Ever wonder why some people crave sweets while others don’t care for them as much? Some of the explanations can be found in our DNA! The chances of you having a sweet tooth for life may have started as early as your life in the womb. Studies show that our ability to taste begins when we are still a fetus. Amniotic fluid can transfer flavors, and these very first exposures can stick with you after birth. Some people are born very sensitive to sugar, while others are sensitive to salty, sour, or bitter tastes and foods.
Our taste buds perceive four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. You have about 10,000 taste buds! Each one connected to a sensory neuron that relays information about a flavor to the brain. Every person has different taste buds. Genetics isn’t completely responsible for your preferences though, In the early years of your life, your experiences play an important part in determining if you’ll have a sweet tooth. For example, if you were constantly rewarded with candy as a toddler for good behavior, your brain made the emotional connection of pleasure and satisfaction with your sugar intake. Perhaps this knowledge gives us an opportunity to change the next generation? I’ll leave it to you to think about that possibility!
If you are one that struggles with a high affinity for sugar and would like to better curb those cravings, then cinnamon could be your answer. Although not likely to resolve sugar urges completely, cinnamon has the power to decrease some of your sugar cravings. As a matter of fact, a tablespoon of peanut butter can also help fight against a lust for sugar.
Cinnamon, a common spice you probably have in your pantry, has many health benefits most aren’t aware of. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and it is an excellent source of fiber and trace minerals such manganese, and it’s a good source of calcium. This combination is important and can be helpful for prevention of several health conditions.
It is a great idea to add a tablespoon of cinnamon to your fruit, or other high starch foods such as cereals and breads. The addition of cinnamon can help lessen the impact of the sugar in your blood . Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after a meal, therefore reducing the rapid rise in blood sugars after consuming food. It also helps those with Type 2 Diabetes improve their ability to respond to insulin, and hopefully decrease their need for medication by normalizing their blood sugar levels on their own.
However, there is much more to learn about cinnamon. The scientific community is not done researching the health benefits of the many spices and herbs we have available for our culinary creations. That is something to look forward to and embrace: a whole new way to taste foods beyond just sugary or salty options!
Our recipe today is a great example of how to use cinnamon to enhance the natural sugar flavor of foods. Cinnamon crackers are fantastic to snack on or to enjoy as a desert. The recipe uses coconut sugar and pecan flour to also reduce the carbohydrate in the final product, making it a more diabetic-diet friendly food. It naturally contains a bit more protein and healthy fat than your average cinnamon cracker. Enjoy it with a cup of hot tea for a relaxing experience that could replace a high sugar desert in your daily nutritional routine.
Looking for other easy gluten free recipes? How about our Caramel Cookie Bars!
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Carolina Jantac, MS, RD, LD
½ cup of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter - Peanut Free, No salt, No sugar lightly sweetened
- 3 tablespoons of sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of pecan flour
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sugar optional or use coconut sugar.
- In medium bowl, mix sunflower seed butter with sugar, coconut oil and egg. Add in pecan flour, cinnamon and vanilla. The mixture will be the texture of a soft cookie dough. Spread it over a cookie sheet, pre-sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Using a spatula, spread out the mixture thinly without causing any holes. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of it.
- The mixture should cover an area of about 10×12 inches. You may also use parchment paper instead to line the sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take out of oven and allow it to cool completely before scoring and cracking into pieces. Store in airtight container for up to seven days.