Cinnamomum verum, from Koehler's Medicinal-Plants (1887) - image from Wikipedia We all know it's good for us, but how much do we use it? Me, I'm trying to increase my cinnamon intake and that of my family.

I put it in my pancakes and waffles (and cookies) - the ones I bake from scratch. I also add some to the pancakes I make from the Bulk Barn organic pancake mix (because sometimes at the lake I don't have everything to make breakfast from scratch, I use this mix along with cinnamon and some unsweetened apple sauce). I find the mix of apple and cinnamon adds depth and complexity to an otherwise bland pancake mix, and it somehow makes it sweeter without adding any sugar. Win-win.

I also use it along with freshly sliced ginger to make a recovery tea. Ginger and cinnamon are both renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties. I have no idea whether it's true or not, but what I can tell you is that I train pretty hard for a few hours every day (unless I'm at the lake, where my workouts are different), and I have that recovery tea after every workout and so far (knock wood) I've avoided injury which, given that I'm 45, isn't something to sneer at. My secret potion? Slice up about an inch and a half of ginger (I like mine strong, if you're new at this start with less ginger), dump into an insulated travel mug along with one small (i.e. 2-3 inches) stick of cinnamon, add boiling water, close the lid, and that's it. By the time you're done with the workout, the mixture has steeped for a few hours and it's still warm without being boiling and it tastes great. Sometimes I'll add a few slices of turmeric root, too.

And just this morning I discovered that cinnamon is also pretty handy to mask the taste of a new chai I'm not particularly fond of. See, I'm into tea and drink a fair bit of chai because I like what all these spices to do my belly (I have finicky digestion). I have a few favourites (David's Tea makes one, Chai & Mighty, that is by far the best). But I also try various mixes I find here and there, because variety is the spice of life. (Geddit?)

Anyway. All this chai-hopping is a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, and more often than not I buy a small bag of something I find OKish but not really all that good, and instead of throwing it out, I will simply add enough cinnamon to it that it takes over and voila, no waste.

And that will makes me - and my wallet - happy. Happy Sunday!