What Does Vanilla Extract Do? All The Facts You Need To Know
Have you ever asked yourself this question, what does vanilla extract do with recipes? I bet you have, especially if you love cooking, because this ingredient is usually needed in almost all baking recipes.
From cookies to cakes, and even smoothies, vanilla extract is often used for flavor and aroma. Keep on reading as I provide more details about the wonders of vanilla extract.
It Enhances The Flavor!
If you have tasted vanilla, you’ll know that it doesn’t taste sweet but bitter. The biting flavor comes from the 35% ethyl alcohol added to the extract. Some commercial brands, like McCormick, try to make their vanilla extract taste sweeter by adding sweeteners.
Vanilla extract is often added to improve the flavor of other ingredients in a sweet baked product. It gives depth and richness that’s very hard to decipher. This role is similar to how salt enhances the flavor of a savory dish.
Miss out this ingredient and your baked product will taste bland and flat. One time, I used it to make chocolate chip matcha cookies and they came out really good. You can even add vanilla extract to latte)for that adventurous flavor.
It Adds Aroma
Vanilla extract has that sweet aroma that you can associate with delicious things. I know you’ll agree with me that each time you smell vanilla of food it makes it more appetizing.
This extract can also be used for aromatherapy. The warm and comforting scents can affect your mood, bolster your sense of well-being, and even fight depression. To make a vanilla essential oil, simply dilute genuine vanilla extract with a carrier oil.
The scent of vanilla can also remove the unpleasant smell eggs on egg-based desserts. You can also remove the bad odor of your fridge with just a simple wipe of vanilla extract.
To lengthen the sweet smell of vanilla extract, soak a sponge or cotton ball with the extract and leave it in the fridge.
If your microwave is reeking with the foul smell of fish, remove it by heating a bowl of vanilla extract for one minute. You can try to neutralize the odor of fresh paint by mixing a tablespoon into it.
Make your home smell sweet by putting a drop of the extract on a light bulb.
Medical Benefits Of Vanilla Extract
Apart from its popular use as a flavoring agent, vanilla extract is also known for its medicinal benefits. Here are some of them.
• Alleviate Minor Burns
When you accidentally hold a hot pan, dab the burn area with vanilla extract. As the alcohol evaporates in the extract, it gives a cooling effect.
• Antioxidant Activity
The antioxidant properties <vanillic acid and vanillin> of vanilla extract may help protect your body from free radical damage. While repairing the damage to your body, the vanilla extract may reduce the risk of certain cancers and infections.
• Improve Sexual Stamina
Vanilla extract can also be an aphrodisiac. The extract may stimulate the production of testosterone and estrogen to promote sexual excitement.
• Reduce Fever
A 2012 study found that Eugenol and Vanillin components of vanilla extract can fight infections. As a result, it lowers your body temperature to reduce fever.
Vanilla extract can help relieve any hyperactivity in your body. It calms the brain and nerves, hence offer a relief from agitations and anxiety.
How Is Vanilla Extract Made?
Vanilla extract is produced by soaking vanilla beans in water and alcohol solution. The pod and its seeds are responsible for the flavor of the extract. As they age, their flavor becomes more complex and deeper.
As required by the FDA, the genuine vanilla extract should contain 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon. This is known as one-fold vanilla extract and you can find it usually in grocery stores.
The two-fold and three-fold extracts are principally used by professionals because they’re super strong.
I made my own vanilla extract by soaking 10 whole vanilla beans in two cups of rum. If you don’t have rum, you can use bourbon or vodka. Store the mixture for about six weeks in a dark place and your vanilla extract is ready.
Try making a vanilla extract at home as shown in this video:
If you are interested in other smart tips, refer here: Smart Tips
What does vanilla extract do? Mainly, it enhances the flavor and aroma of sweet baked products, like cakes, cookies, and even lattes. It can also be used to remove the unpleasant smell of eggs in desserts, deodorizes your fridge, and even freshens your home.
If you have some interesting experiences with using vanilla extract, share them with us in the comment section. Please share this article with your friends if you like it.