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Vanilla Beans - Why Our Kitchens Need Them

"I'm so spoiled - I must have a Starbucks vanilla latte every day.", Katie Holmes Vanilla beans: Vanilla is a flavor taken from gardens of the species of Vanilla. The word Vanilla originated from Vanilla; the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina is translated as "little pod." The best type of vanilla beans: The "best" type depends on your liking in flavor. Madagascar is the most famous type, and Indian is a constant favorite. Each type is slightly different: type of vanilla beansThe "best" type depends on your liking in flavor. Madagascar is the most popular type, and Indian is a constant favorite. Each type is slightly different:

  • Madagascar Vanilla - rich and creamy
  • Mexican Vanilla - bold, dark, smokey
  • Indian Vanilla - full, chocolate
  • Indonesian Vanilla - mild, well-balanced
  • Tahitian Vanilla - floral, cherry-chocolate
  • Tonga Vanilla - earthy, fig, raisin

  Where does Vanilla come from? Vanilla originates from the string-bean-like pod of a crawling orchid, whose greenish-white flowers bloom briefly and are without smell. Since the flowers last only one day, they must be hand-pollinated precisely on schedule. The beans mature after six weeks of fertilization, but can not be picked for some months longer. When the vanilla bean turns ripe, the farmers dive the beans in hot water to stop the ripening. The farmers dry and process them, using sweating boxes and ovens, and slowly keep them in the sun for six to nine months to bring the moisture level down to around 30%. The pleasant aroma and taste don't adorn the growing plant. It's only as the beans turn to wrinkled brown pods, and that famous strong aroma starts to fill the air. How do you use vanilla beans? To get the most out of vanilla beans in your cooking, the first step is to buy the best beans. Good vanilla beans should be dark, long, wrinkly, and humid. If there are white crystals on your beans, don't worry. This is just crystallized vanillin, the compound that gives Vanilla its essence. Use a vanilla bean, cut it in half with a sharp knife, and then use the knife to scour out the sticky black seeds or "caviar" inside. The whole lot - seeds and pod - can be cooked in cream for custard or pudding, but the seeds have the most potent vanilla flavor. If you're not using the empty pod, put it in a jar of granulated sugar for a few weeks to make your vanilla sugar, or put the seeds over halved pieces of fruit and bake in the oven a delightful dessert. Vanilla beans are a unique ingredient that is well worth the price for the unbelievable, rich flavor they add to a dish. If you haven't had the experience of using whole beans in your kitchen, buy some from a famous spice merchant and try them. You will likely find yourself throwing out that little bottle of artificial vanilla extract for good. Health Benefits of Vanilla Beans: Health Benefits of Vanilla Beans Most people like vanilla beans only for their pleasant fragrance and sweet taste, but they have health benefits. Research has linked vanillin, Vanilla's main chemical element to:

  • Lowering the body's cholesterol levels, which is necessary for people with a high risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Helping relieve arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory diseases

Vanilla beans have antioxidants that help block cell and tissue breakdown, excite the body's natural regrowth, and kill free radicals. The antioxidants also shield the immune system, decrease body stress, and promote faster healing from wounds or illnesses. Small particles of calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc are found in vanilla beans. In particular, potassium is an essential part of cell and body fluids, helping regulate heart rate and blood pressure levels. Plus, the B vitamins thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6) in vanilla beans help with enzyme structure, improve nervous system capacity and regulate body metabolism. Vanilla beans could also be a weight loss aid by decreasing hunger and increasing your metabolism's ability.   What is Vanilla bean oil used for?   Using vanilla bean oil also lets you get vanilla beans' health potential. It can be used topically to heal burns, improve healthy skin, and boost hair growth. People with muscle or joint injury also use vanilla oil for massages. If you're practicing aromatherapy, combining vanilla bean to your infuser may increase feelings of peace, while easing nausea or queasiness. The vanillin in the oil contains antioxidant and antispasmodic capabilities. It treats wounds and cures stomach problems and fevers. However, care is required for vanilla oil. Conventional vanilla oils are heavily processed and mixed with synthetic materials, but are still labeled "100 percent pure vanilla oil." In particular, vanilla oil essences, namely vanilla carbon dioxide, vanilla absolute and vanilla oleoresin, use solutions to extract the oil. You're better off making your vanilla oil mixture.   Grow vanilla beans at home:   If you want to grow vanilla beans at home, you will need the following:

  • Tree or pole support
  • Neutral soil with a pH level of 6.6 to 7.5 (you can buy a proper soil mix unique to orchids)
  • Well-draining and humus-rich growing means
  • A growing area with high moisture, where nighttime temperatures don't drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bright light and refined shade

Once planted, assure that the soil is uniformly moist but do not overwater. In the spring and summer, carefully fertilize the plant with an orchid fertilizer every two weeks. Store the plant in your greenhouse or indoors with other houseplants. Plants don't give vanilla beans until after three years. During mid-spring to late summer, the developed vine bears trumpet-shaped white, yellow, or green flowers that are about 5 inches across. When the flowers blossom, they only stay open for one day and must be pollinated instantly by the Melipona bee or long-beaked hummingbird 12 hours after opening. After pollination, 6- to 10-inch-long vanilla pods will develop nine months later. These are typically harvested when they are 5 to 8 inches long and have a light yellow color. The seeds are quickly blanched in boiling water and are "sweated" and dried under the sun for two to three weeks until they turn into thin, dried, and dark brown beans.   How do vanilla beans cost?   The estimated price per pound of beans is $50 in the market, and the estimated cost per gallon of extract is $260. Vanilla beans are expensive because growing and harvesting of vanilla beans are very labor-intensive.   Leading countries in vanilla production:   The following are the leading countries in the production of Vanilla.  

Rank Country Tons of Vanilla produced
1 Madagascar 2926
2 Indonesia 2304
3 China 885
4 Mexico 513
5 Papua New Guinea 502

Name: Muzammil. Revised Date: 07-08-2020

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By Saha on October 19, 2021

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