Live Superfoods Vanilla Beans, Organic
- USDA Organic
Live Superfoods raw, organic vanilla beans are harvested by hand and sun-cured to provide unsurpassed quality. This exquisite gift from nature can be used to flavor endless culinary creations - nothing beats the rich flavor and intoxicating aroma of organic vanilla beans! Prefer organic vanilla bean powder? Learn more here.
Live Superfoods Organic Vanilla Beans
Nothing equals the complex aroma and dark, robust flavor of organic vanilla beans!
This exquisite gift from nature can be used to flavor endless culinary creations, and its rich, pleasing scent can calm the nerves as well as excite the senses. Our raw, organic vanilla beans are hand harvested and sun-cured to provide unsurpassed quality. Sourced from Papau New Guinea.
Vanilla Is Used To:
- Flavor foods, beverages, and medicines
- Scent perfumes and other body care and household products
- Promote sexual arousal
- Decrease anxiety
- Reduce nausea
Use it in your favorite recipes, blended creations, and beverages to impart a delicious flavor and wonderful aroma.
These vanilla beans are Grade A and can be used to make extracts.
Vanilla beans—actually whole pods with the beans inside—are easy to use and add a wonderful hit of intense vanilla taste to any recipe that would normally use vanilla extract (substitute one pod for each teaspoon extract). Here’s how to prepare and use a whole vanilla bean pod.
1. Lay a vanilla bean pod flat on a cutting board (unfold if necessary). Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut off the hard, dried tip; then make a slit down the entire length of the pod.
2. Fold the edges back, revealing the pasty vanilla beans—each smaller than a grain of sand.
3. Use the back of your knife, or a spoon, to scrape the entire length of the bean, capturing all those tasty beans in a small blob.
4. Chop the scraped pod into 1-inch pieces and add it to a cup of sugar; over several days, it will flavor the sugar nicely (mix every so often to distribute flavor). Or add to plain vodka and let sit for several weeks, stirring occasionally, to make your own vanilla extract.
Vanilla beans are native to tropical areas and have been cultivated for both their flavor and their healing properties since Meso American times. The Totonaca people of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, probably the first to cultivate vanilla, continue to revere it as a sacred plant given to them by the gods. The Mayans, and later the Aztecs, used vanilla as an essential ingredient in their famous chocolate drink, Chocolatl, and it is still used to flavor many chocolates.
There are many species of vanilla thriving around the world; about 110 species have been catalogued since the discovery of vanilla. The plant that produces the vanilla bean is an orchid. The family to which the species belongs is Orchidaceae, one of the largest families of flowering plants in the world. There are 700 genera in the family Orchidaceae and approximately 20,000 species. Orchids are best known for their beautiful flowers, which are economically valuable to the horticultural industry. However, vanilla is the only genus that has economic importance as a food source.
Today, vanilla is used not only as a flavoring in foods, beverages, and medicines but also as a fragrance in perfumes and other scented products, from body care to candles and air fresheners. It has long been credited with aphrodisiac qualities, and recent research has shown the effectiveness of its scent in increasing arousal in mature men.
As a medicine, vanilla has been used for centuries as a stimulant as well as, paradoxically, a treatment for hysteria and nervousness. The fragrance of heliotropin a sweet, vanilla-like scent has now been shown to reduce anxiety in patients undergoing medical procedures such as MRIs and CAT scans. Vanilla has historically been used as a calmative to overcome nausea, and its scent recently has been found to reduce intake of sweet foods.
To use the vanilla bean in your favorite recipes, you can split it open lengthwise, scrape out the thousands of tiny black seeds, and add them to your dish. Many people, however, prefer to just grind the whole bean in a spice or coffee grinder, for use in recipes. And to add rich vanilla flavor to your blended creations, just cut the bean into small pieces and add them to the mix in your VitaMix or other powerful blender.
Immerse the whole bean in beverages, such as tea or juices, to impart a delicious flavor and aroma you can even use the same bean several times. Ground beans can be used to provide additional flavor to ice creams or a wide variety of foods. They are especially good in recipes using our cacao beans, such as fudge, nut butters, and chocolate shakes.