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What’s the Difference Between Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans, and Vanilla Paste?

In this blog post, we will be exploring what’s the difference between vanilla extract, vanilla beans, and vanilla paste. We will examine what each type is, what they are used for, and also some of the health benefits that come with using them. Let’s get started!

Vanilla Extract – This can be made from either vanilla beans or pods. It is a strong alcoholic extract made by steeping the vanilla beans in pure ethanol alcohol and adding water and sugar or corn syrup to taste. The main ingredients in vanilla extract are ethyl alcohol, water, and sugar. Additionally, there is usually vanillin added to give it that sweet smell.

Vanilla Beans – Vanilla beans come from flowering vanilla trees. These trees are native to Mexico and arrive in their dried form. They come in different flavors, and the variety of them depends on which part of the world they come from.

The vanilla bean is popularly used for baking, candy-making, and making vanilla extract. They are long, flat, and dark brown with stripes that look like little black lines that you can see inside the bean. When buying vanilla beans, you should get the premium ones because they have a fuller, richer flavor than their counterparts.

Vanilla Paste – Vanilla paste is made from vanilla beans that have been ground up into a powder-like substance or in their whole form. It is then mixed with other ingredients like sugar and refined sweeteners. Paste can be used to enrich foods, such as baked goods, that don’t require the flavor of vanilla.

Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans, and Vanilla Paste Differences – In general, vanilla extract is more expensive than vanilla beans because it uses more parts of the plant’s skin, which are costly. However, some people argue that it does require less expensive beans to get the same sweetness than vanilla paste does. Other than that, all three types of extracts contain high amounts of vanillin to give them their taste. Vanilla paste contains a larger amount of vanillin than both extracts and beans do.

All three types of extracts have the same health benefits. For instance, vanilla beans contain a high amount of antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radicals. Also, they contain phenolic compounds that might help with lowering blood pressure and fight cancer cells.

With their use in baking and food preparation, we have come to associate these three types of extracts with having a distinct flavor. However, we shouldn’t forget that all three of them also have health benefits to offer. Vanilla beans contain antioxidants and phenolic compounds, while vanilla extract contains vanillin and other nutrients. Vanilla paste has been proven to lower blood pressure and might even help fight cancer cells. They all have their individual uses and benefits, which makes having all three of them in your kitchen a good idea.

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Vanilla extract is made from soaking the natural compounds found in vanilla bean pods in alcohol. It is a convenient way to add a slightly sweet flavor to your cooking without having to buy or make pureed beans. Vanilla extract is typically used in baking and science experiments because it does not contain any of the actual beans.

This takes about 3-4 days for fermentation process before being bottled as black liquid with greenish tinge on top

When it comes to vanilla, there are a lot of choices out there – vanilla extract, vanilla beans, and vanilla bean paste. It can be hard to know which is the right one to use for which recipe. Vanilla extract is by the far the most popular choice for home cooks. It’s readily available, affordable, and not to mention versatile.

Vanilla beans are expensive, but worth it if you want a richer, deeper vanilla flavor, and vanilla bean paste is always a good compromise. We explain the difference between all three products, and the benefits of each.

What is vanilla extract

Pure vanilla extract is made from dried vanilla beans and alcohol. It has a rich, sweet flavor and a deep, dark-brown color. Always look for the word ‘pure’ when buying vanilla extract, as the imitation versions have a bitter aftertaste. Vanilla extract is not as strong as vanilla beans, so if your recipe calls for a whole vanilla bean and you only have extract, use three times the volume, or 1 tablespoon.

You can also make your own vanilla extract at home. The quality of your vanilla extract will depend on the quality of vanilla bean pods that you use. Pure vanilla extract adds a rich vanilla flavor and aroma to candy, cookies, and cakes. It’s the perfect store-cupboard staple for everyday baking.

What are vanilla beans?

Vanilla beans are the purest form of vanilla you can get, and have a complex flavor and aroma. Vanilla bean pods contain thousands of tiny vanilla bean flecks that impart the flavor of vanilla. Vanilla beans cost more than extract but do have a deeper vanilla flavor. When buying vanilla pods, look for ones that are plump and shiny and not overly dried out.

To use vanilla beans, cut the end off the pod, split the bean lengthwise down the center and then scrape out the seeds with the back of your knife. The use of pure vanilla bean seeds will give you a stronger vanilla flavor and is especially good to use in the making of homemade ice cream and vanilla custards.

Pro Tip: Don’t throw away the seedless pod when you’ve finished with -tuck it into your sugar holder and the pod will give your sugar a subtle vanilla flavor.

