Often in my recipes I include cinnamon. I use the alternative which is known as cassia bark or chinese cinnamon for most of my cooking as it’s more robust in a sauce or when being boiled as part of a pilau. The usual amount is a 2inch piece of the bark. It is cheaper, stronger tasting and less sweet than cinnamon – IMHO the latter is better suited to sweet dishes or for hot chocolate/mulled wine drinks.
There are some health concerns with cassia having large amounts of coumarin which can affect the coagulation of blood so if you are worried, use true cinnamon instead. For this reason, I only use Schwartz’ powdered cinnamon for my daughter’s food.
How to tell the difference: Cassia is bark like – dark, very thick and when in a tube, it is hollow
Cinnamon – a very pretty reddish brown. True cinnamon is shaped as quills and will cost a lot lot more than cassia.