Cinnamon is one of those spices that I use often.
Cinnamon sticks, not so much.
I’m not sure how I ended up with 2 packets of cinnamon sticks, but I did. I can’t remember the last time I needed them, so when I was pulling out the ingredients I needed for a recipe recently and realized I was out of ground cinnamon, I decided to make my own.
I pulled out my old coffee grinder that I kept for grinding spices and nuts when I upgraded from a blade grinder to a burr grinder for my coffee beans.
I broke up a few cinnamon sticks into small pieces and tossed them into the grinder. After about a minute, I had cinnamon ready for my recipe. I did have a few small pieces that I pulled out of the ground cinnamon and put through a second run in the grinder. In the end, about 95% of the sticks were well ground, and I picked out the remaining pieces and threw them away.
The freshly ground cinnamon is more flavorful than what you buy in the store, so you can use less or get a stronger cinnamon flavor…which is perfect for me since I love anything cinnamon.
I grind just a couple of sticks at a time, saving the excess in a glass spice jar I saved after its contents were all used. Baby food jars or even small cartons would work for your own spices if you don’t have something smaller.
I do recommend using a separate coffee grinder for your spices and your coffee, because no matter how much you try to clean out the grinder when you are finished, there will be a little flavor left over that will spill onto the next thing you use it for. And while a little cinnamon might not be bad in your coffee, the first time you grind minced garlic to turn it into garlic powder, you’ll be glad you aren’t using the grinder for your coffee the next morning.
If you’ve never ground your own spices, give it a try. You’ll be amazed at the difference in flavor.