Special to SEGAZINE
If I say cinnamon, you say … sugar? Its a popular combination, of course.But if youre interested in the health-promoting effects of cinnamon, you may want to think anew about the spice.For instance, says John Critchley, executive chef at Bourbon Steak Restaurant in Washington, D.C., why not add it to savory dishes? He uses cinnamon to create a spice and herb rub for lamb loin. He also whips up a great spinach salad with raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon.Critchley is a fan of the intense aromatics in cinnamon, especially in Saigon a cousin of the cassia varieties of cinnamon most commonly used in the U.S. and Europe. And he says adding cinnamon to spice blends is a great way to layer flavors when youre cooking.And when you start to look at the potential health-promoting effects of the spice, theres even more incentive to experiment with it in the kitchen.Cinnamon comes from the bark of trees. It has long been considered a medicinal plant. There are several varieties, harvested from southern China to Southeast Asia.For years, there have been hints that adding cinnamon to your diet can help control blood sugar. And a recent spate of studies adds to the evidence that the effect is real.”Yes, it does work,” says Paul Davis, a research nutritionist with the University of California, Davis. He authored a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food that concluded that cinnamon lowers fasting blood glucose.