Vanilla is one of the most popular flavors in the world and is generally known for its sweet taste. But do you know if the vanilla extract is keto? If you don’t know, then let’s find out!
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron. It is an industry that moves billions of dollars a year.
Why is vanilla extract so unique? Can you use it on a ketogenic diet? Let’s see all the important things about this popular product.
I am sure that after reading this article, you will want to add this magnificent seasoning to your kitchen pantry!
What Is Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract has been around for a long time and has a lot of history behind it.
Vanilla originates in Mexico and is currently cultivated in plantations on the Indian Ocean and Madagascar islands.
Today Madagascar is known for its quality vanilla beans and is the primary producer of vanilla.
Vanilla extract is made from natural vanilla beans that have been soaked in a liquid (usually ethyl alcohol) to extract the vanilla flavor. The alcohol combination used can be varied, but the most common is a solution of 35% food-grade alcohol and 65% water.
In the United States, for a vanilla extract to be called pure, it must be a solution containing a minimum percentage of alcohol (35%) and at least 100 grams of vanilla beans per liter.
The flavor of the vanilla bean is a complex mixture of 250+ different chemical components which are extracted into the liquid during the curing process. It’s what gives vanilla extract its robust, distinctive scent and delicious flavor.
Vanilla Extract is a great addition to desserts, like ice cream and baked goods like cakes, cookies, brownies, and cupcakes.
Pure vanilla extract has a strong aromatic flavor. This distinguishes it from artificial vanilla flavors.
Some cooks make their own extract by buying whole vanilla beans, cutting them open, and putting them in a bottle of vodka or brandy for several weeks to steep.
Check here how to make Carbquik pancakes!
Is Vanilla Extract Keto-friendly?
Yes. Pure Vanilla extract is an ingredient used in many keto-friendly recipes.
It’s considered keto because it’s a concentrated form of vanilla that doesn’t have added sugars or carbs, making it low in carbs because it contains 1.27 grams of net carbs per 10g serving.
Also, only a small amount of vanilla extract is needed for most recipes, so the carbs load is not increased substantially.
If you are following a keto diet, it is recommended to limit your net carb intake to 20g – 30 grams of carbs per day to stay in ketosis.
Either way, always remember to read food labels for nutritional information.
Don’t forget that there may be artificial vanilla extract with other ingredients added, like sugar or corn syrup, which would change the macros.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Vanilla Extract?
Native Central Americans considered vanilla beans a gift from the gods and believed they had medicinal properties. Ancient Mayan physicians used vanilla to treat stomach disorders, digestive ailments, gout, and fever.
The essential oil extracted from vanilla beans can be used to naturally boost your mood, relax your body and mind, and treat various health conditions.
The distinctive scent of vanilla extract is said to cure anxiety and depression by triggering the release of happiness hormones in the brain. It is also believed to improve digestion, alleviate inflammation, enhance libido, and lower blood pressure.
To help with weight loss, you can use vanilla extract as a sugar substitute to consume fewer carbohydrates and reduce blood sugar levels.
Studies have also shown that vanilla extract has antioxidant properties that protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, leading to severe diseases like cancer.
Here are some of the potential benefits of vanilla extract:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Provide relief from menstrual cramps
- Help with indigestion and bloating
- Prevent infections
- It May help prevent cancer
- Strengthen the immune system
How to make your own vanilla extract
You can find vanilla extract in almost any grocery store.
But if you want to guarantee the highest quality, making your own homemade vanilla extract is a good thing.
Split three or four vanilla bean pods in half lengthwise and place them in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Pour vodka over the beans until the jar is full, covering the pods completely.
Close the jar and shake it vigorously several times. Set aside for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking daily.
Keto Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups vodka
- 4 to 7 Vanilla beans
- Pour the vodka in a small bottle with a tight fitting cap.
- Slice open the vanilla beans to expose the filling. Place inside the bottle with the vodka. Close with the lid and shake.
- Place in a dark and cool place for 3 to 4 weeks. Shake every week.
Does All Vanilla Extract Taste The Same
The answer is no. Vanilla extract is only as good as the vanilla beans that it’s made from and the process used to make it.
The best vanilla extract comes from the whole vanilla bean. The minute you start adding any other ingredients, you’re changing the flavor of the extract, which means you’re altering what goes into your recipes, including the carbs consumption.
For example, corn syrup is often added to imitation vanilla extract to cut costs. But this syrup is not only unnecessary; it also has added sugar and syrupy flavor that can change the taste of your desserts.