Vanilla beans are commonly termed as a whole vanilla pod comprising scores of tiny seeds inside. These seeds offer concentrated vanilla flavor to dishes when added in them. Different kinds of vanilla beans are available in the marketplace containing different quantities of seeds. For instance, Madagascar vanilla beans are premium quality beans containing thousands of tiny seeds whereas Tahitian beans contain lesser number of seeds. Based on the kind of vanilla beans, the flavor and aroma vary. Usually, all kinds of beans are good to use for baked goods such as pastry cream, frosting, vanilla sugar, ice-creams, etc.
Different Ways to Use Vanilla Beans
Vanilla Paste: You can use vanilla beans for making vanilla paste. The homemade vanilla paste is good to add in recipes like ice-creams, butter cream and pastry cream.
Vanilla Powder: The homemade vanilla powder made from high-grade beans such as Madagascar Grade vanilla beans will work like a natural sweetener. You can add it a number of dishes ranging from ice-creams, puddings to barbecue sauces.
Vanilla Extract: Use vanilla beans for making pure and organic vanilla extract. For making vanilla extract at home, you only require two ingredients- vanilla beans and alcohol (brandy, rum or vodka). The vanilla extract demands 3-4 months time to get its real flavor but it is good to use for as many as 2 years if stored properly.
Vanilla Sugar: If you are fond of drinking coffee or tea, give it a healthy twist by adding vanilla sugar. In simple words, vanilla sugar is referred to as a granulated sugar infused with vanilla beans. The homemade sugar can be used in preparing savory recipes such as barbecue sauces for giving the sauce little sweetness.
A simple fact important to remember is vanilla is the second most expensive spices in the world after saffron. So, even if you are buying it in a small quantity, you need to shell more money. Especially, if you are buying the Madagascar vanilla beans, they are the most expensive variety and are not easily available. To get a discounted deal, prefer purchasing vanilla beans in bulk from a reputed online supplier.