Authentic vanilla beans are considerably more expensive than their artificial counterparts. For example, pure vanilla extract is likely to set you back considerably more than standard vanilla essence or flavoring. However, as with so many other foodstuffs, in the case of vanilla beans you really do get what you pay for. Here are a few of the benefits that come along with using genuine beans.
Authentic Vanilla Beans Have Distinctive Flavors
Undoubtedly the best argument to use authentic vanilla beans is their flavor. Many people fail to realize that different types of beans will have completely unique tastes. The most popular of these, Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans, are particular rich in flavor, not to mention, perfume and color, making them perfect for preparing food dishes and drinks. Other bean types are equally as useful.
The richness of true vanilla beans in both flavor and aroma is rarely matched by their alternative counterparts. The inexpensive option is often formed of a weakened version of vanilla or, in some cases, a completely artificial product. The alcohol content of an ‘essence’ or vanilla flavoring is much lower that of pure authentic extract, allowing for the flavor to be somewhat attenuated.
Natural beans have a length lifespan if looked after correctly, and can be great value for money (each bean contains hundreds of seeds). In order to make the most of your baking or cooking, and to ensure that the vanilla taste is given the presence it deserves, it is recommended that you use vanilla beans or a derivative of them.
Vanilla Beans Also Offer a Convenient Approach
Another common argument for using an artificial replacement is time, or rather lack of it. You won’t hear any argument here. Vanilla beans can be extremely tricky to prepare. The process can be long, arduous and finicky, all of which are traits we don’t want to be hearing in these increasingly busy times. However, this needn’t be the case.
Whole vanilla beans are ideal for those that merely wish to place them into a pan to add a little bit of tang. However, the likes of vanilla extract, paste and powder all offer alternative methods of getting that excellent flavor into your dish. Powder can be added to drinks. Extract can be added to cakes, pastry, soup, bread and just about anything else. Paste is ideal for sauces and icing.
Each of these can be made at home but for those particularly strapped for time they can also be purchased in this form. A jar of extract or powder (or both) can sit in your kitchen cupboard or pantry happily for an extended length of time. Then, when it comes time to prepare a dish, they can simply be added to your ingredients with minimal or no fuss. Nobody in the world could argue then that an artificial substitute would be quicker to use than the real deal.
Vanilla Beans from a Wellbeing Aspect
In today’s health-conscious society we are constantly being told to watch what we eat and ensure that what goes in to us is just what we need. Massive changes have been orchestrated within the food and drink industry and now it is becoming more and more common to see products marked up as ‘healthy’, free from preservatives, sweeteners and all those other nasty, unhealthy components. Vanilla beans are about as healthy as foodstuffs get.
Whilst your everyday vanilla flavoring is probably harboring any number of artificial ingredients, which may or may not include the actual vanilla part of it, the likes of Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans feature a number of vitamins (including riboflavin and niacin) that assist the central nervous system, as well as an array of mineral traces, including calcium, iron and zinc. No artificial ingredients are added in the farming of Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans nor are they added when producing pastes, powders and extracts.
When measured against each other, nobody can deny the advantages of natural vanilla beans. Need more convincing? Vanilla beans are also utilized in natural and herbal medicine, offering alternative cures and ointments to a number of conditions. Whilst herbal medicine is something that is considered to be somewhat subjective, the natural benefits of authentic vanilla beans are not.
Article By: Sarah Neil