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Is Vanilla Extract Gluten-free? Here’s What To Know

Vanilla extract is one of the most common ingredients in many baked goods today. There are few dessert and sweet tweet recipes that you’ll be able to find that don’t call for this delicious flavoring.

It’s for a good reason that vanilla extract is so popular too – it adds a flavor you just can’t get from any other ingredient. It’s rich, sweet smelling (without being sweet), and smells like a warm hug (I’m channeling my inner Olaf here).

Vanilla is such a common ingredient, you may not even consider how it fits into a gluten-free diet, because it’s so pervasive.

Just like any other ingredient and food, it’s important to do your due diligence and find out that every ingredient that goes into your mouth is safe for your gluten-free diet if you avoid it for health reasons.

Vanilla is so common in baked goods – homemade and store bought – that it’s a good idea to do some research and know what’s safe before continuing on cooking and baking with it.

In this post, we’re going to dive deep into the topic of vanilla extract and find out what vanilla is, what it’s made from, and if vanilla extract is gluten-free.

We’ll also learn about imitation vanilla and vanilla flavoring, discuss why vanilla extract is so expensive, and finally what brands are safe for a gluten-free diet. Let’s learn out about everyone’s favorite baking ingredient!

Vanilla extract is an ingredient made from steeping vanilla bean pods and seeds in alcohol and water.

It is used in many baking recipes and provides a very rich flavor and smell that many folks associate with homemade treats. Vanilla can also be used in savory dishes, but it is most commonly found in cakes, cookies, puddings, and sweets.

Vanilla extract is made from the beans of a tropical orchid that is native to Mexico, but is now grown in various parts of the world, like Madagascar, Central America, Africa, and the South Pacific.

Vanilla beans are cured, then ground into small pieces, then added to alcohol or water to extract the flavor from the vanilla beans and pods.

Some manufacturers make their vanilla extract slowly by allowing the flavors of vanilla to be extracted into the alcohol over a long period of time. Others try to speed this process up by using heat, but the flavor is often compromised when this method is used.

Vanilla extract is generally made from just vanilla beans and seeds and alcohol or water. Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.

You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.

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Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form or gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.

Since alcohol or water is gluten-free, and vanilla beans are naturally gluten-free, we can say with certainty that pure vanilla extract is gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet.

Imitation vanilla is not the same as vanilla extract. This product is created from synthetic vanillin from other plant fibers – not the tropical orchids that make real vanilla beans.

Vanilla flavoring is a blend of pure vanilla extract and imitation vanilla.

Imitation vanilla and vanilla flavoring, even though they’re not the same as real vanilla extract, are also likely to be gluten-free. As with any food, it’s best to look for a product with a gluten-free label if you’re concerned about gluten being present.

Pure vanilla extract is expensive, because the ingredients to make it are rare and the time it takes to grow vanilla beans and extract them isn’t quick.  The process of growing and making vanilla extract is a big waiting game, so manufacturers boost prices, knowing there is demand for the product.

While vanilla extract can be on the pricey side, you get what you pay for. Pure vanilla extract is leaps and bounds better flavorwise compared to imitation vanilla or vanilla flavoring.

The nuanced flavor that comes from the real deal pure vanilla extract will come through in all your recipes. It is worth the extra money to get a good quality vanilla!

All vanilla extract brands are gluten-free, but if you’re wondering which to look for, here are some popular brands you can find locally or online that you can use in all your gluten-free baking.

Beyond Good

Kirkland Signature

McCormick

Molina

Native Vanilla

Nielsen Massey

Simply Organic

Vnlla

Watkins

The Clubhouse website shows there are no allergens in their pure vanilla extract, and it is made with vanilla bean extractives in water and alcohol. There are no gluten-containing ingredients in this brand of vanilla extract.

The Watkins website states their pure vanilla extract is gluten-free, so you can trust that this is a safe option for your gluten-free diet.

If you love to bake and have been wondering where vanilla extract fits into your gluten-free diet, I hope this information has helped you. Vanilla extract is almost always gluten-free.

Which brands of vanilla extract are gluten free?

I use this product in a variety of gluten-free recipes. I love the rich, nutty flavor it adds to various baked goods and savory dishes.

