Vanilla extract – a magic elixir that has the power to change everything. An elixir none of us are a stranger to.
The rich, complex flavor of vanilla beans steeped in water and alcohol blends perfectly well with almost anything. Ranging from savory dishes and meat marinades to spiced cocktails and so many more!
We will be covering some factors about vanilla in this article. So, if you’re interested in learning more, we’ve put together a list of smart and creative ways to use pure vanilla extract in your everyday life. Let’s get straight to it!
Learning the Difference Between Real Vanilla Extract and Artificial Vanilla
To fully understand how to use Vanilla Extract at Home, it’s only right that you learn the difference between real vanilla and artificial vanilla extract. The main difference is the price. Check it on https://pickyeaterblog.com/how-to-make-vanilla-extract-at-home/
An artificial bottle of vanilla extract will be very cheap, whereas real vanilla is very expensive. You might be wondering why that is so, let’s find that out!
Real Vanilla Extract
There are, actually, various reasons why a pure bottle of vanilla extract costs so much. For one – the process itself in making pure vanilla extract. Vanilla beans come from a climbing orchid plant that’s native to Mexico and Belize.
Most of the vanilla that is used today comes from an orchid plant named Vanilla planifolia in Mexico. The beans, aka pods, are first fermented and sweated in order to bring out the flavor. Next, they are dried and cured.
This process can take months to complete and over time, the pods develop vanilla. This is a natural substance that gives the pods their signature aromatic, rich vanilla flavor.
After all this hard work, a bottle of real vanilla extract deserves to be expensive, don’t you think?
Artificial Vanilla Extract
On the other hand, when it comes to artificial vanilla, it uses a type of synthetic vanilla that’s man-made. The synthetic is based on lignin, which is a natural agent present in the wood.
Real vanilla beans can develop over 200 different aromatic compounds. Synthetic vanilla extract doesn’t even come close to the flavor and aroma. However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely useless.
Artificial vanilla has its uses, and they are pretty well known too. This is what we’re getting to next!
5 Creative Ways to Use Pure Vanilla Extract
On to the moment you’ve all been waiting for, here are 5 creative ways you can use pure vanilla:
1. Perfect with Cocktails
If you’re into mixology, then you know vanilla is a terrific ingredient in cocktail mixology. For those who don’t know, adding vanilla extract can bring a luscious, smooth flavor to the drink.
It pairs exceedingly well with barrel-aged whiskey or bourbon, as well as rum, too. More so if the rum cocktail has elements like chocolate, cinnamon, clove, or cherry in them.
Not only in cocktails, but vanilla extract is also quite often used as an ingredient infused directly into spirits or bitters.
2. Make Your Grilling Even Juicier
Vanilla extract can be such a blessing when it comes to grilling and barbecuing. It can be used in every item, from glazes and grill marinades to savory sauces.
Thankfully, vanilla works amazingly well with a wide variety of meats also. It helps to seal in the moisture and showcase the meat’s, natural sweetness. Most importantly, it also adds a little kick to it, like the way French like to say – a Je né sais quoi to the finished meal.
So, the next time you’re grilling fish, pork, lamb, chicken, or beef, add that vanilla extract to wow your friends and family!
3. Secret to Tomato and Other Delicious Savory Sauces
Well, not so much of a secret amongst professional chefs, but it is to the few common folks who don’t know much about cooking.
It’s totally normal for professional chefs to use vanilla extract in their savory dishes. The extract helps to bring out the subtle, yet rich flavors without overpowering the other ingredients.
The next time you’re using tomato sauce in your cooking, add a splash of pure vanilla extract to the sauce near the end. This will help to settle the acidity of the tomatoes and enhance the flavor of the sauce.
4. Cutting Off Sugar in Your Coffee
A morning latte is getting too sweet for you? Considering cutting back on sugar? Try infusing your coffees with vanilla extract instead.
Just add two tablespoons of vanilla extract to your empty coffee pot and let it brew with the coffee. Pretty soon, you’ll have a whole pot of coffee flavored with vanilla.
The drink will be so delicious and smooth without the sugar, that you’ll never want to go back to the coffee shop sweetness ever again!
5. Change Up Your Smoothie Game
It’s no secret vanilla extract tastes totally delish in any smoothie. The rich flavor of vanilla will not only assist in blending the various vegetables and fruits, but it’ll also enhance the overall taste of the smoothie, without giving it a subtle sweetness minus the sugar!
Smoothies that have pumpkin or cinnamon in them taste exceptionally delicious with the added vanilla. If you’re not a fan of green smoothies, adding the vanilla will definitely change your mind.
3 Smart Uses for Vanilla Extract Around Your Home
Now that we’ve covered how you can use vanilla extract with food and drinks, this last segment will take a look at using vanilla extract in a slightly different way.
1. Get Rid of Unwanted Smells
Dealing with unwanted smells can be quite challenging sometimes. Sure, dryer sheets and baking soda are a surefire way to get rid of unwanted smells, but did you know you could use vanilla extract as well?
That’s right, all you have to do is get a cotton ball and add a few drops of vanilla extract to it. Next, put it in a small bowl and place it in the area that smells musty. The most common places these smells occur are in the fridge, cupboards, pantries, cars, and musty drawers.
2. On the Lightbulb You Say?
This is a well-known trick amongst real estate agents. Just put a drop or two of vanilla extract on a lightbulb (make sure the lightbulb is cold when doing this) and turn it on.
The heat from the bulb then helps to disperse the smell of vanilla throughout the house. It’s a pretty neat trick to use when you have guests coming over or when you just want to get rid of a bad odor quickly!
3. DIY Vanilla-Scented Room Spray
If you’re against using chemical-filled room fresheners, here’s a great DIY tip for you! You’ll need to gather a mist bottle, a funnel, artificial vanilla extract, and some water.
Put 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract and one cup of water into the mist bottle using the funnel. Don’t shake, instead swirl the bottle to mix it gently, and you’ll have your very own vanilla-scented room freshener.
Now, keep in mind, it’s important you get the mist bottle and not a spray bottle. The difference is crucial because a spray bottle disperses too much liquid, whereas the mist doesn’t.
In conclusion, we’d like to say that we hope our list of smart and creative ideas helped you to learn new facts about vanilla today. Now that you know how many ways you can make use of the pure vanilla extract in your home, don’t forget to let us know.
Mostly, don’t forget to let your friends and family know, either! Happy experimenting!