Typical values per 100g
Energy kj 822
Fat 0.7g of which saturates 0.3g
Carbohydrates 12.8g of which sugars 0g
There are different types of cinnamon. Ours is "true cinnamon" (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and is the most associated with health benefits. In Ancient Egypt cinnamon was considered to be more precious than gold!
An aromatic sweet tasting spice which works surprisingly well in both desserts and savoury dishes!
Our organic cinnamon is grown in Kerala, part of the Indian peninsula. We work with small artisan farmers throughout the whole growing process to make farming a viable option.
As soon as the delicious scent of cinnamon wafts through the Lucy Bee kitchen, we can’t help but think of Christmas. Yet this delicious, fragrant spice isn’t just for winter – it’s a store cupboard staple that we really love to use.
As one of our kitchen essentials, we couldn’t resist bringing our very own Lucy Bee spice to the cinnamon world.
Here’s all you need to know about our favourite spice......
Sweet, warming and wonderfully comforting, cinnamon is one of the best spices of all. In fact, it’s the second most popular spice in both the US and over here – only black pepper knocks it from the top spot.
Found in the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, cinnamon can be sold as a ground powder, or as a tubular bark. Native to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma, what many people don’t realise is that there are actually two different kinds of this spice – Ceylon, or Cassia.
Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder is Ceylon, which is also known as “true cinnamon”. Although most supermarkets stock Cassia since it tends to be cheaper, Ceylon cinnamon has a wonderfully subtle, sweet taste and is a lighter brown colour.
Unlike Cassia, our Ceylon cinnamon also has very low levels of coumarin (0.02%). Ceylon cinnamon sticks also have many thin layers and can easily be made into powder, whereas Cassia sticks are much harder. We have a more detailed article on our blog which looks at the differences.
Amazingly, cinnamon has always had a place in peoples’ hearts (and their cuisine!). In fact, this treasured spice was even seen as the perfect gift for monarchs and gods alike, while in Ancient Rome, a pound of cinnamon would cost up to 300 denarii – the equivalent of ten month’s wages.
As well as being used to flavour food, meats and even wines, cinnamon was also traditionally used to fragrance rooms or as an embalming agent in ancient Egypt and was also added to holy oils in the Hebrew bible.
However, as popular as it now is, it took years to reach our shores. In the 16th century, Portuguese traders built a fort in Ceylon, Sri Lanka, and had a monopoly on the cinnamon grown there. Eventually, the Dutch dislodged the Portuguese (one captain was so taken with the smell of cinnamon from Ceylon that he wrote: “When one is downwind of the island, one can still smell cinnamon eight leagyes out to sea."), until the British took control in 1796.
Q: Is your cinnamon, Cassia or Ceylon cinnamon?
A: Lucy Bee Cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon, aka ‘True cinnamon’.
Q: What percentage of coumarin is in your cinnamon?
A: Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder has 0.02% coumarin content.
Q: Is your cinnamon powder nut and peanut free?
A: Yes all the Lucy Bee products are produced and packed in nut and peanut free environments.
We love being able to help and give back to wonderful communities, such as those in Kerala.
Thanks to our cinnamon being a Fair Trade product, each sale we make will help our producers to install solar panels in the community, as well as improving water conservation and harvesting structures for sustainable farming.
As well as becoming one of the world’s most beloved spices, cinnamon was also traditionally used as a medicine.
For every 100g of cinnamon, you can expect to get:
Cinnamon also has a very low glycaemic index, making it an ideal natural sweetener.
While many will associate cinnamon with delicious, sticky buns, there are all manner of ways to use this versatile spice. In fact, use it and prepare to fall in love – it can transform any dish, whether sweet or savoury.
We love simply sprinkling our Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder into coffee or over porridge to use as a warming, natural sweetener. It also tastes great when added to cakes for added spice and depth, or even added to homemade pumpkin pie spice mixes.
Cinnamon will also taste wonderful when used in meat rubs; added to homemade chilli; simmered with warm milk; stirred into hot chocolate; or thrown into delicious curries.
For some ideas – and to get those tastebuds going - here are our favourite cinnamon-based recipes:
Although most Ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, our Lucy Bee spice blend comes from Kerala, in the Indian peninsula.
Here, our lovely producers train up artisan Indian farmers, teaching them organic farming methods and paying them a fair wage.
To make the cinnamon, trees will be grown and matured for five to six years before the cinnamon is thought to be perfectly fragrant and ready. The bark from these trees (often the trunk or stem) will then be easier to peel, although this is best done when the inner bark is still wet.
The inner bark will then be prized off in long rolls, before being dried in the shade to ensure it keeps as many wonderful nutrients as possible. To make the powder, the quill simply needs grinding up.
As you now know, our delicious cinnamon is grown and produced in Kerala, India. Once known as Keralam, this beautiful region is a renowned spice producer (dating all the way back to 3000 BCE) and is based in South India, on the Malabar coast.
Way back when, Kerala’s booming spice trade attracted Portuguese spice traders, even paving the way for European colonisation of India. In fact, it’s still known as the Spice Garden of India, or the Garden of Spices.
Now, it has a huge variety of influences and even has newspapers published in nine different languages, including English and Malayalam, the official language of the state.
Spread over 15,000 square miles, Kerala is only India’s thirteenth largest state (by population, at least – even though 33 million people live there!) and is bordered by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Lakshadweep Sea. There are 14 districts in Kerala (it’s more like its own little country), although the capital is Thiruvananthapuram.
