What are Vanilla Beans ?
Vanilla beans are the long, dark brown pods of an orchid plant. They contain tiny seeds used for flavoring a variety of foods and beverages. Known for their sweet and aromatic taste, they are primarily grown in Madagascar, Indonesia, and Tahiti, and are more expensive than other flavorings.
Vanilla is one of the commonest flavors used in dairy products such as: vanilla ice cream, vanilla yoghurt, alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. But vanilla can also be consumed as Vanilla tea. Because of its fragrance, vanilla has further been used in making perfumes dating back to the 1990s.
Vanilla is known for a number of benefits some of which include the promotion of hair growth, improved healing, reduced acne cases, improved heart functioning, help in weight loss, improved respiration, relieving anxiety, etc.
Based on research, vanilla has been proven to have immense health benefits, it’s the reason someone on a diet will choose a vanilla yoghurt to the other colorful flavors. One could say that vanilla is the default flavor of all time.
Health Benefits of Vanilla
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Vanilla has the ability to reduce and prevent the possibility of getting inflammations. A correlation has been found between inflammation and increased risk of chronic disease, hence foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties like vanilla are essential to one’s health.
- Healing properties: Vanilla has been known to prevent tissue and cell breakdown and stimulating natural regrowth. This is because it contains antioxidant compounds. It boosts the body’s immunity and relieves stress, making it easy to recover from an illness or injury.
- Good for the brain: Trusted sources say that vanillin and vanillic acid, the compounds in vanilla aid in brain growth. They are also believed to protect the nervous system, due to their neuroprotective properties.
- Reduces acne: Vanilla has antibacterial properties which means it can fight acne breakouts and brighten the skin complexion. It is also believed to reduce scars when used regularly.
- Reduces added sugar intake: Vanilla products like vanilla bean powder and vanilla extract reduce added sugar intake when used in several foods.
- Enables health digestion: Vanilla beverages are common natural remedies for stomach upsets, cramping, and diarrhea and have been known to relieve gut inflammation.
- Improves hair properties: Vanilla has been known to strengthen hair and also play a role as a natural oil for the hair.
- Provides a soothing Effect: Studies show that When Newborns smell vanilla they lessen to cry. The calming effect is also present in the Adults as well. People tend to get relief when they smell vanilla.
- Eases Toothache: Alcohol from Vanilla pod extract is known to numb toothaches.
What vanilla beans are best for extract?
Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans are the most popular choice for making vanilla extract due to their full, creamy, sweet, and mellow flavor with long-lasting tones. Ugandan vanilla beans, which feature floral and fruity notes and have a distinct flavor profile, are another option. Mexican vanilla beans offer both sweet and woody flavor tones, with a spicy hint of cloves and nutmeg.
Another option is Tahitian vanilla beans, with their floral aroma and cherry-like, licorice, and caramel flavor tones.
Depending on which beans you use, you can make your choice of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract, Tahitian vanilla extract, Mexican vanilla extract, or even Ugandan vanilla extract.
How to make Homemade Vanilla Extract?
Making Homemade vanilla extract is very simple process and with the perfect vanilla beans, Vanilla pod extract can be a great gift for bakers in your life.
There are two ways to make homemade vanilla extract
- Making vanilla extract with vodka
- Making vanilla extract without vodka
We will talk about both today.
How to make Vanilla Extract with Vodka?
- 6 Vanilla beans
- Split the vanilla beans into half using a knife. Cut the beans down to fit the jar your going to use.
- Put the beans in 8 oz. jar. Pour vodka in the jar containing the beans.
- Close the jar with the lid and shake it rapidly.
- Place it in a cool, dark place and let it sit for at least 8 weeks. But the longer it sits there, the more the flavor goes to a stronger flavor.
NOTE: remember to shake it every after a while; once a week would be great.
How to Make vanilla extract without vodka?
- 6 Vanilla beans
- Split the vanilla beans into half lengthwise using a knife. Cut the beans down to fit the jar you’re going to use.
- Put the beans in 8 oz. jar and pour Glycerin in the jar containing the beans. Make sure they're completely submerged. Close the jar with the lid. Shake it rapidly.
- Vanilla is highly versatile and can be used for many things from teas to flavors, bread recipes, cookies, cakes, granola, cooking and more. It is popular for its gentle fragrance, its sense of refreshment, and for revitalizing energy.