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It is important to do your due diligence and find out that every ingredient that goes in your mouth is safe for your gluten-free diet if you avoid it for medical reasons, so it’s good to know where to find vanilla extract that is gluten free.

I wish I could give you a few quick tips on how to find the best brand of vanilla extract, but that can be tricky at best. You have to do your homework and figure out what you’re looking for. Some people think that the pure vanilla extract on the market is “better” or has more flavor, but that isn’t always totally true.

You want to know if the vanilla extract you are using is made from real vanilla beans, because the ingredients in imitation vanilla are actually not beans at all. There is a difference.

A lot of the ingredients in imitation vanilla are synthetic vanillin, which is made by using other plant fibers – not made from bean pods. Vanilla extract can also vary greatly in price when it comes to brands and different locally sourced sources as well.

What is imitation vanilla extract made with?

Vanilla extract is very easy to find and you can use it in a variety of recipes for baking and other dishes. I hope this post has helped you out with finding the best vanilla extract for baking, so mix up some vanilla cupcakes and enjoy!

Feel free to visit my blog where I share how to make gluten-free, diet-friendly treats such as:

A vegan version of Chai Tea Pancakes using Vanilla Bean Purée (Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes are delicious with these!)

Oatmeal Cookies made with gluten-free flour blend (the bananas contain no gluten ingredients)

How much vanilla extract can I use in a recipe before it causes problems?

Vanilla extract contains a lot of vanillin – an ingredient that is known to be safe for those with a gluten-free diet. It is not known to be an issue, so feel free to add as much as you need. The Vanilla Bean Project is at the forefront of conservation and sustainable development that has made Madagascar the source for all good quality vanilla beans.

I suggest you check with your doctor or dietitian before using a supplement – it may not be necessary for everyone. If you do choose to use a supplement, make sure it is gluten-free, and that all ingredients are also safe for your gluten-free diet.

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Vanilla Bean Project has done all the hard work for you to get the best quality vanilla extract at the lowest cost possible. There is no better place to get vanilla extract than from those from Madagascar. This is the best quality vanilla extract at the cheapest price you will find anywhere in the world.

What is in Mccormick imitation vanilla?

Find the best vanilla extract with little to no additives!

Mccormick’s imitation vanilla is made with vanillin, extracted from wood pulp, which is typically derived from the wood of the linden tree. It’s one of three common types of vanilla extract on the market.

There are also extracts made in China that contain more vanillin but are not regulated by US import/export laws due to quality concerns.

True Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Extracts are too great for cooking up a storm in your kitchen, but you’re sure to find plenty of uses in your recipes including baking, fondues, coffee and beyond.

Is McCormick imitation vanilla gluten-free?

Some may not be aware that McCormick’s vanilla extract is made with wood pulp, which is a by-product of paper production. Wood pulp usually comes from the trees listed above and may contain gluten, so it’s important to check with your doctor before using to make sure it is safe for your gluten-free diet.

The natural flavor in McCormick imitation vanilla also comes from artificial flavors and butylated hydroxytoluene. This chemical compound is used as a food preservative, but it can also cause some health issues for some people when consumed in large amounts.

Does McCormick vanilla have gluten?

Imitation vanilla is derived from wood pulp commonly extracted from the trees listed above. The natural flavor in McCormick’s imitation vanilla also comes from artificial flavor and butylated hydroxytoluene, which can be found in a variety of foods and products.

This chemical compound – used as a food preservative – can cause some health concerns when consumed in large amounts. Even though it is not something that you usually consume in large amounts, it is still something you should consider before adding to your gluten-free diet.

I hope this post has helped you with your Vanilla dilemma in finding the best vanilla extract for you! If you use a supplement, make sure it is gluten-free, and that all ingredients are also safe for your gluten-free diet.

Vanilla Bean Project has done all the work for you to get the best quality vanilla extract at the lowest cost possible. There is no better place to get vanilla extract than from those from Madagascar. This is the best quality vanilla extract at the cheapest price you will find anywhere in the world.

I recommend that if you plan on using a supplement, use Vanilla Bean Project Vanilla Beans! The Vanilla Bean Project has done all the hard work and research for you to get 100% pure, fresh vanilla beans from Madagascar, so turn off and unplug your computer and pick up a jar today!