Vanilla has been a constant presence in any kitchen that is frequented by a decent cook for many years. Its uses are limited only by the imagination and its benefits are plenty. Yet many remain quite ignorant of the exact details of vanilla. Where does it come from? What are its uses? What are its benefits? These questions and more plague many a curious mind. So in an attempt to cure this, here are a few things that you might like to know about the ever popular vanilla. Who knows, you might find your extent of interest to have some practical effects in your life too.
Vanilla has steadily risen to be at the top of the world’s favorite food flavoring ever since it was introduced to Europe when the Spanish brought back some Vanilla Beans from Mexico some few centuries ago. Now it is one of the most famous flavors of ice cream, tagging along with chocolate and is an ingredient in many culinary delights that range from the orthodox to the exotic. Yet, the uses for vanilla does not stop there, nor does its benefits only come from being ingested. For a more comprehensive understanding of them, here they are.
Vanilla in Food
First off, we have the most obvious use for vanilla. Vanilla Beans have been used by the ancient Mayans in order to add some twist to their cacao beverages. But aside from the extra kick that it brings to the table, vanilla is also prized for its capability to enhance flavors, making the taste of anything it accompanies even stronger. As a testament to this, along with the energy boosting sensation that is provided by chocolate flavored ice cream, vanilla flavored ice cream is at the top of the ice cream world for its stand-alone or mixed variety. In culinary dishes, vanilla is best represented by the Indians for their use of the Vanilla Beans in curry recipes, although it does not end there. Vanilla is also valued in baking circles and in the cooking of the many kinds of seafood recipes.
Vanilla in Health
In connection with health and everything that goes with it, Vanilla has been praised for its many positive effects. Vanilla’s ability to reduce mental strain and enhance concentration makes it a valuable ally when in need of a good focus booster. A good whiff of vanilla also has significant effects in lowering stress levels and so avoids complications caused by high stress. It promotes appetite, so it is perfect for patients or the elderly who have less than favorable moods when it comes to meal times. This prevents malnutrition due to the lack of food. A good skin rubbing with anything that contains vanilla also makes the skin healthier while repelling pesky mosquitoes.
Other Uses For Vanilla
Vanilla can also help with your household maladies by ridding your fridge, room or surface of any unpleasant smell. Just take some vanilla extract, mix it with warm water or cleaning agents and watch the results. On that note, mixing vanilla extract with warm water and using it to spray your house will also act as a mosquito repellant, though without the nasty bug spray smell. By the way, if you are looking to repaint your house and don’t want it to smell like paint, just put like a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the paint beforehand.