You’ve got one, we’ve got one, pretty much everyone has one too! Yes, we’re talking about our trusted bottle of vanilla extract that is a pantry staple in just about every kitchen and home. Be it top chefs from Michelin Star restaurants or even modest home bakers and cooks, pure vanilla extract is one indispensable ingredient that is worth having. The culinary applications of vanilla are numerous and no one can deny the sublime sweetness, nuance and opulence that pure vanilla brings to a dish.
But did you know that vanilla can be used in ways you didn’t know before? That’s right, keep reading and be prepared for some surprises to add to the charm and whimsy of this delightful elixir from the lap of Mother Nature.
Here are a few surprising, simple and superb ways to use vanilla in our day to day life:
Care for your Skin and Hair:
Pure vanilla extract is packed with a compound known as Vanillin that has great antibacterial properties and skin-nourishing antioxidants. From calming acne to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, vanilla does it all. Simply apply the extract on your face, massage in and rinse away for glowing, rejuvenated skin. Add a few drops to your toner or face mist to refresh skin and bid farewell to dullness. Along with smelling divine, vanilla makes for a great addition to hair care. Mix in a few drops of extract to a mild hair oil and massage it in, Rinse with cold water and voila, silky, smooth hair.
Sweeten Up Your Home:
Who wouldn’t love a home that smells of sweet vanilla that also keeps odour and unpleasant smells away? A nifty way to use vanilla is to smear it onto your lightbulbs. The heat and warmth from the bulb will help diffuse the fragrance more and keep your home smelling as lovely as it looks. You can also deodorize your microwave and get rid of pungent and pesky food smells by simply microwaving a bit of extract on high heat. This will freshen up not just your oven but your kitchen too.
We’re all aware about what vanilla adds to dishes, but what about beverages and cocktails? The mellow sweetness of this treasured spice blends beautifully with spiced liquors such as rum and aged liquors such as whiskey and bourbon. A dash of vanilla extract goes a long way in adding a luscious smoothness and opulent aroma and flavour, that no other ingredient can boast of. Vanilla is renowned and used by mixologists across the world today and continues to add delight to a bevy of beverages.
A fresh coat of paint is always welcome, but the lingering smell of strong, industrial paint – not so much. Before painting the walls of your home or living space, simply add a spoonful of vanilla extract to the can and mix well before painting to cut through the harsh smell and leave behind a pleasing aroma in your home.
While vanilla is an indispensable ingredient to add flavour to your baked goods, did you know that it works wonderfully well to mask the smell of another important yet sometimes overpowering ingredient? Yes, we’re talking about eggs! Vanilla extract is the perfect way to mask ‘eggy-ness’ in all your favourite bakes goods while adding an irresistible aroma.
Soothe your Burns:
The next time you accidentally burn yourself while cooking, simply reach out for your bottle of vanilla extract. Natural vanilla has calming properties that help alleviate minor burns and can be applied on to the affected area with a cotton swab for quick relief.
Not many can resist the fragrance of pure vanilla, but it’s quite the opposite with bugs and such pests. For an effective and DIY bug repellent, simply shake up some vanilla extract with water and spray on to skin to keep pesky pests away. Bonus: you’ll end up smelling great too!
Perfect for Perfumery:
This one is not so surprising, but vanilla has been around in the perfume industry for ages. This naturally sweet fragrance with woody undertones is widely used in perfumery and aromatherapy and blends beautifully with other notes such as citrus and florals too. Try it yourself by dabbing a few drops of pure extract onto your pulse points, or shake up a mixture of vanilla, neutral alcohol and glycerine for a refreshing body mist that will last all day long.
Stubborn Stain Remover:
Yes, this is a surprising one, but this exotic ingredient can be used even to clean up a few spots and stubborn stains, especially from stickers or sticky tape. Dab a few drops of vanilla extract onto a cloth and wipe the area well to get rid of otherwise stubborn stains.
Luxury in a bottle:
Vanilla is a bit like a genie in a bottle, it’s pure magic! A few drops in your favourite warm beverage, such as coffee, hot chocolate and more adds a luxury and lusciousness like no other. Even savoury condiments such as tomato sauce or barbeque sauce can be amped up with a dash of vanilla.
Are you as surprised as us about these unique and wonderful ways to use beloved vanilla extract? Do try them out and let us know what you think. And, if you are looking for the purest vanilla extract around, look no further than Goodness Vanilla. Our all-natural Vanilla Extract is delightfully sensuous and smooth and makes for a great pantry staple, for culinary purposes and otherwise.