Vanilla: The Secret Culinary Ingredient
by Jodi MacKinnon (QFG)

Vanilla is considered an essential exotic spice that is used in all sorts of dishes and desserts. It is rich and fragrant and is an ingredient that most home cooks and chefs make sure they have in their pantries. Vanilla is used in a variety of dishes, both savoury and sweet. Puddings, cakes, ice creams, cookies, custards, and more feature this popular culinary spice.

Health Benefits of Vanilla

Did you know that vanilla also has health benefits? From reducing cholesterol, treating a fever, and stopping tooth decay by using it as a sugar substitute to being a natural anxiety reducer and preventing acne, vanilla is a miracle ingredient – a pure gem in the spice department.

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Cooking with Vanilla

Vanilla paste is the perfect addition to cakes, custards, puddings, ice cream and more.

One tablespoon of paste is equal to one whole vanilla bean. A few recipes that you can use vanilla paste in include, Jam Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes and Molten Chocolate Cakes. Vanilla paste is still a best kept secret in the baking world.

Most cooks use vanilla extract for their recipes. It is a solution that is made by grindingand percolating vanilla pods in water and ethanol. It can be used to enhance the flavour in poultry and various meats and it’s typically easy to find in any grocery store. Many bakery chefs use vanilla extract in brownies, custards, cakes, and cookies.

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If you are looking for an alternative to vanilla extract, vanilla powder is a great idea. You can use it for making frostings, smoothies, or sprinkle it on fruit, cereals, yogurt or on delicious French Toast.

Vanilla beans are mostly used for visual appeal or to add flavour to baked goods. There are no substitutes for the amazing aroma and flavour that is offered by the vanilla bean.

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Jodi MacKinnon (QFG) [MACJOD]

About Jodi MacKinnon (QFG)

Qualifirst’s COO, Jodi loves cooking and baking, taking raw ingredients and turning them into something that is absolutely delicious, with just the right flavour balance, is one of her favourite pastimes.

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