ceylon cinnamon – how to identify true cinnamon from cassia, a cheap and harmful variety.
Little do many of us know that the variety sold in most super markets and grocery stores known as cassia is not the true cinnamon that can provide us the health benefits by using it in the right way.
There are 2 kinds of cinamon.
ceylon cinnamon known as “true Cinnamon” is different from the “cassia cinnamon” that is used by a larger population in the world and it also comes with risk.
true cinnamon comes with lot of health benefits like regulating cholesterol levels, inhibiting the growth of fungus, expelling phlegm. While cassia may cause health hazards to liver and kidneys when used in a bit more quantity regularly.
true cinnamon has a dominant, sweet, pleasant aroma and taste that can rob ones heart while cassia is pungent and has a sharp strong smell and taste.
In the picture below, the top 3 thick barks are cassia and the bottom bundle of thin barks is true or ceylon variety.
ceylon or true cinnamon is paper like thin and rolled to many layers and is quite fragile, is easily breakable. cassia is rough textured and is thick and just hard to break. It is rolled to only a few layers.
true cinnamon is quite expensive and costs anywhere about 6 to 10 times the price of cassia. It has high medicinal properties and is used to heal certain infections and metabolic disorders while cassia comes with health risk when consumed in large quantities and is suitable only for occasional use for flavoring foods.
The amount of coumarins is different in both the types. Coumarins are a plant component that exist in cinamon that can be toxic when eaten in larger quantities. True variety has a very small amount of coumarins while cassia has a much higher content which can take a toll over the liver and kidneys if consumed regularly.
There is no way, one can find out whether the powder sold is made from ceylon cinnamon or cassia. Hence while buying the powder. It must be bought from trusted source or brand. There are a lot of brands selling organic spices. To obtain the best health benefits, it is always best to buy organic ceylon cinnamon and then make a powder of it at home.
How to make ceylon cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup of broken pieces
- It is always best to buy Ceylon variety and if possible organic yields the best flavors and health benefits.
- ceylon cinnamon can be identified easily. They are thin barks rolled to multiple layers and are quite fragile.
- To make the powder, break open the layers, clean the inner parts of the bark with a clean kitchen towel or a dry cloth.
- Sun dry them for 2 hours. Any unseen creatures in the barks can be driven away by exposing to hot sun. Sun dried spices are easy to blend as well. Break up to tiny pieces if your blender is not powerful enough.
- Add them to a blender jar and powder.
- Seive the powder using a filter or a fine mesh.
- Add the coarse particles to the blender again and powder it again.
- The coarse particles can be used to make tea.
- The smooth powder can be stored in a glass jar for further use.