Vanilla is Boring…
Is vanilla just vanilla… Vanilla is boring and plain…or is there more to it than we think?
Vanilla has a lot of benefits you may not be aware of, and like so many foods, it’s not always easy to find it in its best form. Here are a few bits of information you may find surprising!
The vanilla bean is the fruit of the vanilla plant, which is actually a climbing orchid and was discovered about 400 years ago in Mexico by the Spanish Conquistadores.
Did you know that vanilla has powerful antioxidant properties? It does! In fact, it surpasses both blueberries and pomegranate juice in the antioxidant department. Just one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract in your almond milk, tea or water really amps up your daily antioxidant intake.
How do you know what vanilla to buy? The ingredients should read “water, alcohol, vanilla beans extractives”; only those ingredients and in that order. Vanilla extract should not contain sugar, corn syrup, glycerin or propylene glycol. When I first became aware of this, I checked the vanilla I was using which was a very popular old standby, tried and true from the grocery store…it had sugar in it! Once you have this knowledge and start reading the ingredient labels on the vanilla you’re using or on any vanilla extract when you’re looking to buy another brand of vanilla, I think you’ll be as surprised as I was. It’s not that easy to find simple vanilla with no added sugar of some sort or description!
Imitation Vanilla is another option, is readily available and is considerably cheaper to buy than real vanilla. This is because it can be made from pine sap, wood pulp or clove oil. No vanilla beans required! One of my former go-to extract companies makes an imitation vanilla that has the following ingredients: Water, Alcohol (26%), Natural Flavorings (Including Extractives Of Cocoa And Extractives Of Tea), Vanillin And Other Artificial Flavorings, Corn Syrup, And Caramel Color.
If you’re wondering what vanilla you can buy with confidence, my current personal favorite real vanilla (not imitation) extract is Bakto Vanilla Extract. Bakto uses only Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans.
We make what we call a “morning elixir” of the juice of ¼ lemon, 2 TBSPS of tart cherry juice, 1-2 tsps of organic apple cider vinegar (depending upon your taste) and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Put those ingredients in a glass, and top off with cool plain or carbonated water. It’s delicious, and it’s really good for you!
The health benefits of vanilla are unfolding with continued research, and it is the world’s most popular flavor! Not so “vanilla” after all…
Helping you achieve Major Wellness in your life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC