You know the feeling. You’ve been running around doing errands all day in the summer’s heat. You’re hot, sweaty and a bit drained. And what better way to perk yourself up than indulging in a summer ice treat?
That is where this delicious, dairy-free cinnamon ice cream steps in!
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Something not many people know is that most of the cinnamon available in the grocery store is not true cinnamon, although it does contain many of the “cinnamon” health benefits. That’s because it’s closely related to true cinnamon.
Cinnamomom cassia, or the cinnamon you see at the store, is a relative of Ceylon cinnamon, or cinnamomom verum. Verum translates to “true.” This is because Ceylon is a species of cinnamon, while Cassia is only in the family and genus categories.
The health benefits of both types of cinnamon include:
- their ability to help lower blood sugar
- improving the amount of triglycerides in the body
- containing coumarin, a plant chemical that functions as a natural blood thinner
- promoting less added sugar due to its ability to magnify the sweetness of sugar.
Ceylon cinnamon has a sweet, more intricate flavor, allowing for even more of a bonus in lessening the amount of sugar you add to a dessert or dish (take this quiz to find out whether you’re consuming too much sugar in your daily life!)
Along with green tea, Ceylon cinnamon houses antioxidant components known as proanthocyanadins. These can protect the blood from free radicals and all of the health-related issues these may cause.
If coumarin-free, Ceylon cinnamon can be helpful for the functioning of the liver. Ceylon has also shown the potential to be helpful for digestion, performing antimicrobial and anti-parasitic functions and reducing blood pressure.
Cassia cinnamon contains more coumarin than Ceylon, which can act as a blessing or a curse. If you are prone to blood clots, cassia cinnamon is a prime addition to any meal. But if you are on blood thinners, you need to avoid cassia due to the possibility of uncontrolled bleeding.
Coumarin also has the potential to be toxic for the kidneys and liver, and there may be a chance it’s carcinogenic, which might cancel out the added health advantages.
Cinnamon Almond Milk Ice Cream Recipe
It’s always good to balance out a diet rich in vitamins and minerals from fresh produce with a feel-good dessert, such as the following lactose-free, nutrient-packed cinnamon ice cream.
- An ice cream machine
- 1 3/4 cups almond milk (flavored or unflavored, sweetened or unsweetened)
- 13.5 oz. regular coconut milk
- 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tsp cinnamon (Cassia or Ceylon)
- 3/4 tsp salt
1. Mix all ingredients, except cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring intermittently.
2. Remove from heat and blend for about a minute. Add vanilla, salt and cinnamon and continue blending.
3. Transfer to a storage container and cool before covering and refrigerating for 2 hours.
4. Churn the ice cream and put in freezer-safe containers to freeze for an hour.
Healthy + Indulgent
Like most other things, ice cream in moderation can help you feel like you aren’t depriving yourself when you strive for healthy living. Make sure to share this healthy recipe with your family and friends!