Lillian Uncovers the Mysteries of Vanilla Extract, Maple Syrup, and Arrowroot Powder
Oct 11, 2012, Updated May 11, 2016
Vanilla Extract Facts
Vanilla Extract is one of those ingredients that I initially thought about as a whole. It is such a basic ingredient that I didn’t really think about where it came from or what it was made of. As if it was just pulverized vanilla bean somehow made liquid. But I’ve learned the error of my ways. Just try to buy some vanilla extract in a conventional store (as opposed to a health food store), and you’ll find pretty quickly that vanilla extract is more complicated than you thought.
So here are the basics:
- The cheap stuff tends to have sweetener in it which is gross and unnecessary. So buyer beware!
- It’s mostly alcohol.
- The distilling process removes the gluten from alcohol, but I’m paranoid, so I only buy vanilla extract that states clearly that it is gluten-free.
- It’s crazy-easy to make, it just takes a long time. Which may be why I haven’t made any yet. But it’s on my list.
What’s the Difference Between Grade A & Grade B Maple Syrup?
I love maple syrup. I love maple candy. I love maple sugar. However the maple syrup grades in the grocery store never made any sense to me. It’s always seemed like Grade B is the tastier grade, so shouldn’t it get the A? And what’s the difference between them anyway?
What is Arrowroot Powder?
It’s a starch made from a root (called the arrowroot) that is ground into a fine white powder. It is good for digestion, and is a fantastic corn starch replacement for those of us who avoid corn for one reason or another.