101 Amazing Amazing
Uses for Cinnamon
A review By Linda Kissam
Three recipes included that make a fun and creative pairing.
This is a book that will spice up your life. Literally. In 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon, readers discover how a humble spice improves health, home, and of course, food and recipes. 101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon comes to us from wellness blogger Nancy Chen. Think of this book as a love letter to the sweet and savory spice. Try out the three surprising recipes at the end of this review.
The book begins with background on cinnamon’s ancient origins, the differences between cassia and Ceylon cinnamon and the best ways to buy cinnamon. Moving on, easily digestible chapters outline the copious uses of cinnamon. Did you know, beyond a recipe enhancement, it is an ant repellent, a plant healer, a parasite preventer, a pain reliever, an acne spot treatment, a weight loss aid, a mood enhancer, and a memory booster? Yup. It’s a true hero spice.
In the foodie department think fun recipes for a Five Spice Old Fashioned (recipe included below) coffee syrup, butter, Chinese Chili Oil (recipe below), dog food, Mexican hot chocolate, apple mulled wine, candied bacon, and homemade apple pie.
I think you’ll also enjoy, Chen’s “recipes” for homemade face masks, cinnamon-sugar lip scrub, homemade cinnamon foundation powder, and cinnamon whitening toothpaste. Who knew?
Nancy Chen’s collection of the many uses of cinnamon reflects trending social interest in health, wellness, natural solutions and treatments for a variety of conditions and ailments. It delivers its information in an appealing (non preachy) manner, and is centered it in research with cited sources.
Take the book for a taste run. Enjoy a quirky pairing of spirits and a cabbage/rice dish. Making all three recipes in one sitting, as presented, should provide a fun and tasty evening.
Recipe 1: Five Spice Old Fashioned
1-2 tsp of honey (or add more to taste, can use simple syrup or maple syrup as well)
⅛ tsp Chinese five spice powder
2.5 oz whiskey (I like Japanese whiskey)
3 segments of mandarin orange
1-2 dashes of orange bitters
2 dried star anise
1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
1. Combine orange, whiskey, five spice powder, and sweetener and muddle together.
2. Top with ice and star anise, then use a cinnamon stick to stir and garnish. Enjoy!
Recipe 2: Chinese Chili Oil (page 35)
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
¾ cup crushed red pepper flakes (I recommend Sichuan chili flakes)
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups grapeseed oil
5 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1. Mix the sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
2. Mix the oil, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, peppercorns, and ginger in a small
saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
3. Once you see the oil bubble, turn the heat down to low. You want to avoid burning the
oil and spices, so if you have a thermometer, make sure the temperature is between
200°F and 225°F.
4. Simmer the oil for 30 minutes. It should be slightly bubbling the whole time; adjust the
heat slightly if it’s not.
5. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture over the bowl with the sesame seeds,
red pepper flakes, and salt.
6. Stir well and let cool. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to three
Recipe 3: Cabbage & Sticky Rice Cake Stir Fry “Chao Nian Gao” with Chinese Chili Oil
2-3 tbsp avocado oil (for cooking)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 slices ginger
3 scallions, chopped
4 cups cabbage or Napa cabbage, chopped
16 oz sticky rice cakes (I like the refrigerated vacuum-packed ones that you don’t have to pre-soak)
2 tbsp coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce (you can add more to taste)
1 tbsp gluten-free oyster sauce
1 tsp black rice vinegar
2-3 tbsp Chinese Chili Oil (see recipe above; you can add more or less to taste)
1. Mix ingredients for sauce in a small bowl.
2. Heat large pan on high heat and add the avocado oil. Next, add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and cook until the garlic is browned.
3. Add the rice cakes and half the sauce. Stir fry the rice cakes together for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is wilted. (Note: if you have a smaller pan, you can cook the cabbage separately and then add it all together at the end.)
5. In another bowl, beat together the 4 eggs and pour on top of the cabbage.
6. Add the rest of the sauce and cook until the eggs are cooked through.
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Note: I only review cookbooks that I find have value for my readers. This article is not an endorsement, but a professional review. I was provided a free cookbook for review purposes. No fee was paid by the author or publisher for this review.