If you are a fan of anything flavored with vanilla, you are probably familiar with vanilla bean powders. Perhaps you are more familiar with vanilla extract, in liquid form. If you are not familiar, we can help.
Vanilla comes in liquid extract, powder, and paste. People who are serious about baking also use real vanilla beans in their favorite recipes. Depending on its purity and strength, some variations of vanilla can be reasonably priced to rather expensive.
Vanilla Bean Powder
Unlike its other variations, vanilla bean powder is made directly from the beans with nothing added. You get the flavor and aroma without the added extras that may be in extract or paste.
The vanilla powder can be made from beans or from extract which will have a sugar-based additive to give it the powdered texture. If you want the powder for baking or ice cream, the sugary one will be fine.
It’s perfect for coffee, smoothies, and baking. It won’t add alcohol, liquid, color, or anything that may be present in other forms of vanilla. The better the quality, the less you need to enhance everything you add it to.
Best Tasting Vanilla Bean Powders
If you are not familiar with vanilla bean powder or don’t think you will use it very often, start with a smaller amount that isn’t too expensive. If you use some from your favorite coffee shop, then get the brand you like best.
Native Vanilla Powder
This brand is around the best powders available. It is more pricey than some others, but it is made from pure raw, ground-up Tahitian vanilla beans. It’s not made from extract so there is no added sugar, alcohol, or other additives.
It has a rich aroma and you don’t need very much to get the richest flavor in all your baking, coffee, or smoothies. It is darker in color so it will show up in cakes or other white baked goods.
Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Powder
This vanilla powder is made from extract but it isn’t too sugary. It also doesn’t have an aftertaste of alcohol. It works well in all your baking and tastes great added to smoothies, ice cream, or coffee.
It’s a great trustworthy brand that is gluten-free, as it uses maltodextrin, which is modified corn starch and is less than 20% sugar. It works very well for anything that calls for vanilla extract, however, it is a bit pricier than some.
Cook’s Pure Vanilla Powder
You can enjoy either pure vanilla powder or Cook’s organic powder. Both of their varieties are made from a dextrose base, so they are sweet. No alcohol, no gluten, and they both are made from all-natural beans.
Perfect for ice cream, baking, smoothies, cereal, tea, and coffee. These may be more reasonably priced, depending on where you buy them. The white color of this powder is great for baking as it won’t show.
Wild Vanilla Bean Powder
This vanilla powder is made from hand-harvested whole vanilla beans. The beans are dried, then ground to create a rich dark brown aromatic powder that is full of antioxidants and great flavor.
This powder is pricey and only comes in a small amount. It is delicious and versatile that is raw, unrefined, unprocessed, not sweetened, and made by hand.
Make Your Own
You can be adventurous and make your own vanilla bean powder. Buy the vanilla pods with beans for the extra boost of flavor and aroma.
Dry out your vanilla beans and pods. You can just let them dry on the counter or bake them at the lowest temperature for about an hour.
Once they are brittle, use a coffee or spice grinder to grind them down to a powdery consistency. You can also use a blender or food processor, whatever you have will work.
Store your powder in air-tight containers and they should last you several years, depending on how much you make.
Using Vanilla Bean Powders
You can add vanilla powder to anything that calls for vanilla extract. Put it in your coffee, tea, baking, ice cream, or anywhere you want that blast of vanilla taste.
You can halve the amount you need for a recipe, as the powder will be far more potent than the extract. It also won’t dissipate when cooked or heated. No alcohol, great aroma.
Using vanilla powder works very well in certain savory dishes, as well. Add it to meats, mashed potatoes, breads, and here’s a recipe you might like for using vanilla powder in soup.