Ahh, vanilla. Whether it’s added to cookie dough, swirled through ice cream, or used to flavor quick bread, vanilla is a ubiquitous spice.
Most vanilla is Madagascar Vanilla which is produced in Indonesia and Madagascar. Growing vanilla seed pods is quite labor intensive and as a result, vanilla is the second most expensive spice on the market (topped only by Saffron).
The word “vanilla” is Spanish word and can be translated to “little pod”.
Aside from being used in baking, vanilla is often used in perfume and aromatherapy.
Vanilla beans should not be stored in the refrigerator. Instead, they should be stored in a cool place such as your pantry.
Similarly, the vanilla extract should also be stored in the pantry.
If your microwave smells, add a bit of vanilla in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds.
In a pinch and need some perfume? Dab a bit of vanilla on each of your wrists and you are good to go!
Make your own vanilla extract! Combine vanilla beans and vodka in a glass jar. Seal and store in a cool dark place for at least a month. Use as you would normal vanilla extract.
Vanilla is a fantastic addition to a multitude of recipes. Add it to cookie dough, iced coffee, frosting, bread batter, oatmeal, ice cream, doughnut glaze, and scones.
Make mashed potatoes with olive oil instead of butter and add just a bit of vanilla for a unique dish.
Vanilla extract is more affordable than vanilla beans. Vanilla beans have a very intense flavor and also provide a beautiful black speckle pattern - perfect for frosting and ice cream.
Vanilla is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Recent studies show that vanilla may help lower cholesterol.
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