Home    Subscribe    Write for Us    FAQ    Contact    HubGarden    Login

Interesting facts about vanilla

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
I'm a freelance writer & poet; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page' from tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
Therapeutic Foods (49)      October Competition (15)     
Vanilla extract derives from an orchid plant and is the most commonly used flavouring in the Western world. It is full of anti-oxidants and studies have shown it has various other health benefits as well. For example, in 2011 the European Journal of Pharmacology discovered it helps protect the liver and acts as an anti-inflamatory. In 2013 the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology also said that vanilla could reduce cholesterol.



vanilla beans
Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla


Vanilla isn't just used in food, but also scented candles, perfumes, and beauty products. It is said to be relaxing and soothing, so can be good for aromatherapy.

Vanilla is a fascinating plant, full of interesting facts. Did you know:

There are 35,000 species of orchid, but only vanilla is edible.
Vanilla orchids can only grow 23 degrees on either side of the equator.
Vanilla only flowers for 24 hours, and has to be pollinated within this time.
Vanilla orchids have to be pollinated by hand, which is why it is the second most expensive spice after saffron.
A vanilla plant must be 4 years old before it is harvestable.
Vanilla plants are parasites because they need a host tree to grown on.
Vanilla plants can grow up to 75 feet.
Vanilla extract is made by dissolving the beans in alcohol.



vanilla beans
Vanilla bean. Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:B.navez


Unfortunately many food industries use vanilla essence rather than vanilla extract because it is cheaper. Vanilla essence is artificial, synthesising just one of the vanilla compounds. That means it contains little flavour and none of the health benefits of real vanilla.

You can't always avoid vanilla essence in supermarket products, but when cooking at home, you should always use vanilla extract.

Related articles
* What are antioxidants and why do we need them

Categories
#Therapeutic Foods
#October Competition
I like this Article - 9
[ print friendly ]
More Articles by Bryony Harrison
My first attempt at making my own soap a few years ago did not go very well, the reason being that I...
10 likes
A quick and easy way to make your own Christmas soap is to reuse pieces of old soap and add some...
11 likes
When we buy fruit, our primary intention is to eat the fruit, but all too often we end up wasting so...
4 likes
Although sex education is taught at school, it is important for a young girl to have her parents...
11 likes
Honey is delicious to eat, but it is also a wonderful ingredient to use in beauty products
8 likes
On multi-vitamin packs, the label indicates how much of a particular vitamin is present, but dif...
0 answers
view all articles by Bryony Harrison
Articles by Bryony Harrison on Other Hubs
4 likes
My Google Plus Profile
ID: 26010
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
With their deliciously subtle, **creamy** and buttery flavour, the versatile **pine nut** is often o...
9 likes
One of the most **popular** nuts in the world, **cashews** are loved for their **sweet**, **creamy**...
7 likes
You've polished off the last of the **peanut butter/coconut oil/strawberry jam**, and are about to s...
7 likes
In the ancient Eastern practice of **Ayurveda**, people are defined by their unique blend of the **t...
7 likes
Delicious, healthy and quick to prepare, this fudge has a sweet, nutty flavour and is a fantastic sn...
6 likes
There are many foods that are enriched with Omega3 fatty acids but the healthy foods which contain b...
6 likes
You spend about a third of your life asleep
6 likes
Easy, healthy and budget friendly almond yoghurt can be made at home
5 likes
Lemon, honey and cardamom have been used as natural remedies for colds for centuries
5 likes
When it comes to food I think I eat a fairly healthy diet, and that I get enough nutrients from the ...
5 likes
Categories
Nutrition (244)
Vegan (120)
How To (61)
Lists (59)
Hygiene (35)
Yoga (29)
Featured on Other Hubs
 
Copyright 2012-2017 On Topic Media PTY LTD. ABN 18113479226. mobile version