Known for its backwaters, breath-taking beaches, Ayurvedic traditions and tropical greenery, it’s perhaps unsurprising that tourism is a huge part of life here. Kerala also enjoys a tropical climate, where you can expect monsoons and up to 140 days of rain each year.
History and Politics:
As with much of India, Kerala is steeped in legend. According to Hindu mythology, Kerala was dragged from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior, Parasurama. After rising from the sea, the land was filled with salt and unfit for habitation, which angered the snake King Vasuki. Vasuki then spat holy poison across Kerala, turning the previously infertile soil into lush, green land.
After becoming known for its fragrant, perfect spices, Kerala attracted all sorts of ancient communities to its soils – Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians all flocked here. In later years, the coast became a spice hunting ground for the Greeks and Romans, who particularly loved the black pepper.
Eventually, other Asian and European communities built up their own coastal posts and settled in Kerala. In fact, Kerala became so diverse that it’s thought that India’s earliest mosques, synagogues and churches were built here.
Years later, and the Arabs dominated the spice trade monopoly in Kerala, or at least until the European Age of Discovery, when traders in Europe (and, in particular, the Portuguese) flocked here to enjoy their share.
The Portuguese eventually came to be ousted by the famed Dutch East India Company, who gained control after many battles. However, further battles left the Dutch weakened, and the British East India Company soon rose to prominence.
In 1766, Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore – a Kingdom in Southern India – invaded northern Kerala and launched the Anglo-Mysore wars, fighting against the British East India Company. Ultimately, he failed and, by the end of the 18th century, the whole of Kerala was under British control.
However, the move for independence came about in the 20th century, seeing huge revolts across the region. There were even social caste problems and riots between Muslims, Hindus and the British Raj. By 1949, British India became split into India and Pakistan, and the state of Kerala was eventually formed. Currently, Kerala is run by the United Democratic Front with a representative democracy.
In recent years, Kerala’s economy has been ever-growing – more so than India’s own economy. However, this luscious state relies mainly on its workers heading to the Gulf states for work and sending home money.
The region’s economy is mainly dependent on the service industry – things such as transport, storage, communications and tourism – to make up its money, although nearly half of the population depends on agriculture alone for income.
You see, Kerala is a huge producer of rice (they harvest an amazing 600 varieties here), while they also harvest coconut, tea, coffee, cashews and spices (particularly black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg) here. Meanwhile, the coast provides plenty of catches for the one million fisherman dotted around Kerala, who catch around 668,000 tonnes of fish each year.
Happily, perhaps thanks to the economic boom, rural poverty has also dropped massively in Kerala in recent years (from 59% in the 70s to 12% by 2010).
Although it’s home to just 2.6% of India’s population, Kerala is three times as densely populated as the rest of India. However, it also has the highest life expectancy in the entire country (77), and the lowest number of homeless living in rural areas.
The majority of Keralites – 31.8 million, to be precise – are Malayali, with most speaking Malayalam, the region’s official language. However, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and other tribal languages are also widely spoken.
Although much of India experiences widespread sectarianism, Kerala is far more diverse and accepting. More than half of Kerala’s population are Hindus, with just over a quarter Muslim and 18% Christian.
Happily, Kerala is also one of the cleanest and healthiest places around (it’s the cleanest state in India), with some even saying that residents here are healthier than in many states of America.
Perhaps because of this, Kerala has the lowest rates of infant death in the country. Here, as well as modern medicine, traditional Ayurvedic and alternative medicines are also popular across the state.
On the flipside, many communities (three million people, in fact) rely on water wells, which lead to widespread diseases, including diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid. This is one of the many reasons why we are so passionate about our Fair Trade supporting water conservation in the area.
Thanks to its huge mix of influences, Kerala is massively cosmopolitan and there are more than 10,000 festivals each year. The area is also known for its distinctive art, literature, dance and architecture.
Elephants take pride of place out here, with these beautiful animals known as “the sons of sahya”. As the state animal of Kerala, they’re also featured on the government emblem.
Kerala also happens to be a food lover’s dream and has a huge mix of meat, fish and veggie dishes – often with a big mountain of rice, too! Because spices are so abundant here, cooks and chefs tend to add them to all sorts of dishes, so you can expect plenty of exotic and interesting flavours.
For breakfast, Keralites will usually eat a rice-based dish (think tapioca or vada, a savoury fritter) accompanied by chutney, egg masala or a meat or fish curry. Lunch dishes will go much the same way, with many enjoying rasam, a traditional soup, sambar, a vegetable-based stew, or sadhya, a veggie meal served on a banana leaf. Beloved snacks here including banana and tapioca chips.
Happily, literacy rates in Kerala are sky-high (93.91%) and, in the 90s, it became the first state in India to be considered as completely literate. Kerala also tops India’s Education Development Index, with almost 100% of villages in the region having easy access to a primary school.
Students must go to school for ten years (seeing them through lower primary, upper primary and secondary schools), before many will then enrol into higher secondary schooling. Here, they will learn liberal arts, commerce or science, before moving on to professional or under-grad schemes.
Meanwhile, women in Kerala take pride of place – literally! Perhaps because women are the traditional heads of the household in Kerala, females have a high standing in society. Because of this, there are plenty of opportunities for women, both in education and in work.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 20
Cooking Time: Freeze for 20 minutes then cook for 12 minutes