I love the aroma of vanilla! My pantry has pure vanilla bean extract, vanilla bean paste, vanilla bean pods and also vanilla bean sugar. You can say I have a vanilla life!
Did you know that vanilla bean is the fruit of the orchid species specifically Vanilla planifolia which are grown in Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. It is also one of the most expensive spices after Saffron because of its laborious process from picking to drying, curing to ageing which can take up to several months to complete before it is available for sale.
Vanilla bean contains high levels of antioxidants, according to a study led by B.N. Shyamala from the Spices and Flavour Technology Department of the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India. Antioxidants are vital in reducing free radicals in our body. Vanilla is also high in vitamins and mineral including the B-complex and calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Vanilla extract has been widely used in baking and cooking. It is also commonly used as a natural medicine to treat minor stomach discomfort, nausea, stress, anxiety, fever, and even as a natural antiseptic for small cuts and scrapes.
Here I want to share a simple recipe that uses just two ingredients. Vanilla bean and raw sugar.
- 250g of raw sugar
- 1-2 vanilla bean pods
- 1 glass jar
- Fill the glass jar halfway with sugar.
- Split open the vanilla bean pod lengthwise in the middle. Scrape the beans with the knife and mix the beans into the sugar.
- Put the vanilla bean pod into the jar of sugar and fill it up with the remaining sugar. Cover tightly and leave the jar unopened for at least a week to allow the sugar to be infused with the aroma of the vanilla beans.
The vanilla beans will stay good in the sugar as sugar acts like a natural preservative. Keep the sugar in a cool dry place or the refrigerator. You can enjoy your favourite cup of coffee or tea with the vanilla sugar. Or add it to your baked goods!
You can also find vanilla beans used in our Very Vanilla lip balm and Uplifting (Orange & Vanilla) body balm. We have infused sweet almond oil with vanilla beans to extract their natural goodness and wonderful aroma.