Vanilla Beans are fruit pods that have a pleasant fragrance. They are obtained from tropical Climbing orchid known as Vanilla Planifolia. They have been used for years after Mayans discovered them. This high-value bean is native to the tropical rainforest of Central America. Grade A vanilla beans are more valuable than grade B vanilla beans. The main chemical component of the vanilla beans is vanillin. Other constituents include alcohols, aromatic carbohydrates, caproic acid, phenols, and eugenol.
A vanilla flowering plant requires a pole to grow. Only three vanilla cultivars have economic value. Vanilla Planifolia beans are the most sought after. Other species include Vanilla tahitiensis and Vanilla Pompona. They are used in various confectioneries worldwide. They are among the most expensive species with a non-pungent aroma.
Types of Vanilla
Bourbon Madagascar is the sweetest vanilla bean. It has a sweeter and rich flavor than Mexican and Tahitian. Mexican vanilla is creamy and smooth, while Tahitian Vanilla is darkest and thickest. Although it is aromatic, it is not as flavorful as Mexican and Bourbon Madagascar.
After harvesting vanilla pods, they are dipped in boiling water sun-dried and wrapped to sweat. They are air-dried and fermented for six months. You can remove the beans when the alcohol is fragrant and use your vanilla extract. Extracts can be sold as whole Vanilla beans or made into paste and powder. Vanilla beans are used as flavoring ingredients in a wide variety of confectionaries and sweet drinks. Grade B vanilla beans have earthy, sweet, and rich vanilla flavor. Extracts of vanilla consist of complex and simple sugars, vitamins minerals, and essential oils.
Extracts of vanilla contain B complex vitamins such as thiamin, vitamin B-6, Pantothenic, and Niacin. These nutrients help with regulating body metabolism, enzyme synthesis, and nervous system function. Vanilla extracts are made using grade B vanilla beans. It also contains little amounts of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium A, iron, and zinc. Potassium helps with regulating blood pressure and heart rate.
Vanilla is an aromatic spice that has a pleasant smell. It one of the most expensive spices only second to saffron. Vanilla is added to desserts, sweet dishes, biscuits, pudding, and cakes. It also used in other confectionery items to make ice creams, custards, and chocolate drinks. Vanilla Beans enhance metabolism efficiency and decrease appetite.
Lowering Control levels
Lowering cholesterol levels in the body is essential to people with a high risk of stroke and heart diseases.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Vanilla is popular for its antioxidant quality. Antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent damage that these radicals cause. What’s’ more is that vanillin repairs the effects of the free radicals. This means that it makes crucial changes to the cells. Like other antioxidants, it fights cancer cells, helps in rejuvenating the skin, and mucosal healing. Antioxidants qualities prevent the breakdown of cells and tissues. They alleviate stress, shield the immune system, and enhance recovery from illnesses and injuries. Vanillin, like other antioxidants substances, has anti-inflammatory abilities. This is because they repair damaged cells. Applying it on affected muscles and joints relieves inflamed skin. It alleviates inflammatory conditions such as gout and arthritis.
According to research, vanilla oil shows an ability to inhibit bacteria development. Vanilla oil with antibacterial properties is extremely beneficial. You can apply vanilla oil to fight bacteria and smell pleasant at the same time.
Vanilla has anti-depressant abilities with quick results. It can relieve depressions. While depression calls for professional help, we should embrace compounds that relieve depression.
Vanillin found in vanilla is one of the compounds that has shown anti-cancer ability.
Uses of Vanilla
1.Culinary uses – Vanilla is used to flavor drinks and make food sweet. Grade B flavor has high moisture content spread in food more quickly. Grade B vanilla beans produce concentrated vanilla flavor.
2.Cosmetic- Vanilla is added to most beauty and hygiene products.
3.Hair Growth- Vanilla essential oil strengthens the hair and encourages the growth of healthy hair.
4.Vanilla herbal tea- Vanilla can be used to make this type of tea that can inhibit diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upsets. Vanilla also eliminates acne and enhances the skin healing process.
In essence, grade B vanilla beans have numerous beneficial uses. More research can identify other unknown benefits.