Did you know that almost 200,000 professional bakers live in the United States?

Whether you’re a professional baker or a hobbyist, using vanilla in baked goods is always a delight. This applies even when using artificial vanilla. It’s more readily available and cheaper, after all.

However, what’s the deal with real vanilla in baking?

We listed some of the reasons to use real vanilla instead. Read on and find out.

1. Superior Quality

Vanilla beans are expensive, as some specialty shops sell them somewhere between $2 and $3 each. The same applies to pure vanilla extract. This varies depending on the quality of beans used for it.

The price is worth your time because you’re getting what you pay for. After all, the best vanilla beans come from places with tropical climates.

Want to know where to find Madagascar vanilla beans? Read this guide for more information.

If you find cheap pure vanilla extract, beware. It’s likely an adulterated extract. Sometimes, it means that the beans have poor quality.

Pure vanilla is also free from sugar or corn syrup. It makes the product last forever. The older the extract, the better it will taste when used for baking.

The reason for this is that pure vanilla ages like fine liquor. It loses the bitterness found in fresh, natural vanilla. It does so without sweeteners.

2. All Natural

Artificial vanilla comes from human-made flavorings. These come from byproducts of wood that contain chemicals. You may notice that bread made from artificial vanilla has a bitter aftertaste.

With natural vanilla, you’re keeping the gentle, subtle flavor. It’s because artificial vanilla has a harsher taste. You need twice the amount of artificial vanilla to match a pure vanilla extract’s strength.

It means pure vanilla extracts have a more natural flavor in lesser amounts. If you aren’t focusing on your baked goods’ vanilla flavoring, it isn’t as important. Otherwise, spending more to get the richer flavor is worth it.

3. Powerful Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Vanilla contains high levels of antioxidants. It helps your body protect its cells better against toxins and other free radicals. The latter is bad news since they aid in breaking your cells and tissues.

Free radicals are a byproduct of the normal functions of your body. They also appear whenever you expose your body to radiation. With natural vanilla on your baking products, you can convert it into a healthier snack.

Antioxidants will help your body repair itself at the molecular level. It makes you less likely to develop certain illnesses, like diabetes and cancer. This also prevents aging, giving your skin more vibrancy.

Inflammation is your body’s response to microbial threats. It becomes unpleasant when it persists for whatever reason. Since vanilla has lots of antioxidants, it helps stop prolonged inflammation.

If you have arthritis, baking with vanilla is beneficial. Eating anti-inflammatory food items with vanilla can get rid of the pain. It’s a good additive to the massage oils you use to soothe your aches.

4. Improves Mood and Cardiovascular Health

Vanilla has an active ingredient, vanillin, that helps decrease bad cholesterol levels. Having high cholesterol levels causes heart illnesses. If you eat bread and cake with vanilla, you’re promoting your heart health.

Also, vanillin can help reduce depression. If you opt for pure vanilla for your baking needs, know that it helps improve your mood.

The effect is significant enough to be comparable to an antidepressant. The best part about pure vanilla is that it carries no side effects.

Take note that vanilla’s antidepressant effects won’t work for every person. However, the rich, pleasant aroma mixed with fresh bread can improve your mood. Studies prove that people who smell vanilla’s fragrance can reduce anxiety.

5. Promotes Healthy Digestion and Weight Loss

Throughout history, people used vanilla in various ways to help with digestion. Baked goods with this scent can calm nauseous feelings. Consider pairing it with herbal tea to soothe gut inflammation and prevent diarrhea.

Since it optimizes digestion, eating bread with real vanilla can help with weight loss. It’s because it contains appetite-suppressing properties. Your body and metabolism become more efficient, supporting your goals to lose weight.

Bonus: Aphrodisiac Properties

Vanilla’s aphrodisiac properties are good for the brain. It goes beyond promoting your libido since it will balance your body’s hormonal levels. It does so by boosting those associated with happiness and love.

When you eat baked products with natural vanilla, you’ll get more oxytocin and dopamine. You’ll feel happier, more lighthearted, and in love. The best part is that the love you feel extends to all things in life.

How to Store Vanilla Beans

Once you have your vanilla beans, it’s time to learn how to store them. After unpacking your beans, wrap them in either wax paper or plastic wrap. Get an airtight glass container and store the beans there.

Squeeze as much air as you can from the container. This prevents the beans from becoming dry.

Some companies store specialized storage containers. These can preserve beans for as long as a year.

Never store your beans in the refrigerator; the cold will dry the beans out. Worse, the abundance of moisture makes a particular mold grow on the vanilla. Store it in a cool, dark place like the pantry or basement instead.

It would help if you also aired the vanilla beans regularly. Remove the beans from their container once every two weeks. This lets the air circulate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Get Real Vanilla Today

These reasons will help you opt for real vanilla instead. Whether you get the beans or the extract, ensure that it has the appropriate quality. It will make your bread taste richer while retaining its health benefits.

Got yourself some real vanilla bean products? Want to put your vanilla to good use? Check out our other blog posts for some great recipes!