Vanilla, Calories, benefits and harms, Useful properties

Vanilla is a perennial vine from the orchid family.

Plants have climbing stems with aerial roots, which
it clings to the trunks and branches of tall trees, rising
to the top of their crown. The flowers are large, greenish-white.
Open up – only for one day and pollinated by small
bees that live only in the homeland of vanilla – in
Mexico. Currently, vanilla is mainly bred
in Madagascar, and also cultivated in all countries
Caribbean, South America, Sri Lanka.

Vanilla is propagated by cuttings that are planted on
special plantations with artificial supports or
specially planted small trees of different types.
Pollination of plants is carried out artificially. Bears fruit
vanilla for the third year. Fruits are pod-pods long
in 15-25 cm and a width of 4-8 cm, they are plucked unripe.
So that they do not have time to open up, they are immersed for 20 minutes
in hot (80-85 °) water, then fermented for a week
in woolen blankets at 60 °. As a result, the pods acquire
aroma and brown color. Then they are dried for 1-5
months outdoors before white bloom appears.

High quality vanilla pods should be soft,
elastic, slightly curled, oily to the touch,
dark brown with small, barely noticeable white
crystals on the surface.

So that the aroma does not evaporate, the spice is stored in a special
airtight packaging. There are cases when
the vanilla flavor lasted for 36 years.

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Vanilla is usually used in powder form. For this
it is ground with sugar (1 stick per 0,5 kg of sugar).

Nowadays, natural vanilla is mainly replaced by
an artificial substitute for it – vanilla. However the scent
real vanilla is much richer as a result of natural
balance between natural vanillin and small doses
other aromatic components contained in fruits
this exotic plant.

Vanilla tastes bitter, so before drinking
it is thoroughly ground into powder in a porcelain mortar
together with powdered sugar. Then that vanilla sugar
can already be used. For its preparation by 0,5
kilograms of sugar take 1 stick of vanilla. And for sprinkling
confectionery, you can use sugar, with which
one jar contained unmilled vanilla – its
with a smell, it will quickly saturate all the sugar.

Vanilla powder or vanillin is used exclusively
for making puddings, creams, pies, cookies.
It goes especially well with curd and milk-curd
dishes and fillings, milk and milk-chocolate
drinks and cocktails. Use it in cooking
various types of pastry, biscuit and all kinds of
blanks for cakes, as well as for flavoring compotes,
in which the fruits do not have their own pronounced aroma.

Vanillin is also used in the confectionery industry as
aromatic additives in the manufacture of chocolate and various types
sweets to which cocoa powder is added or glazed with chocolate.

Natural vanilla is found not only in the pods of the plant, it
is also formed when cognac is aged in oak barrels as a result
enzymatic oxidation of coniferyl alcohol contained in
oak riveting. That is why aged cognac contains 10-15
times more vanillin than young.

Calorie content of vanilla

Vanilla has a high calorie content. 100 g of product accounts for
288 kcal. Therefore, you should not get carried away with the addition of this spice.
during cooking, because this can lead to the appearance
overweight and obesity.

Nutritional value per 100 grams:

Proteins, g Fats, g Carbohydrates, g Ash, g Water, g Caloric value, kcal 0,05 0,05 12,65 0,25 52,6 288

The beneficial properties of vanilla

Vanilla fruits contain glycoside, glucovanillin,
essential oil (0,5-0,8%), mucous and tannins.
When fermented, glucovanillin is broken down into vanillin
and glucose. The main aroma of vanilla is
vanillin-4-hydroxy-XNUMX-methoxylbenzaldehyde. Its content
fluctuates within 0,75-2,9% (up to 12,5%).

In folk medicine, vanilla is used for fever,
dyspepsia, chlorosis, disorders of the nervous system, mental
diseases, drowsiness, rheumatism. Valued as a remedy
exciting and stimulating muscle activity.

Vanilla aroma is used in aromatherapy. It promotes
restoration of appetite. Seasoned anglers say that
even fish bite on chocolate with vanilla. The aroma of this spice removes
irritation and soothes, bringing a sense of soul
comfort. Vanilla is also used in perfumery – without
oriental flavors are impossible for her.

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Dangerous properties of vanilla

With all its taste and pleasant smell, vanilla remains a spice,
which has a specific and persistent intoxicating smell.
And excessive consumption can cause allergic

Although the abuse of natural vanilla is very often practically
unrealistic due to its high cost. Therefore, the danger is
various synthetic substitutes. The market is full at the moment
various varieties of vanillin, vanilla sugar, and
many extracts and essences. The content in them is synthetic
aldehyde and essential oils can be different, which in turn is completely
contraindicated for the body. As practice has shown, synthetic
vanilla has an extremely corrosive and persistent smell. Shouldn’t be long
be in rooms where there is a smell of vanillin, because this is
often leads to headaches, dizziness and other temporary

Video recipe on how to make vanilla nut pudding.

See also properties of other plants:

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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