Where it grows
Although it originated in Mexico (and some vanilla does grow in Central and South America), most vanilla is grown in Madagascar. Vanilla is actually from the stem of an orchid, which is then removed and dried for use.
Details to note
There are many types of vanilla, as well as many ways it is produced. Some examples include the crushed vanilla bean, the whole vanilla bean, powder, the extract cured in alcohol, etc. Whole vanilla beans should be moist, not dry and flaky, if they are fresh.
Vanilla beans will not supply any significant amount of vitamins and minerals, but has been used as an aphrodisiac and in aromatherapy for many years. Vanilla is used more for the flavor than the nutrition.
How to eat
This video below from My Recipes is a quick and easy look at how to open the vanilla bean to scrape the seeds from it. Just below the video (here on uncooking101.com), you will find a number of hints and trips to help you with vanilla!
Tips & Tricks on Vanilla
- Throw a WHOLE vanilla bean into your vitamix or other high-speed blender when making a chocolate or coconut smoothie, for a vanilla flavor that is out of this world. Just make sure to include some ice so you can blend for long enough.
- If removing the seeds from the bean, add the remainder to a jar of nuts or other jar to impart a lovely flavor.
- Add a touch of vanilla to tomato-based sauces to help cut the acidity!
- Use with any chocolate dish to add richness and complexity.
- Blend 3 beans with water, then store in a glass jar in the fridge to add some fresh vanilla to any dish with no need for lots of extra blending
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This info was originally created for Raw News Bites, Eva Rawposa’s free weekly e-zine for raw food lovers and anyone looking to feel great. You can get your FREE recipes and tips, and your free subscription to Raw News Bites, at www.uncooking101.com. PLUS you will receive a link to download Eva’s book “Around the World in 8 Easy Recipes” when you sign up, as your WELCOME GIFT!
ANY QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Just type whatever you have to say below. We’d love to hear from you, no matter what it is. Well, as long as it is related to vanilla in some way!