Cinnamon: Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tropical evergreen, just like its cousin cassia. It has an ancient pedigree, even being used to embalm a few pharaohs. That may not sound appetizing, but it has been found to be good for the heart, the stomach and the joints. Not impressed yet? Well consider that it also seems to mimic insulin and therefore helps diabetics moderate their sugar levels. So don't be shy with this tasty and healthy spice.

Cloves: The dried buds of a tropical evergreen, cloves are a wonderful blast of fragrance and flavor. They were the first known breath fresheners, but have a long, rich history in the spice trades. These sweet but pungent buds can overwhelm a recipe, so beware!

Baked Apple Compote

prep time: 10
cook time: 30


  • 2 cinnamon sticks, each broken into 3 pieces
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 Golden Delicious apples (about 2 1/4 cups), halved, cored
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Insert 1 piece of cinnamon stick and 1 clove into each half of apple. Arrange apples, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and cloves. Scoop flesh from apples into medium bowl. Add lemon juice. Using fork, coarsely mash apples. Season compote with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve warm.