There’s no mistaking the smell and taste of cinnamon sticks. Almost everyone will immediately recognize the aromatic goodness synonymous with a favorite holiday dessert recipe. After all, what would a freshly baked apple pie be without a bit of cinnamon or fried dough without cinnamon, butter, and powdered sugar topping?
But cinnamon – whether you have Ceylon cinnamon (full of lighter and brighter citrus tones), cassia cinnamon (tastes hotter and stronger than Ceylon), or cinnamon sticks – goes well beyond just an ingredient in sweet holiday treats.
- What Exactly is a Cinnamon Stick?
- 8 Unique Ways to Use Cinnamon Sticks
- Where To Buy Cinnamon Sticks
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What Exactly is a Cinnamon Stick?
Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of an evergreen tree called the Cinnamomum genus. Strips of the inner bark are carefully dried until they curl into rolls known as cinnamon sticks.
8 Unique Ways to Use Cinnamon Sticks
1.Â Â Add Some Sweetness to Your Savory Foods
There are many countries that take full advantage of cinnamon by using this yummy spice in savory foods. It might not seem appealing, but cinnamon can add a complex yet delicious flavor to your savory dish. Try tossing a cinnamon stick into a stew while it’s cooking or a pot of boiling water before making rice. You won’t be disappointed.
2.Â Â Use Cinnamon Sticks in Hot Beverages
There is a reason why pumpkin spice lattes are so popular: they’re delicious and comforting. It’s like drinking a freshly baked dessert. One of the drink’s main ingredients is cinnamon. This spice can bring numerous hot beverages, such as apple cider, coffee, tea, hot milk, or even hot chocolate, to the next level. It’s easy to accomplish, too. Just use a cinnamon stick as a stir stick for your next hot drink. You can also break the cinnamon stick up with your hands or a spice grinder and add it to your morning coffee grounds. The heat of the water will infuse the cinnamon with the coffee.
3.Â Â Use Them in the Garden
Cinnamon isn’t just good in food. Its anti-fungal properties can also come in handy in the garden. You can reduce your plants’ risk of soil-born fungal infections by breaking up a cinnamon stick and adding it to the soil before planting. Its scent will also deter pesky insects, rabbits, and mice from destroying your hard work.
4.Â Â Cinnamon Sticks Deter Pests in the Home
Moths hate the smell of cinnamon just as much as they do the odor of a typical mothball. So, why not use cinnamon sticks instead? They’re just as effective as a repellant and provide a more pleasant smell. Simply break them up so they’re small enough to fit into a small mesh bag and put it anywhere you’d place a mothball.
Ants also hate the smell of cinnamon. Sprinkling small pieces of the sticks, or ground cinnamon, around common ant areas will get rid of the insects and remain strong enough to deter them from ever coming back. This eliminates the need for any of the harsh chemicals we’d usually use to rid our homes of these pests.
5.Â Â Easy Air Freshener
Why not take advantage of the great smell of cinnamon year-round by making some easy air fresheners? Like with the mothball replacement, cinnamon sticks can be placed in a small mesh bag and hung anywhere around the house. They can also be tied into a bundle and tucked away in a corner to remain out of sight in your home or car. Also, a simple stovetop simmer with a little water and a couple of cinnamon sticks can quickly fill the entire house with the smell of a fresh-baked good.
6.Â Â DIY Scented Candles
You can use extra candles you might have laying around the house and combine them with cinnamon sticks to create a scented candle. It’s easier than you may think. Just surround the candle with cinnamon sticks and tie them together with a string. When you light the candle, the heat from both the flame and hot wax will help the stick release its wonderful aroma throughout the house.
7.Â Â Cinnamon Sticks Make a Great Carpet Deodorizer
Cinnamon can also be used as a carpet deodorizer. First, grind up those sticks into a powder. Then take the powder and sprinkle it throughout your carpet. A teaspoon or two will be plenty. When you vacuum, the cinnamon will heat up and release the essential oils that produce the intoxicating smell.
8.Â Â Make a Soothing Foot Bath
Cinnamon has numerous health benefits and soothing properties, which can be used as a treatment for many foot aliments, including athlete’s foot. It’s easy to do, too. Simply boil a few cinnamon sticks in water and soak your feet in the water-and-cinnamon mixture. This can also be used to help relieve other skin issues such as itchy mosquito bites, but you’ll instead have to apply the mixture with a soft cloth. You can also add some cinnamon essential oil to the mixture.
Where To Buy Cinnamon Sticks
You can buy them in most grocery stores and of course on Amazon.