Cinnamon Bark Oil: Spice Up Your Life
I am an unabashed seasonal fanatic. Always have been.
For example, every fall, from age 5 to age 18, I would set out on a nature hunt to collect leaves, berries and acorns to complement my pumpkins and squash strewn about the porch and living room. I drew pictures of turkeys and cornucopias way past the age most kids use crayons. Even now, for me to bring a dish to a gathering between mid-October through December that isn't cinnamon/apple/maple/pumpkin-themed feels like sacrilege.
I become obsessive in embracing the essence of the new season. I think most of my generation would claim they do as well. But for me, that actually means I refuse to drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte (even if it's all-natural, organic, and made in my own kitchen) until I'm crunching through the orange and brown leaves, and it's cold enough for my warm-blooded body to wear flannel and boots without perspiring. In other words...it has to actually be fall.
Am I alone in possessing the pet peeve of witnessing the retail and food service establishments proudly bust out all their sweaters, scarves, costumes, and pumpkin and turkey-themed advertising on August 1st? We're all still taking refuge from the heat in the pool, people. Take it easy.
Sure, it's October now. But it's only October 6th - and it's 80 degrees and oppressively muggy. I'm in short sleeves and a skirt and have been sipping iced tea all day long. I'm silently laughing at the girl over there who's literally sweating in her trendy sweater, leg warmers and boots.
I think it's ironic that we as a generation wish we could shoo away the beautifully warmish weather in September and usher that cold weather right in. Because the majority of those are the same voices complaining come December about how miserable our regional weather is! So hold your crockpot horses for just a few more weeks - you'll have 5 solid months of Midwestern clammy coldness to use it. Who really wants to sweat while eating soup? NOT me.
That being said, I fully embody fall-loving sentimentality- but in due season. Just as soon as that crisp, brisk air settles for good over the Midwestern plains... oh man. I abandon my soul season of summer to fall headlong into an affair with autumn. And I relish every single second.
It's almost here, you guys. And I will admit...I have been craving this oil. Daydreaming a bit. Reminiscing about last fall when I first experienced this incredible essential oil's flavor.
And since Young Living's Essential Rewards October promotion includes a FREE bottle of Cinnamon Bark oil, I figured 'tis the season to let loose and share my excitement for this oil with you.
What can you do with it, you ask? Baked goods, coffee, tea, create a wonderfully festive and PURE aroma wafting through your home from your diffuser, use it as a wonderful massage (with plenty of carrier oil) for getting your blood pumping in the cold winter months... What can't you do with it? There is just no reason to not have this delicious oil on hand.
A few days ago, I broke out the Cinnamon Bark Vitality for the first time this season and made a cinnamon simple syrup in about 30 seconds. And not just any simple syrup - one with 1/3 the glycemic impact of sugar, no nasty artificial sweeteners, and no tooth decay effects! #LOVE.
In the cold months, coffee and cinnamon go together like love and marriage. Make some simple syrup for your coffee (and step away from that questionable, artificial "snickerdoodle" or "Christmas" flavored coffee. The flavor is mehh... and the flavoring agents are at best neutral, and at worst cancer-causing!) THIS is REAL cinnamon, and it's shockingly health-ful, in a radically spicy way.
Native to Asia, cinnamon has been traded and sold via the Spice Route and across the world for millennia. The ground bark of the cinnamon tree was desired by many people groups not only for its sweet and spicy flavor and aroma, but for its powerful health properties. A quick search on PubMed with the words cinnamon, glucose, circulation, or antioxidants will blow you away.
You may already be familiar with cinnamon as a key component of the Thieves oil blend, which I use not only for internal immune support, but also in my diffuser, in my cleaning products and even in my toothpaste and mouthwash. This is because cinnamon oil, along with the other potent plants in Thieves, is incredible at conquering yuck inside our bodies and outside.
Cinnamon is also being studied for its profound, preventative effects on the brain and nervous system. Check it out for yourself!
Some people drink a drop of Cinnamon Bark Vitality daily to help maintain healthy digestion and maintain balanced blood sugar levels. I like to put a drop or two in my water bottle (glass or stainless steel - no plastic) in the winter months for those reasons as well, but as a pleasant surprise, I found out that doing so helped me maintain a healthy weight! You read that right… mild appetite suppression, sugar craving curbing, blood sugar balance, and metabolism-revving are all wonderful side effects of this delicious oil.
