Oh, cinnamon. One of the best spices to bring some depth and warmth to your food or beverage. Also, a classic fall/winter spice!
Can you imagine a warm apple pie or sweet potato casserole without a few dashes of cinnamon? It’s nearly impossible!
It is undoubtedly a staple for every spice rack. But as popular as powdered cinnamon is, cinnamon sticks seem to have been forgotten.
Why is that?
There are dozens of uses for the delicious cinnamon stick, and by the end of this article, I might have you rethinking your personal stash of spices.
If you’re looking to “spice” up your cooking game and recipes, read on! I got some great ideas for ways to use cinnamon sticks in your everyday cooking routine.
A Few Facts About Cinnamon Sticks Before We Get Started
- Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree that curls into rolls once dried.
- Cinnamon sticks, also called quills, aren’t meant to be eaten whole. After cooking with a cinnamon stick, remove it from the dish or carefully scoop around it when serving.
- You can reuse cinnamon sticks! To do so, rinse your stick under hot water and place it somewhere to dry. The next time you use it, run it over a zester or grater, and you’ll be good to go.
- Cinnamon sticks can be reused 4-5 times before they really start to lose flavor.
- There are two kinds of cinnamon sticks: Cassia and Ceylon.
- Cassia has dark brown-reddish color. It is the kind that is typically ground down to a powder and used for cooking. It has a very strong flavor, and a little bit goes a long way.
- Ceylon is considered more superior of the two and is also called 'true cinnamon'. It is much lighter, milder, and most frequently found in stick form. It is used in recipes where the cinnamon flavor is not a center stage but rather used to create depth and complexity.
1. Add It To Your Stew
Cinnamon is a common ingredient in chili, Indian, and Moroccan dishes, but it can really amp of the flavors in a meat stew, too!
Add the cinnamon stick when you add the raw vegetables and let it simmer the whole time you’re cooking the dish. The stick will release delicious fragrance and flavor, making for a mouth-watering meal.
2. Make Cinnamon Oatmeal
Cinnamon sticks are a great way to give your oatmeal an extra burst of flavor without adding any sugar! Simply add the whole stick when you add the water and allow it to infuse with the oatmeal the whole time it’s cooking.
Once the oatmeal is finished, remove the cinnamon stick and then enjoy your delicious spiced oatmeal!
You’ll notice that this method of adding cinnamon to oatmeal gives your dish a fresh flavor that powdered spice can’t compare to.
Get some delicious oatmeal recipe here: How To Make A Perfect Oatmeal
3. Make Cinnamon Syrup
A homemade cinnamon syrup has so many uses! You can add it to coffee or tea for a bit of sweetness, pour it over ice cream for a delicious dessert, or add it to cocktails for an extra punch of flavor.
To make it, simmer four cinnamon sticks in two cups of water and two cups of brown sugar. Allow the mixture to cool before you remove the cinnamon sticks and use a cheesecloth to strain any bark particles from the syrup.
The homemade cinnamon syrup will keep for over a month if refrigerated in an airtight container.
Read Also: Is Hony Better Than Brown Sugar?
4. Add It To Mulled Wine
This Christmas, you can surprise your family by bringing a delicious, homemade mulled wine to the party!
- Put a cinnamon stick into a cheesecloth with the peel from an orange, one star anise, two crushed black cardamoms, and six black cloves.
- Drop the full cheesecloth into a pan with a bottle of red wine and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg.
- Set the stove to medium and add half of each a sliced pear and apple.
- Once the mixture starts to boil, remove it from the heat. Once it has cooled to safe drinking temperature, serve in heat-safe wine glasses and enjoy!
5. Use It As a Coffee or Tea Stirrers
Cinnamon sticks are a great way to add some flavor to a hot cup of coffee or tea. In order to do so, simply swirl your beverage around with a cinnamon stick to your heart’s content. You can leave the stick in your tea or coffee while you’re drinking it or remove it – up to you.
Other beverages that are great with cinnamon sticks:
6. Flavor Your Broth
If you make your own vegetable broth or meat stock at home, a cinnamon stick can be an excellent addition! In fact, the broth in Vietnamese pho is typically flavored with cinnamon, which gives the broth-based dish it’s well-rounded flavor.
Drinking hot, homemade broth is a great way to ward off the common cold and flu during the wintertime.
Adding a stick or two to your broth adds a boost of antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties to keep you well all winter.
7. Add It To Your Roast or Slow Cooker
Next time you’re a slow cooking lamb, beef, chicken, or pork, throw a cinnamon stick or two into the mix.
As it cooks, the wonderful, savory taste and aroma will fill the dish (and your kitchen!) to make a lasting impression on your dinner guests.
Be sure to remove the sticks before you put the roast out for serving! A bite into one might not be the way that you want to surprise your guests.
8. Flavor Your Rice
Cinnamon adds a delightful flavor to white rice that is both pleasant and surprising. To make cinnamon rice, simply add one stick to the rice and water when you put it on the stove or in the rice cooker.
Remove it once the rice has finished cooking and enjoy! Cinnamon rice is best used as a base for savory Indian and Moroccan dishes.
Cooking with cinnamon sticks is a fun way to switch up your routine in the kitchen and add new flavors to your favorite dishes. With these creative tips, you might find some of your best recipes yet!
Read Also: Check Out The Hottest Food Trends This Year.