The Cinnamon Challenge

The Cinnamon Challenge

If you spend endless amounts of time on the Internet like I do, then you’ve probably come across various stories and videos of people taking the “Cinnamon Challenge.”

Essentially, it involves attempting to swallow a tablespoon of ground cinnamon from a spoon. Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG. Cinnamon is pulverized bark–and while extremely flavorful, it’s also nearly waterproof. When a waterproof powder comes in contact with your saliva-filled mouth, disaster then sues (and for some – hilarity). The challenger usually violently coughs up a dark plume of cinnamon dust, their eyes water, and a video account of the ordeal ends up on YouTube.

While cinnamon is pretty much harmless, the “Cinnamon Challenge” has sent at least 50 people to the hospital this year (the majority of the victims are teenagers… are we surprised?!). Because pulverized bark is caustic to our lungs and bronchial tubes, taking this challenge can result in choking, irritation and even a collapsed lung. No bueno.

I love cinnamon and as a novice foodie and health nut, I’m a big fan of this spice and all of its benefits for the bod. Perhaps most miraculously, cinnamon has been proven to help Type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar levels. In our modern era of obesity, SAD (standard American diets), and overall poor health, Type 2 diabetes is a huge issue that affects millions per year and costs our healthcare system billions of dollars. While more research is required to determine the scope of its effectiveness, if cinnamon can help even in a marginal way, it’s worth adding into your diet before the onset of disease.

Personally, Type 1 diabetes (oftentimes called Juvenile diabetes) is prevalent in my family, so I’ve always been a huge advocate for any type of homeopathic remedies to help the disease (to be clear, Type 1 diabetics like my brother require insulin to stay both alive and healthy and supplemental, dietary treatment is just that… supplemental). I generally try to get at least a tablespoon of cinnamon in my diet per week–and no, I’ve never taken the “Cinnamon Challenge.” Rather, I prefer to blend up this aromatic and fragrant spice into a smoothie that is both healthy, filling and tastes a little bit like dessert.

Check out the recipe below and see how easy it is to be a cinnamon gal or guy.

Cinnamon Smoothie

It’s preferable to blast the eponymous Neil Young song while making… just a suggestion

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup coconut milk vanilla ice cream
  • Dash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Almond milk – for consistency
  • Toasted coconut flakes as garnish (optional)

Blend up all of the ingredients in your blender, adding additional almond milk to reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and toasted coconut flakes on top. Grab a straw and drink up! No challenge required here.

Photo credit: YappsCotta


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