Just a couple drops will literally make your water SWEET! I love it! And in other beverages, it has so much more of a bright, fresh flavor than teaspoonfulls of ground cinnamon (and less grit, too!)
Using Cinnamon Bark Oil
Here are some easy ways you can use Cinnamon Bark Vitality in your kitchen to reap its flavor and health benefits:
Waffles or Pancakes: Add 2 drops to the batter
Oatmeal: 1 drop per 2 servings to fire you up in the morning!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Put 1 drop Cinnamon Bark oil along with 1 drop Nutmeg oil in your dough
Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins: Click here for the recipe.
Cinnamon Rolls: Add a couple drops to your recipe (try a couple drops of Orange oil in your icing too!)
Pumpkin Spice Bread: Swap out your dried spices for Cinnamon Bark, Ginger, and Nutmeg oils
Baking Conversion Note:
1 drop Cinnamon=1 Tbsp ground
1 drop Clove=1/2 tsp ground
1 drop Ginger = 3/4 tsp ground
1 drop Nutmeg= 2 tsp ground
Baked Cinnamon Walnut Pears: Click here for the 5 ingredient recipe.
Cinnamon Fruit Dip: Click here for the 4 ingredient recipe.
Cinnamon Apple Chips: Just 3 ingredients!
Cinnamon Tea: Make a 4 cup pot of black tea. After steeping, once it's cooled a bit, add one drop mixed into a tsp of honey (to help disperse).
For a single cup of tea, press the side of the oil dropper against the teabag or string so that it absorbs just a bit of the excess oil.
If you're feeling bold, add a whole drop to some honey to disperse, and mix it in- but be careful! It will be spicy!
Horchata: For two servings, mix 24 oz of rice milk with 1/2 tsp of vanilla and one drop Cinnamon Bark oil. Pour over ice and serve.
Mexican Hot Cocoa: For 2 servings of hot cocoa, add one drop of cinnamon oil.
Simple Syrup: Add to coffee, chai tea, pumpkin spice lattes, or smoothies.
Stir 1/2 C Xylitol (a sugar alcohol that tastes like sugar, has a low glycemic index and is good for your teeth. Get it at your natural foods store) in 1/4 C boiling water until dissolved. Let cool. Add one drop Cinnamon Bark oil.
Water: Put one drop in the bottom of a 20-24 oz stainless steel or glass water bottle. Add water and shake well before drinking.
Apple Cider: 2 drops Cinnamon Bark, 1 drop Copaiba, and 1 drop Clove
Holiday Spice: 3 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce, 2 drops Cinnamon Bark, and 2 drops Orange oil
Pumpkin Pie: 2 drops Cinnamon Bark, 1 drop Nutmeg, 1 drop Ginger, 1 drop Clove
This fall, use Cinnamon Bark oil, or whatever oil you have on hand to make a couple simple, intentional choices to take care of yourself. Whether it be implementing some stress relief, or some immune system support, now is the time to make a small change and do it consistently to take care of yourself before things get nutty during the holiday season.
In my life, and probably yours as well, we are constantly pressed by external and internal factors to just go-go-go, to live as efficiently and as quickly and as filled-to-the-brim as possible. If not 24-7, then at least in our 9-5 (or 8-5, or for some of us, 8-8!).
As a result, not only do we damage our emotions and mind with patterns of exaggerated stress and lack of downtime, but we usually reach for chemical-filled fixes to get us through, be it gluteny baked goods with preservatives, artificially flavored caffeine punches, or greasy fast food.
Take some time, before the holiday season hits, to nurture yourself with stress-relieving rhythms such as phone-less mornings with a cup of tea before you rush off to the office. Or sitting by your diffuser with your eyes closed for a few minutes before hitting your post-work evening workload. Or taking a little time to create your own superfood spice-oil simple syrup to take with you instead of paying 50 cents more to tax your pancreas with a mystery ingredient syrup from Starbucks.
It's the little things that add up to make a huge impact - for the better, or the worse.
You've only got one body, mind, and soul, so take care of each of them...you're worth it.