cups of flour. Cover and place in a draft-free place for 1 hour or until the dough is doubled in size.
  • Now add in the extra 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix well. The dough is now ready for use immediately. You can refrigerate it for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 C. Keep a greased baking dish handy.
  • Sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll out the dough into a large rough rectangle. I like to keep the thickness around 1/8".
  • Brush liberally with coconut oil or butter. Sprinkle over the brown sugar evenly and the cinnamon powder.
  • Starting with a long side of the rectangle, start rolling the dough tightly. Pinch the seam together and make sure the seam is facing down.
  • Cut into 1 -1.5" slices, place cut side down on your baking pan. Make sure there is some room between the rolls as they will expand.
  • Let the rolls rise for another 15-20 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown on top.
  • Pour the glaze over the warm rolls. Let the glaze set, 5 -10 minutes and serve warm. Enjoy!

Glaze

  • Whisk the almond milk and icing sugar till thick and smooth,

Storing the cinnamon rolls

  • You can store the cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oats flour (I ground some oats in my coffee grinder)
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp Psyllium husk/ Isabgol
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, chilled and roughly chopped (You can use cold butter instead, cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (You can use any milk of your choice)
  • 1 Tsp Vinegar 
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Dark chocolate ( 70%) Feel free to add more if your wish

Coffee Glaze

  • 1 Tsp Instant Coffee Powder
  • 4-5 Tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 1-2 Tsp Water

Method

 

  • Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper or Silpat.
  • Stir in the vinegar into the coconut milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes. This is your vegan buttermilk.
  • In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients – wholewheat flour, oats flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and psyllium husk.
  • Rub in the chilled coconut oil until the mixture forms large coarse crumbs.
  • Pour over the buttermilk and vanilla extract and mix with a fork until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Tip in the chocolate chips and mix them in very gently.
  • Turn the dough out on to a well-floured surface and press together gently till it forms a ball.
  • Press into a 9" circle and cut into 15 scones using a 1.5" cookie cutter. You may need to pull together the scraps and form into a circle again. Gently place on the prepared tray. Brush lightly with coconut milk.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Spoon over the thick glaze over each scone. Let it set – 5 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Coffee Glaze

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until thick and lump-free.
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