Vanilla beans are an excellent addition to various projects. They can also be added to natural body care products as well as food. In fact, 76 percent of American organic consumers relate their consumption of organic foods to the health benefits associated with them.
All you have to do with vanilla beans is cut them lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. The seeds can be used in different types of baked goods, including delectable desserts and ice cream. They also act as a natural flavoring in your food.
The Mexican, Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans are all oily, shiny, and soft with rich flavors that infuse any cooking or baking.
Here is an in-depth look at how you can use your Madagascar vanilla beans.
A Great Addition when Baking
Before using vanilla beans for baking, you’ve got to open the pod and remove the seeds. If you want to split the pod, turn the hooked end of the bean to the top of the board. Using a sharp knife, make vertical strokes in the middle of the vanilla bean. Only cut through the center and not through it entirely as you still want to access and use the tiny, dense seeds in the middle.
You can even add a vanilla pod to a quart of milk, especially if you’re planning to use the Madagascar vanilla beans in baking recipes that contain milk. You can even use the vanilla pod in custards, pudding, and other milk-based recipes.
Eat the Pods
Once you’ve got your pods, you can make them a great snack. You need to split them, drain all of the liquids then dry them in a low oven at 250 degrees for a few hours. Once they come out, they’ll be crunchy. They’re delicious on their own, but you still can sprinkle some orange zest or lemon, or roll them in sugar to make them even better.
Vanilla Infused Sugar and Salt
One of the common ways to use Madagascar vanilla beans is to dry then bury them in a jar of sugar. You can even dry them then whirr them in a food processor or blender with sugar. By rubbing the vanilla into sugar, you’ll be infusing it with the natural vanilla taste. The sugar can then be used in cookies such as vanilla shortbread and bean sables.
The vanilla-infused salt can be used in chocolate cookies –pudding, caramels, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. Salt is also perfect on the savory side – you can always try them on sweet potato, shrimps, and roasted carrot.
Make Vanilla Homemade Extract
Rather than spending a lot of money buying vanilla extract at a local store, you can make one by splitting the vanilla pods and making an extract yourself. If you know that you’re going to need vanilla extract for baking you have to prepare it one or two months ahead of time. The most common way to make the extract is to slice fresh beans lengthwise then steep them in vodka.
You should then store it in a cool, dark place for at least a month or longer, don’t forget to shake whenever you remember. Take note that the richness of the extract will depend on how long the pods have soaked in the alcohol. When making the extract, you should use Madagascar vanilla beans grade B. Grade A is still a great alternative, but they’re more expensive.
Flavored Coffee and Tea
If you’re a big fan of vanilla coffee, you should add a pod to your coffee bean then grind them together. To prepare vanilla tea, split the vanilla bean pods and throw the vanilla bean seeds into the pot of milk. You should try the milk after it boils for a few minutes. This ensures that the flavor is present but not overpowering.
While most people may consider Madagascar vanilla beans a waste, they can be handy at home. If you are looking for natural flavors on your tea or coffee, then these beans can be handy. When added to salt, sugar, or milk, they can add flavor to your baking.