Why vanilla powder then? Well, many reasons…
1) Pure, unadulterated and concentrated flavors – warm, spicy, smooth and complex at the same time.
2) You can use it anytime, anyhow without fear of its essence being lost; vanilla extract, on the contrary loses some potency when heated because the alcohol evaporates and diminishes the flavors.
3) It works well in temperamental dishes like macarons, where added moisture could be the difference between great success and spectacular failure!
4) For people who don’t consume alcohol in any manner or form (as a result of religious preferences etc), vanilla powder is perfect.
5) I have not yet found a vanilla extract that contains no GMO gluten, corn, or potato, and other additives.
6) Finally, making your own is much cheaper then purchasing a small jar for $18.- an ounce! Nothing will compare to your fresh vanilla bean powder that tastes simply amazing!
- Take two or three fresh vanilla beans and dry them on low heat in the oven, if you have a dehydrator, go right ahead and use it. Or another way is…
- Cut the fresh vanilla bean to smaller pieces (optional) to remove seeds
- Place the chopped vanilla beans in a skillet and toast over medium-low heat, stirring constantly about a minute or two….
- Transfer the toasted vanilla beans into your mortar & pestle/coffee grinder until you get a nice brown/black fine powder…
- Place in a small glass jar and store in refrigerator until use.
Step by step instructions, go to http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2012/10/how-to-toast-and-grind-a-vanilla-bean.html
Health Benefits of Vanilla Bean
Vanilla bean extract can be used as a healthy substitution for sugar in many baking and cooking recipes. To reduce the amount of sugar, the Mayo Clinic recommends the addition of spices or flavorings such as vanilla extract or almond flavoring to enhance the sweetness of the food. This will reduce the amount of calories and thus creates a healthier alternative.
This extract also contains traces of minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron and zinc. As mentioned by Nutrition and You, potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure because it is an important component of cell and body fluids. Manganese and copper provide the body with antioxidant enzymes and iron, which is essential for red blood cell production.
The antioxidants in vanilla extract have anti-carcinogenic properties. Anti- carcinogenics, as defined by National Cancer Institute, means that ingredients in vanilla extract can prevent or delay the development of cancer. Free radicals, otherwise known as oxidants, cause damage tissue leading to certain types of cancers, such as prostrate, colon and breast. Thus, vanilla extract contains certain components that have potential to reduce the growth of cancerous cells.
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