Cinnamon – just as much bite as it does bark

Despite Durban being really warm in the winter, we have had a few chilly weeks…which always sees me hauling out the soup pot. One of my favourites is butternut soup. To keep this hearty soup interesting time and time again, try adding different flavours:

  •  Butternut & cinnamon
  •  Butternut & orange
  •  Butternut & coconut milk
  •  Butternut & curry paste

So why cinnamon…..
The potential health benefits of cinnamon are astonishing.:

  •   Half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day may lower your LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  •   Cinnamon may help those with Type 2 Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing the sensitivity of insulin in the body.
  •   Those suffering with intestinal problems such as bloating from candida may benefit, as cinnamon has antifungal properties, and candida cannot live in a cinnamon      environment.
  •   Cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of lymphoma cancer cells.
  •   Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
  •   Honey and cinnamon combined (a great addition to tea) may relieve pain from arthritis.
  •   Cinnamon prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  •   Cinnamon fights E. coli bacteria in unpasteurised juices.
  •   Cinnamon may act as a natural remedy for alleviating headaches and migraine relief.
  •   Cinnamon may also help stabilise blood sugar, which in turn helps curb your appetite (much needed at this time of year!)

If you are not into slurping soup for dinner, add cinnamon to:

  •  Tea
  • Roasted butternut
  • Vegetable stews (think Morrocan tagine!)
  • Oats
  • A smoothie

And just incase you thought I might forget the soup recipe….here it is:
Roasted butternut soup

  •   2 medium sized butternut, peeled and cut into cubes
  •   2 medium size onions, diced
  •   2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  •   a couple of sprigs of thyme
  •   1 litre of chicken stock (your own or stock cubes)
  •   salt and black pepper to taste
  •   a splash of olive oil

1. Put a small amount of olive oil into a roasting tin and throw in the butternut, onions, garlic and thyme.
2. Roast in a pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes at 180 C or until all the ingredients have a nice caramelised colour on them, but not burnt.
3. Warm up the stock, and then put all of the roasted vegetables into a blender, with a couple of spoonfuls of the stock and blend.
4. Depending on how thin or thick you like your soup, you can now add more stock, if you find that you have put too much stock in, it isn’t a problem, just place the soup into a saucepan and slowly boil until the soup has reduced to the consistency that you want.
5. Now all you need to do is season with salt and pepper and serve.
Look out for my curried lamb, chickpea and butternut soup in one of my meal plans….

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