Maple Vanilla Baked Pears
This year I gifted homemade vanilla to friends and family. This simple recipe idea was first spurred by a tradition in our home. Pears add in a seasonal fruit to this dish that is easy enough to be baked and taken along to any gathering for a sure-fire dessert and conversation piece.
Not only is homemade vanilla easy to make on your own, it also is cost effective, and all-natural. Compared to what is often purchased in stores, this homemade version is gluten-free, water filler-free, does not contain any artificial colors, or imitation flavors/essences.
The only rare element necessary to make this? Time! Vanilla needs to sit in a dark, dry location for 8-10 weeks to yield optimal flavors!
Vanilla can be used to add a naturally "sweet" flavor profile to oatmeal, coffee, fruit, yogurt/Skyr.
Vanilla contains anti-oxidant properties due to the vanillin and vanillic acid that are contained in the vanilla bean which can protect against inflammation and oxidation of free radicals.
You may be wondering, what the differences in types of vanilla beans are, put quite simply:
Other ways to use your vanilla extract:
-Bug Repellant: Moisten a cloth with ~1 tbsp. Vanilla and wipe onto exposed skin
-Natural Deodorizer (fridge/microwave): Place ~1 tsp. Vanilla into a small bowl, microwave on high for 30 seconds, wipe down interior with a cloth that is dampened with the mixture
-Stress Relief: Add a few drops of vanilla to a mug of hot or warm water for de-stressing aromas that will also help relieve anxiety
Cheers to a happy & healthy 2017!