Fragrant, flavourful vanilla. I love it. I have been experimenting with vanilla salt and my own vanilla extract as welcome additions to my pantry staples. These more unusual but easy to create items add something really special to an elegant whole food plant based recipe repertoire.
For the salt, I took a couple of vanilla pods, slit them half way through and scraped out the tiny black seeds. Then popped seeds and all into about 1 cup of pink Himalayan salt. The salt picks up the fragrance quite quickly so you can begin to use it almost straight away. Since I have had the vanilla salt in the pantry I have sprinkled it on pineapple and strawberries and added it to a cilantro chutney. Many more uses will emerge in the coming weeks.
The vanilla extract needs some good quality vodka, a small jar and two vanilla pods. Again in this first foray into the world home made vanilla delights I just scraped the seeds into the vodka and then added the beans. Screw the lid on tight and keep it in a dark place for a couple of weeks. Give it a good shake now and then. And voila, my own home made vanilla extract. I do believe it works just as well for vanilla salt and the vanilla extract to use the empty beans after the seeds have been used for another dish.
This is a photo (below) of the vanilla extract after 1 week. It will continue to darken. Hmmm … how shall I test it. Perhaps vegan chocolate and walnut cookies.