There is no other flavour that is more vital than Vanilla. Vanilla extract is a mandatory ingredient for almost every baking recipe. It is a staple item in your pantry and something you should never run out of.
However, most bottles of this flavouring agent go bad before being used up. This issue is common because most people use it for baking, and when they do not have the time to bake, the ingredient goes unused.
Did you know that your vanilla extract has more uses than just traditional baking? There are so many surprising uses of vanilla extract that you will not shy away from buying extra bottles.
Make Vanilla Ice Cream
Do you have some vanilla extract home sitting in your pantry, chasing the expiry date? What better way to use up vanilla extract than using it to make some delicious vanilla ice cream?
The best vanilla flavoured ice cream is made with the finest vanilla extracts. You can easily make Vanilla Extract at Home and use homemade substitutes if pure vanilla beans aren’t available nearby. Leaving your vanilla extract to get infused for two months will give you the creamiest vanilla ice cream.
How to make homemade vanilla ice cream
Take the following steps to make your creamy vanilla ice cream:
- Whip 2 cups (450ml) of cold heavy cream (you can also use whipping cream) till it forms stiff peaks.
- Add in an entire can of cold sweetened condensed milk and whip at a slower speed.
- As the condensed milk and cream mixes, add 3 teaspoons of your homemade vanilla extract. Whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Put the mixture in a freezer container and make sure to cover it with cling film before putting it on the lid. Freeze until your ice cream is ready.
Use on Breakfast Items
The reason why vanilla extract is used in baking is that it enhances the flavours of other ingredients like sugar, milk, etc.
Vanilla’s most crucial role is to take the edge off the smell of raw eggs. This is why anything made remotely of raw eggs must have a splash of vanilla extract.
You can use vanilla extract while making pancakes, waffles or pon de rings. It will make your breakfast taste like dessert. You can also use it to make your French toast or add it to your crepe batter. Make your breakfast more fragrant and taste better.
You can also add them to certain mild flavoured jellies to further enhance their flavours. Coconut jelly which has a very subtle sweetness would benefit greatly from the addition of vanilla.
Whether you want to eat caramelized veggies as a side dish or add caramelized mushrooms, there is no better method of enhancing flavour than caramelization! And caramelization and vanilla extract goes hand in hand.
When you are caramelizing your veggies or fruits, adding vanilla extract will enhance the flavour. As the heat breaks down the sugars, the alcohol in the vanilla extract adds an extra kick. So if you use it while caramelizing, it will come out browner and more flavorful.
If you add caramelized fruits to your desserts, Vanilla will make them taste even better. Likewise, if you use vanilla extract to caramelize savoury items like vegetables or even seafood, that could enhance the taste profile of your dishes entirely.
Enhance Hot Drinks
Why let your vanilla extract go to waste when you can add it to your hot beverages? The vanilla flavour is subtle and goes well with many types of drinks. For example, you can add it to your hot chocolate to intensify the taste of your powdered cocoa.
People often add vanilla syrup to their coffee to make a vanilla latte. But sugary syrups are loaded with calories, and you might need to add a lot to get the right flavour. However, if you use vanilla extract instead, you can make a vanilla latte without consuming many calories.
You can also use vanilla extract in other lattes. Anything from peppermint to matcha, you can use Vanilla to add another layer of flavour to any coffee or milk tea.
Flavour Your Cocktails
Cocktails need more flavour to decrease the solid alcoholic taste. Make your homemade cocktails taste better with vanilla extract. You can add it to any cocktail as its subtle essence lets it supplement any flavour.
The vanilla extract works particularly well with hot cocktails. You can add it to a hot toddy, buttered rum, or other slow-simmering and spiced beverages.
One exceptional quality of vanilla extract is how it reduces acidity. As a result, you can use it to take the edge off your sour cocktails and add more sweetness.
Vanilla extract makes any vanilla drink taste more luxurious and smooth. So when you want to make your cocktails sweeter and easier to swallow, adding Vanilla is a sure-fire way to go.
Even when drinking your alcohol straight up, try adding a few drops of vanilla extract for enhanced flavour.
