Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vanilla Bean


Properties:
     *Not much research has been done on the vanilla bean, but they do seem to:

  • Kill cancer cells
  • Help fight sickle cell disease
  • Contains small amounts of the following:
    • B vitamins
    • Calcium
    • Magnesium
    • Potassium
    • Manganese
    • Iron
    • Zinc
  • Has a relaxing affect
  • Possibly helps ease nausea

Tidbits:

The vanilla bean comes from an orchid plant...the only orchid to produce something edible. The flower blooms for only one day.

Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla is the most fragrant variety that also contains the most vanillin which is where the medicinal attributes come into play. 

The smell of vanilla is reported to ward off mosquitoes.

Also vanilla extract is said to get rid of skunk odor. (Much better than tomato juice in my mind! And I had a brother-in-law who can vouch that this works...)

Store vanilla beans in a plastic bag and then in an airtight container away from heat and sunlight. If you don't use your beans in time and they become hard, don't throw them out! Simply reconstitute them in a little warm water. Or use them for vanilla coffee. (Below)

Occasionally vanilla beans will acquire a white residue on them. Those are actually white crystals that mean the beans are high in vanillin and are high quality. The crystals are edible.

Just in an off chance the white stuff is mildew, place the beans in some sunlight--if it is the crystals, they will give off multiple colors. If it's mildew it will just look dull and flat. In that case, it's best to discard them.

Getting More Vanilla:
  • Make homemade vanilla extract
  • Don't throw the pod away after using! Simply dry it out, break into a few pieces and add to a pint of sugar. Let it sit for a couple weeks and wallah! Vanilla sugar. 
  • Then...to make your vanilla go even further, throw it into your coffee grinder and add a little of the powder to freshly ground coffee beans to make vanilla coffee. 
  • Make rice pudding
  • Add extra vanilla extract in recipes (I use 1 Tbs. instead of 1 tsp.)
  • Add to homemade whipping cream
  • Scoop out the caviar and add to homemade ice cream

Bethany
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Disclaimer:
In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!




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