I haven’t had an honest-to-goodness pancake in years. My favorite kind is loaded with pecans and covered in maple syrup AND butter. But that is only a distant memory, along with the extra 30 pounds I was carrying around my hips and thighs the last time I probably ate that. Nowadays I keep my calories and sugar intake in check, but I never feel deprived. I love creating healthy versions of no-so-healthy treats and my arsenal is huge. From protein puddings to low-carb mug-cakes, I have some type of healthy dessert every single night, and cinnamon is a usual suspect in those recipes.
Cinnamon sticks are the dried inner tree bark of cinnamomum trees, which are then ground to produce the powdered cinnamon typically used in recipes. The health benefits are extensive: Cinnamon has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels, so adding cinnamon to your daily diet can improve cardiovascular health. It can also lower blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetes. Consuming cinnamon with a high-carb meal will reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels and theoretically prevent some of it from being stored as fat. But wait there’s more! Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants that repair and prevent free radical damage in your body. It also repairs tissue damage caused by chronic muscle inflammation, which is common in active individuals, and can fight off bacterial infections (which can commonly be caught at the gym!). Cinnamon also contains calcium, manganese, and fiber. One tablespoon of the spice contains 20 calories and 4 grams of fiber! Besides being delicious, this is enough of a reason to start including more cinnamon in your diet. Try making these grain-free pancakes with good quality ground cinnamon. The texture isn’t exactly like an IHOP pancake, but the taste is amazing and you get the whole stack to yourself without the guilt