As we celebrate the holiday season, many of us will spend more time baking various tasty treats. This time of the year is full of family traditions. Baking unique dessert items is often one of these traditions that the entire family looks forward to. Chances are somebody in your family has a secret (or perhaps not so secret) recipe that is only brought out once or twice per year and is a big part of what makes these holiday get-togethers so special and memorable. If you are responsible for your family’s holiday dessert, you’re going to want to make sure your pantry is stocked with all the necessary ingredients ahead of time.
Whether you are baking a cake, a pie, muffins, or something else there typically are a bunch of ingredients that are staples. Things like flour, sugar, and baking powder are common in most baking recipes. Vanilla extract is another flavorful ingredient that has great versatility and is considered an essential ingredient for many baked goods. Vanilla extract is a solution made from softening vanilla pods in a solution of water and ethanol. The resulting brown extract contains vanillin along with a complex mix of other flavor compounds giving it a richer flavor than artificial vanilla flavoring which typically only contains vanillin. As with most things, buying organic vanilla extract will be your best bet for flavor, quality, and health.
Bake Your Next Masterpiece With These Organic Vanilla Extracts
- Fair Trade Organic Vanilla Extract by Rodelle– This USDA organic vanilla extract is made from hand-pollinated organic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans along with water and organic alcohol. The beans are responsibly sourced from Madagascar and the extract is made in a wind-powered facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. A portion of the proceeds from the vanilla extract sales benefits the vanilla bean farmers directly by investing in education, food security, and medical care.
- Certified Organic Pure Vanilla Extract by Simply Organic- This vanilla extract is USDA certified organic, made from Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans and comes in a glass bottle. It is free from added sugar or added artificial flavors of any kind.
- Organic Vanilla Extract by Frontier Co-Op- This premium USDA organic vanilla extract is made by a member-owned co-op in the USA. The brand is committed to ethically and responsibly sourcing all its ingredients for its many spices. They report giving back 4% of their pre-tax profit to social causes.
- Organic Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract by Lafaza- This USDA organic vanilla extract has a full-bodied unique flavor. It is made from ethically sourced organic vanilla beans directly from Madagascar along with water and organic alcohol. Lafaza has been independently owned and operated since 2005 and has a strong commitment to sustainability and fair trade.
If your holiday dessert recipe calls for vanilla extract, you can’t go wrong with one of the USDA organic options listed above. Choosing an organic vanilla extract will help ensure your dessert is made from the healthiest and most flavorful ingredients. Additionally, your choice of vanilla extract is an opportunity for you to show your support for a good cause as the brands listed above are all involved in helping to support and improve the lives of the vanilla bean farmers. In addition to being used in things like cake, pie, or brownies, vanilla extract can be incorporated into some savory dishes as well. For example, you may be interested in adding vanilla extract to your mashed potatoes recipe.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses vanilla? Share it with the HomeOrganic community by leaving a comment, or share it with us.