Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Benefits of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Chai

July 26

On my recent trip to New York I spent a lot of time in Starbuck's. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not what I usually do, and I only went there because there were so many of them, and I needed that wi-fi connection.

I limit my coffee intake these days to two cups at a time, and then only two days a week, usually Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast. Heaven. Limited, but heaven.

At Starbuck's it was not easy to limit caffein or calories, but on an early visit I decided to spring for something called an iced chai latté: How bad could it be?

Turned out it was delicious! Spicy, creamy, chilly, redolent of cinnamon and nutmeg. And I got the small ("Grande" in Starbuck's language), which was practically the cheapest thing on the menu. When I got home I looked it up, and went to the health food store and bought myself a box of Redbush Chai Tea. It's nice hot in the morning, or over ice as a pick-me-up at any time of day. And it's good for you, too!

I never thought of cinnamon as anything but a taste treat until I learned that all the spices I associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas -- cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove -- offer health benefits too. Cinnamon does not only taste good, it also contains Anti-Clotting and Anti-Microbial actions, Blood Sugar Control; it boosts Brain Function; its Calcium and Fiber protect against Heart Disease and improve Colon Health, among other things.

Those capital letters come from the Internet, and I decided to leave them in. Makes everything seem more important.

Now I add cinnamon and nutmeg to oatmeal, and I can't wait until Christmas. Think of all those health-promoting sticky buns!


connie carney said...

I was encouraged by someone to try a caramel apple the other day, at a fair. It was not just "a" caramel apple, but "The Caramel Apple". Dipped first in caramel, then in white chocolate, then dusted guessed it: cinnamon and nutmeg. It lived up to the hype. Now that I find out it's good for me, maybe I'll switch to chocolate covered deep fried batter. They should have it at a fair somewhere.

Mary Lois said...

In England a big treat is deep fried Mars bars. With a little cinnamon in the batter we could whip up a health food version. Do you think?

As for me, I'm looking for the nearest carney so I can get one o them "the" caramel apples! I'll ask for extra cinnamon and nutmeg -- for the health benefits, you know.