Use for Skin Care
Vanilla is an all-natural ingredient filled with antioxidants. This quality makes it a great addition to your skincare regime.
Vanilla has an organic compound called vanillin, which has antibacterial properties. When applied to the skin topically, it helps reduce acne and prevents new zits from popping up.
You can add vanilla extract to rose oil, rosehip oil, argan oil, or other moisture-retaining oil. Then, apply this concoction on wrinkles to reduce fine lines and different ageing skins. You can also use vanilla oil instead if you are concerned about the alcohol content of your vanilla extract.
You can use it as a skin refresher to reduce dullness and improve complexion. Rub a few drops of vanilla extract directly onto your skin and massage for a few minutes. Then wash it off with cold water. This makes your skin look plump and glowy.
Use for Hair Care
Vanilla extract can also be used in hair care. You can add it to any carrier oil and apply it to your hair, leaving it on for 15 minutes to half an hour. Follow it off by shampooing your hair. You will find that it makes your hair shiny and silky.
Due to its antibacterial properties, you can use it to get rid of dandruff as well. In addition, the essential oil in the extract can increase blood circulation and strengthen your hair.
Always mix your vanilla essence with a carrier oil like coconut oil, argan oil, etc. Then, try adding it to your favourite shampoo or conditioner.
You can also apply a few drops of vanilla essential oil directly to your scalp, leave it in for an hour, then wash it off. Repeat this process a few times a week for the best results.
Create Your Vanilla Fragrance
If you love smelling good and tend to use a lot of perfumes and body spray, you can try creating your fragrance using vanilla extract. The following steps will help you make your article.
What You Will Need:
- Vanilla extract
- Distilled water
- A bottle with an atomizer spray top. Use one made of glass, preferably a refillable cologne bottle.
- A glass jar for mixing
- A funnel
- A dropper
- A spoon
- A measuring cup
- Start by sterilizing the bottle. Bring water to a boil and drop the bottle slowly into the water using tongs. Leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes, but ensure that your glass bottle can handle the heat.
- Make sure the bottle is dry.
- Add ¼ cup of vodka to the glass jar.
- Add 25 drops of vanilla extract. You can also add other essential oils like sweet orange oil, tonka bean oil, etc.
- Swirl it around and let the essence mix in. Keep the jar covered with a lid.
- Open the lid and add 2 tablespoons of distilled water.
- Add 5 drops of glycerine. Give the liquid a swirl.
- Use the funnel to pour the liquid into the cologne bottle. Cap it with the atomizer spray top. Give it a shake when you spray it on. Spray it on your pulse points for a subtle, sweet vanilla scent.
Use to Make a Vanilla Air Freshener
Do you hate the intense and often pungent smell of store-bought air fresheners? Try making vanilla air freshener at home.
What You Need:
- 1½ tablespoons of baking powder
- 4 teaspoons of vanilla extracts
- 3 cups of water
- A clean 1000ml spray bottle
- Add baking powder to the bottle.
- Pour in the water.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Put on the spray lid and shake until everything is mixed up. Give it a try for a lovely vanilla-scented room freshener.
- Add lemon essential oil for a more refreshing scent of lavender essential oil for a relaxing ambience.
Remove Odors from Appliances
Sometimes, the odour tends to linger even after cleaning the fridge or the microwave. Vanilla extract can also be used to remove odour from appliances.
Take a piece of cotton and soak it with vanilla extract. Place it in a small bowl and leave it in your appliance. For your fridge, you can try dropping a few in various corners, and it will take out any lingering odour.
Top 10 Ways to use Vanilla extract
Here’s a summarised list of the best 10 methods of using vanilla extract in your pantry.
- Make vanilla ice cream
- Use on breakfast items
- Enhance Hot Drinks
- Flavour Your Cocktails
- Use for Skin Care
- Use for Hair Care
- Create Vanilla Fragrance
- Make Vanilla Freshener
- Remove Odor from Appliances
Don’t let your bottle of vanilla extract go to waste. Try out all these pleasant uses of vanilla extract. Using vanilla extract regularly will add a subtle sweetness to your life.