Pure Vanilla Extract and Flavorings Reduce Fat
Vanilla extract is an ingredient every chef should have in the kitchen.Â There are dozens of recipes that call for vanilla flavoring, and if you want to do a recipe right, pure vanilla extract is the only choice.Â Those bottles on the supermarket shelves may all look the same, but real vanilla extract is made from only real vanilla beans (the best ones are called Madagascar Bourbon), while vanilla flavoring simulates their taste through chemicals.Â Â
During World War II, teenage girls used pure vanilla extract as a perfume, dabbing a little on their pulse points because of its delicate but lasting aroma.Â If you tried to do this with artificial vanilla flavoring, the only scent you'd get would be alcohol.Â Â
If you want to make your own vanilla extract, an easy vanilla extract recipe is as follows:Â pour two cups of grain alcohol (if it's not available, vodka can be substituted) into a mason jar.Â Take six vanilla beans (not dried ones from the supermarket; you'll need to order them from a gourmet or fragrance supply house) and cut them in half lengthwise.Â Put them in the jar, cover the jar and put them in the closet where they're out of the light.Â (This is just like making sun tea except for the sun part.)Â Leave them alone for several days and then taste them periodically.Â The longer you leave them in, the stronger the extract will be.Â When you're happy with the taste, strain the beans out and pour the vanilla extract into smaller containers with lids.Â You can give them as gifts or keep them for your own use.Â Â
If you're used to the sweet taste of store-bought vanilla extract, you can add a little sugar to the mixture, but it's really not necessary as most recipes using vanilla extract will also have sugar in them.Â Alternately, you can buy an already prepared product like Rawleigh's vanilla, butter and nut flavoring, and get the added benefit of superior butter and nut flavoring in addition to the delicious taste of those Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans.Â This is a good way to cut down on calories in recipes like pecan pie where adding too much butter and nuts adds too much to your waist line.Â Real vanilla extract gives you plenty of flavor while reducing fat.