Cinnamon is a well-known spice, but you might not know its uses go far beyond the kitchen. We’ll look at how to use cinnamon sticks like you never have before.
The cinnamon we all know and love is tree bark from members of the Cinnamomum genus. There are over 250 species of cinnamon, though only two are typically cultivated and harvested for culinary use: Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum verum. The majority of cinnamon you’ll find in the grocery store is a mixture of different types of cassia cinnamon because it’s generally less expensive. Ceylon cinnamon is known as the crème de la crème of cinnamon, which is why it has a higher price tag.
One trick to figure out which type of cinnamon stick you have is by closely examining it. Ceylon cinnamon is light brown, thin, and papery, forming multiple layers when rolled up. On the other hand, Cassia cinnamon is a more reddish brown color with very few thicker layers.
Three Ways to Use Cinnamon Sticks for Their Scent
- Stovetop Potpourri: If you have company or want your house to smell like cinnamon rolls are baking, you can use cinnamon sticks to create that warm and inviting atmosphere. Simply boil some water in a pot on the stove, drop in a few cinnamon sticks and let it brew. A bonus is that you can drink it as cinnamon tea afterward.
- Create a Scented Wreath: Calling all the crafty people out there! This unique decorative item looks beautifully festive and smells heavenly. It works as both fall and winter decor, and you can jazz it up even further with cloves, dried orange slices, or star anise.
- Car Air Freshener: If your car has started to have that musty car smell and you don’t want to use one of those chemically scented pine trees, try using cinnamon sticks! Simply break a few cinnamon sticks in half, add them to a small pouch, and hang it from your rearview mirror.
Infuse Hot Beverages with Cinnamon Sticks
While it might not be the most surprising use, you can use cinnamon sticks as stir stick for your hot beverages to add an extra kick of flavor. This works for coffee, tea, and even hot chocolate! Of course, you can also use cinnamon sticks in hot beverages like gluhwein, gluh gin and chai lattes.
Also interesting: Why Drink Fair Trade Coffee? Facts, Myths, and Brands
Treat Athlete’s Foot With Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon has long been known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, which is why it is a popular ingredient in natural medicine. If you find yourself suffering from athlete’s foot, use a cinnamon stick foot soak to help clear it up.
Boil some cinnamon sticks in water on the stove, allow it to cool, and soak your feet in the liquid for a few minutes each night until the infection disappears.
How to Use Cinnamon Sticks to Repel Insects
While most humans love the smell of cinnamon, a few insects don’t enjoy it. Use this to your advantage!
Moths: Skip the mothballs and add a few cinnamon sticks to your closet instead. Combining cinnamon with black peppercorns and cloves can repel moths and keep your clothing safe.
Ants: These little insects can be a nuisance in the home – it’s not uncommon to find them all over your house in the spring and summer. If you notice an area with an ant infestation, you can place some cinnamon sticks along their route or grind up the cinnamon and do the same. Ants aren’t fans of the aroma and will do their best to avoid it.
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