An ancient spice used throughout the world for centuries, cinnamon has long been touted for its health benefits. It’s a traditional remedy for digestive discomfort and it contains antioxidants which can help protect the body from disease.

This spice comes from the inner bark of several tree species in the Cinnamomum family and is today a common household spice. We’re all familiar with the warming flavor of cinnamon in pies, cakes and cookies so let’s take a look at some other ways to use it.

1. Greek-Style Penne with Lamb, Parsnips, Tomatoes and Cinnamon. Lamb and parsnip might not be your first thought to pair with cinnamon but trust the Greeks on this one. Combined with the traditional Greek ingredients tomatoes, parsley and a crumbling of feta, cinnamon is a warming way to unite the flavors in this recipe.

2. Iner. With just four ingredients, this Arabic cinnamon drink is an easy way to warm yourself from the inside-out. Traditionally drunk as an early-evening relaxer, you can also add fresh ginger if you prefer something a little more invigorating.

3. Cinnamon Cauliflower. Forget dull, plain cauliflower, boiled to within an inch of its life and try this recipe instead. Roasted until tender inside and brown on the outside with a healthy dose of spice (including our trusty friend cinnamon) you’ll cook this side dish again and again.

4. Lamb and Chickpea Chili. This North African chili will soon become a mid-week favorite as it’s ready in just 30 minutes. Using a mix of lamb, turkey and chickpeas makes this a nice alternative to the usual beef versions. Serve with pita, rice or tabbouleh.

5. Moroccan-Spiced Oranges. Finish your meal with a cinnamon dessert that isn’t apple pie. With fresh orange slices, lemon juice and of course cinnamon this fruit salad will leave you feeling light and refreshed!

So grab that cinnamon from the back of the cupboard and get cooking. Let us know what you make in the comments below!