Recently I discovered the wondrous powers on cinnamon which has inevitably resulted in my including it in absolutely everything that I possibly can! Aside from tasting and smelling delicious, cinnamon has been linked to lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing arthritic pain. It’s also been suggested that including cinnamon in your diet can increase your metabolism and aid weight loss, so it’s an ingredient thats worthwhile using. Personally, I like the boost of flavour it provides to any dish, savoury or sweet, that can often replace sugar. Porridge or oats that would normally be topped with honey or golden syrup could instead be served with a nice sprinkling of cinnamon and fresh banana! So tasty and much lower in sugar then the former. If your after a warm drink try hot soy or almond milk with cinnamon instead of a sugary hot chocolate. Better still, a chai tea is the perfect option before bed.
One of the best new things that I’ve discovered to include cinnamon in though is my homemade granola. Besides the fact that I love to cook, I like to make my own granola as opposed to buying a pre-made one as I know exactly whats in it (often the store-made ones are full of hidden nasties and loads of sugar which I like to avoid wherever possible). It’s also super easy and tends to follow a “throw whatever’s in the pantry rule” which is perfect when your pressed fro time. There are no real measurements and you can include whatever flavour combinations that you’d like. I like to make up a big batch at the beginning of the week and store it in jars to have for breakfast or snacks throughout the week. It goes really nicely with Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit too! I’ve played around with a few combinations and so far my favourite flavour is cinnamon, cranberry and pistachio.
What I used:
Seeds (chia seeds, pepitas, sunflower)
Coconut (shredded or desiccated)
What I did:
In a bowl mix together about a handful of almonds, pistachio nuts, seeds (of your choosing) and oats and top with a liberal amount of cinnamon. Mix through so evenly coated and then add a squeeze of honey. Mix through and lay it all on a baking tray. Put it into the oven (200 degrees Celsius) and KEEP AN EYE ON IT!! This stuff burns really quickly so keep checking it every 10mins or so. Cooking time will depend on how much you’ve made and how crispy you like your oats but mine usually takes around 20mins. The oats should just start to go golden (remember it keeps cooking after your done). Once it’s looking sunkissed remove from oven, turn it off and mix through a handful of dried cranberries, sliced dates and coconut. Finally, drizzle over a little more honey and then pop it back into the oven (which is no longer on). This will help to make some delicious clusters of sweet cinnamony goodness that are hard to resist! Leave here for about 10mins before removing and allowing to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
And there you have it! A perfect option for breakfasts or snacks. Like I said, I think it goes especially well served with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and even some banana chips. Trust me, it will be hard to resist, but hey … who cares when it tastes this good!