What is vanilla bean paste

Vanilla bean paste is a convenient product that’s a thicker version of vanilla extract with some vanilla bean seeds added to it. If you’re looking for a pure vanilla taste and look, but don’t want to splash out on real vanilla pods, then vanilla bean paste is a great option. A teaspoon of paste equals a teaspoon of extract.

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It’s delicious when used in vanilla frosting and vanilla sauce and will also give you those beautiful brown flecks.

Which is better baking vanilla or vanilla extract?

Vanilla extract tastes very strong in cake, icing or chocolate recipes, so you only need a tiny amount, and are therefore less likely to get a vanilla ‘bitter taste’ in your baked goods. Also, vanilla extract is made from a plant so it is also good for you.

Vanilla beans can be pricey but the stronger the flavour of the bean, the more expensive it becomes. So using vanilla beans will make your food taste really rich and intense, with a deep dark chocolate flavor to it.

What is the difference between pure vanilla extract and imitation?

Essentially, pure vanilla extract comes from good quality vanilla beans while imitation is an artificial flavor that has been created to replicate the taste of real vanilla. Vanilla-flavored sugar is also made using artificial flavoring.

These products may cost less than pure / natural products, but they are not as healthy or tasty. If you want to buy real vanilla products, they are always more expensive than the cheaper alternatives. It pays to check the ingredients list carefully and make sure that you are buying what you think you’re buying.

What is baking vanilla for?

Baking is usually a very moist process. The amount of moisture in the oven itself, the amount of water being absorbed by ingredients like bread and cakes, even the steam produced by the cooking process will all combine to prevent vanilla beans from infusing properly into your food. This can leave you with a bitter taste and an underdeveloped vanilla flavor.

That’s where baking vanilla comes in handy – it contains no water or natural moisture, so it will infuse well into any recipe that calls for vanilla.

Is vanilla bean paste or extract better?

It all depends on personal preference. Vanilla bean paste is made from soaking the vanilla beans in water, so it will dissolve more easily into a liquid. It also contains extract, which is handy if you’re making certain types of frosting as you can use less extract and get a more intense flavour from the same quantity of paste.

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What is vanilla butter cream frosting?

Frosting made with a combination of butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Don’t confuse this with other variations like coffee buttercream or chocolate buttercream that are made with completely different ingredients.

Is vanilla extract better for baking?

Pure vanilla extract contains a relatively small amount of alcohol, which serves two purposes. Firstly, the alcohol draws out the flavor of the vanilla beans as it evaporates. Secondly, it inhibits the growth of microorganisms and prevents mould from forming on top of your vanilla extract.

Some recipes only call for a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract so you may want to use all-natural alternatives that don’t contain any alcohol, like vanilla bean paste or pure ground vanilla. Don’t worry though – your baked goods will still taste great.

Is imitation vanilla better for baking?

Imitation extracts are made from chemicals instead of real ingredients, and have a bitter aftertaste that is not as pleasant as pure natural flavours. They may be cheaper, but they will not last as long as natural products and may also contain more additives.

Does vanilla extract go off?

Your extract will go off after a certain period of time, depending on the type of vanilla extract used. The main types of extracts are: Bourbon vanilla beans, pure alcohol, and pure vanilla essence. There is one type of extract that is not affected by these issues – a whole bean or seed paste. They are made from the top seeds of the vanilla bean which take longer to mature and therefore do not need to be harvested when they are fully ripe, ensuring a long shelf-life.

What is the difference between Watkins baking vanilla and pure vanilla extract?

Watkins is made with a blend of ground vanilla beans and pure extract to make a more intense, aromatic, and flavorful product. It contains no fillers or artificial ingredients and has a great vanilla flavor that you can guarantee is pure.

How much vanilla extract should I use?

It all depends on how much you want to add to your recipe, but most recipes call for 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract per batch. You can also add items like chocolate chips, nuts, fruits and other ingredients for a richer taste.

Pro tip: if you’re looking for more intense flavor, then use vanilla bean paste instead as it will give you more concentrated taste from the same amount consumed.

Check out this great article, where I cover all the best vanilla pod and paste, ingredient and culinary uses for vanilla. I have been using the most amazing vanilla bean paste lately! It’s so much better than the artificial stuff and better for you too. This post will tell you how to find it: 5 reasons why I love Vanilla Bean Paste. And if you’re still not sure which type of vanilla extract or bean paste to use, then check out this interesting comparison between Vanilla Extract/Paste from France and US Vanilla Bean Paste, which is a great way to help decide between the two! For more delicious recipes and great tips on cooking with essential oils visit my essential oil guide.

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