Many people have a bottle of vanilla extract in their designated spice cabinet; however, did you know there is a more flavorful alternative? Ground vanilla beans are exactly what they sound like, and they can be a great way to add an extra boost of flavor to many foods and beverages.
Ground vanilla beans contain a higher concentration of flavor, which means you can use less without sacrificing the taste; typically when substituting for vanilla extract you can halve the required amount. There are many instances where using ground vanilla is a better choice, and below are a few of the most common reasons why people make the switch.
9 Reasons To Use Ground Vanilla Beans
- Avoiding Alcohol. Vanilla extract, according to the FDA, must contain 35 percent alcohol. If you are someone who wants to avoid consuming alcohol, then substituting for ground vanilla is something you should consider.
- The Paleo Diet. If you are following a paleo lifestyle that requires you to eat mainly vegan and raw unprocessed foods, then ground beans are for you. With no synthetic additives, this ingredient is perfect to add to desserts and coffee.
- High Heat. Vanilla extract can lose its flavor if cooked over high heat for a longer period of time. It you don’t want to sacrifice a rich flavor, use ground beans instead!
- Colors. Real vanilla extract has a brown color, and clean options tend to have little to no real vanilla in them at all. If your recipe is color sensitive, you may want to consider using ground beans to prevent any dulling or contamination, since it won’t add any brown color into the mix.
- Sensitive Mixes. Desserts such as macaroons can be very sensitive to deviation, and too much liquid can quickly ruin the end result. To prevent this, add in a small amount of ground beans for flavor. Because the powder is dry, or at most slightly moist, you don’t have to worry about ruining the balance.
- Real Vanilla Coffee. Synthetic flavors that you can buy at the store often contain everything but real vanilla. If you want a rich cup of vanilla coffee, add a dash of ground beans before brewing. This will infuse the flavor into the coffee while brewing and give you the most authentic cup of vanilla coffee.
- Infusions. Vanilla infused sugar is popular kitchen creation, and when made with a mixture of ground beans it can truly shine in whatever you use it in. With only a quarter of a teaspoon of powder, you can create the mix and store it for whenever you need it.
- Dry Mixes. Anytime you need to add vanilla to a dry mixture, it’s best to use ground powder. This prevents the mixture becoming soggy from liquid extract, and will give you a stronger flavor overall.
- Sprinkle on Top. Sometimes you just need a light sprinkling of flavor. Whether it be over some yogurt, ice cream, french toast, or muffins; there are numerous foods that can benefit from a light dusting of ground vanilla. This extra dash of flavor can really take your meal to a whole new level.