While there are several varieties of cinnamon, “Cassia” also known as Chinese or Saigon cinnamon is the least expensive, is darker in color and readily found in North America. It’s what you would normally purchase in your supermarket. Cassia has a very strong smell and intense taste … think of cinnamon rolls!
Cassia is native to Burma and also grown in China and Vietnam. It contains coumarin, and at high levels can cause liver damage and have a blood-thinning effect. Use caution when taking Cassia cinnamon with prescription medications. It should not be consumed in large amounts; use sparingly. It is an ideal cinnamon for recipes that require a stronger depth of flavor.
I had just found out about Ceylon cinnamon recently. Before that, I used only Saigon cinnamon (Cassia). I personally don’t like a lot of cinnamon in baked goods and normally when baking or cooking, I’ll reduce the amount. That is, until I came across Ceylon cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon, native to Sri Lanka, is widely known as “true cinnamon.” It is more expensive, lighter in color and has a very delicate taste. It has a low level of coumarin and is commonly used in Europe and Mexico. Since Ceylon cinnamon has a very subtle taste, its best not to use in recipes where other ingredients would overwhelm it, or where you require a stronger flavor. It can definitely be used in place of Cassia, but keep in mind the results, and more importantly, the health benefits.
When I made cinnamon tea for the first time, just looking at it, I thought it might be too spicy, but to my surprise, the tea was mild, mellow, very delicious and comforting. It had a delicate flavor, and the tea didn’t need a lot of honey. Thankfully, I only added a ½ teaspoon.
Ceylon cinnamon is excellent in whipped cream, in puddings, custards or cream cheese frosting. You can also add some to regular sugar and make homemade cinnamon sugar. The sticks are great in curries and sauces. The possibilities are endless. Ceylon is definitely a premium cinnamon!
In stick form, Cassia looks like one continuous layer, and is thicker and darker in color. Ceylon has many layers and is thinner, much like parchment paper and breaks easily. You can see the difference between Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon here.
While both are known to have health benefits and there is a great deal of controversy over each one, I definitely prefer Ceylon due to the subtle flavor and lower coumarin content.
Ceylon cinnamon is known to have many health benefits with diabetes, blood sugar regulation, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and is also anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
When purchasing cinnamon in powder form, there may be no way of telling where the cinnamon originated if it isn’t labeled. It would most likely be Cassia. It’s advisable to purchase Ceylon cinnamon from a reputable source such as Vanilla Food Company.
Ceylon Cinnamon Recipes
- 1 cup warm honey
- ¼ cup Ceylon cinnamon powder
Stir and keep in an air tight container at room temperature
You can cut this recipe in half to make less
- ½ cup warm honey
- 2 tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
- Do not feed honey to children under the age of 1
- Do not refrigerate or it won’t be spreadable
- Excellent on toast, English muffins, crumpets, bagels, croissants, pancakes, etc.
Ceylon Cinnamon Tea – with sticks
Place 1 cinnamon stick (about 5 inch) in a small pot with 1-1/2 cups of water and simmer for 10 -12 minutes.
Ceylon Cinnamon Tea – with powder
Place ½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon in a mug. Add a small amount of boiling water and honey and stir, then top up with more boiling water. Cover and let steep for 10 – 15 minutes.
Healthy Breakfast Mix by Dr. Oz
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Dried granulated orange peel
- Ground white or black Chia seeds
Combine equal parts Ceylon cinnamon, dried granulated orange peel and ground Chia seeds in a shaker. Sprinkle over morning oatmeal. This recipe is an excellent source of fiber and tastes great on top of oatmeal with berries as well.
- When making tea, you can strain the cinnamon mixture if desired
This review is based solely on my usage of the above product. It is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should always consult with your physician or other health care professional before starting any supplementation or use of products that may conflict with your medications, or if you have any health concerns.
Product is courtesy of Vanilla Food Company. This is not a paid advertisement.