One of my favorite breakfasts as a kid was cinnamon toast. I still distinctly remember the big blue shaker my mom would fill with a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Toast + butter + cinnamon + sugar = yum!
Now, I just know too much to do that to myself. A dose of pure sugar in the morning is not good for any body, whether it comes in the form of doughnuts, sugary coffee drinks or cinnamon toast. But I have good news: the cinnamon can (and should!) stay! Cinnamon is full of manganese and has some iron and calcium as well. It helps prevent blood clotting and reduces inflammation, making it a good spice for people with arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory diseases. Cinnamon is also an anti-microbial, which means it helps stop the growth of bad bacteria inside our bodies. Bad bacteria can result from things like food allergies or digestive issues.
But perhaps the most important characteristic of cinnamon is its ability to help regulate blood sugar. When carbohydrates are seasoned with cinnamon, they spend more time in our stomach before moving into the rest of our digestive tract. This helps to prevent sudden spikes in our blood sugar, which can lead to increased sugar cravings, mood swings, and dramatic shifts in energy levels. Keeping our blood sugar under control is so important for a balanced body. Insulin resistance, which is a result of too many spikes and dips in blood sugar, is a precursor to diabetes. Therefore, if we can eat a diet that supports stable blood sugar levels, we can avoid putting ourselves at risk for certain diseases.
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses cinnamon for its warming qualities. Guess what? So do I! When Ed or I feel a cold coming on, we make up one of our “concoctions,” which is a tea containing any or all of the following: cinnamon, raw honey, fresh lemon juice, ginger, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper.
Another amazing food, which I am not going to talk much about today but promise to soon, is coconut oil. For many reasons, I have begun to incorporate coconut oil into my daily diet. I use it for sautéing vegetables, cooking eggs, and I’ve even added it to smoothies. Just trust me – it’s a key health food! So here’s my recipe:
The New Cinnamon Toast
Whole grain bread, preferably from a local bakery (my current favorite is Whole Foods’ Seeduction bread)
Coconut oil (cold-pressed, high-quality coconut oil… I’ll go into more detail on how to choose a good coconut oil another day, but it should be hard at room temperature)
Toast bread, drizzle with 1 tbsp of coconut oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!
PS- Sorry about the bad photos – still having to use by iphone until we get a new camera!