Spice Shelf: Cinnamon

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

For thousands of years cinnamon has been popular for its unique flavor and medicinal properties. Even though it has been known to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, prevent cancer, and give relief for arthritis, we love it because it has a sweet and subtly spicy flavor that can’t be beat!

Selecting:

Cinnamon is available in either stick or ground form.

When buying cinnamon, it is important to know that there are actually two different spices sold in our stores, without distinction, as “Cinnamon”. Ceylon cinnamon, known as “true cinnamon,” is more difficult to find and often more expensive. The cinnamon we typically find in grocery stores is actually Cassia (also known as Indonesian cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon). Cassia and Ceylon, although they belong to the same family and genus, come from two different plants.

Even for an advanced palate, it can be difficult to tell the difference between Cassia and true cinnamon, which is more sweet and delicate. If you’re buying in ground form and want to be sure which spice you’re buying, purchase cinnamon products that identify the source of their cinnamon; you may have to visit a specialty spice shop. If you’re buying in stick form, look down the barrel of the stick. Ceylon cinnamon will consist of multiple thin layers of bark stacked together, while Cassia will be one solid, thick piece of bark.

Want an easier rule of thumb? If you find yourself saying, “Golly, this is expensive cinnamon!” then it’s probably true cinnamon.

Storing:

Cinnamon, like most other spices, should be sealed tightly in a glass container in a cool, dark, dry place. The sticks can be stored for longer (about 1 year), while the powdered form has a shorter shelf life (about 6 months). The shelf life of cinnamon can be extended if it is stored in the refrigerator.

Preparing:

If you want to buy cinnamon in stick form (for a longer shelf life), use a coffee grinder to grind it for recipes that call for ground cinnamon. We don’t recommend using the same coffee grinder for spices and coffee but if you only have one grinder on hand, grind up a piece of bread between coffee and cinnamon, it will help soak of the flavor and clean the grinder between uses.

Using:

We’ve got a slew of cinnamon snacks, entrees, and desserts! Here are some of our favorites.

Snacks
Green Tomato Chutney
Lip Smackin’ Trail Mix
Rhubarb Refrigerator Pickles
Brie En Croute

Entrees
Slow Cooker Apple Onion Soup with Cinnamon Cheese Toast
Smokey Apply Cinnamon Meatloaf
Jerk Shrimp Kebabs
Jerk Wontons with Caribbean Salsa
Pork Tenderloin with Root Vegetables
Apple and Grilled Chicken Pizza
Caramelized Pork Loin

Desserts
Cinnamon Roll Milkshake
Mom’s Apple Pie
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Orange Spiced Chai
Ginger Cookies

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I have been watching Paula 's. Old. shows, I. really. enjoyed. them. What. happen to her lab dogs? I am sure they have. passed. on, but I. never seen them. on the. new shows. Love you Paula, God. Bless you!

By Marcella Corley on April 03, 2013

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm