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Uses for pure vanilla extract?

HI I have a large bottle of pure vanilla extract and I don't bake that often. Where else can I use it? Can I pour it directly in beverages like coffee, tea, smoothies, etc ? Other suggestions?

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  1. as long as a smidge of alcohol would be approriate as the flavor of the bean was most likely extracted with alcohol. Fruit salad would be another use. Fruit salsa. I add a small amount to a sweet pepper and tomato sauce and some spices that I slow cook with rum and a little mollasess and serve over pork

    1. lobster with vanilla beurre blanc pops up now and again, and i could also see incorporating it into carribbean type dishes, with spices and maybe rum.

      don't know how much you have, but a little goes a long way.

      1. Plain yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes come to mind. I suppose you could pour some in coffee or tea but I personally think vanilla extract would overwhelm. I would add a little to hot chocolate though...

        1. Add it to the egg mixture for French toast, along with a little cinnamon and nutmeg.

          1. If it's from Mexico ... throw it away! Otherwise ... plenty of great suggestions already here. Keep it in a dark place and rebottle it to glass if it's now in a plastic bottle.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kodothedrum

              Not all Mexican vanilla is bad; in fact, I have a WONDERFUL bottle of Mexican vanilla in my pantry that a friend brought back for me. The label on the bottle says, "This product does not contain coumarin."

            2. I like half a tsp. of vanilla in a tall glass of milk. It's a nice change of pace, especially if there is someone in your household (me, in mine!) who doesn't like milk.

              It's also a fine addition to coffee (I put it in the pot and let the coffee brew onto it) and shakes directly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AnnaEA

                Mmmmm vanilla milk. Great stuff.

              2. Thanks. Great suggestions!

                1. Apply directly to bruises. Reduces swelling.

                  1. I occassionally make a vinaigrette with a touch of vanilla for a lovely salad with pears and toasted nuts.

                    1. I use it in my morning coffee and afternoon earl grey tea.
                      I have tried many vanillas and find Mexican to please me the most, I brought back bottles and bottles of Vainilla Tecul.

                      I also use it as a perfume:
                      Just put a dab of vanilla extract on each wrist. You'll smell delicious, and many people find the scent of vanilla to be very relaxing.

                      It also suprisingly repels bugs:
                      Everybody likes the smell of vanilla. Everybody but bugs, that is. Dilute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract with 1 cup water and wipe the mixture on your exposed skin to discourage mosquitoes, blackflies, and ticks.

                      Enjoy :)

                      1. add some to your pancake mix or waffles

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gdmorning

                          Here is a great recipe that uses 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla. It is from the April 4, 2004 edition of the New York Times.

                          Shrimp with Vanilla
                          Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours marinating

                          1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
                          3 large cloves garlic, minced
                          1 medium onion, finely chopped
                          31/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
                          1 teaspoon salt or to taste
                          1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                          1 tablespoon unslated butter
                          1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
                          1/2 jalepeno chili, seeded and minced
                          11/2 cups chicken stock, boiled down to 3/4 cup
                          3/4 cup dry white wine
                          1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
                          2 Hass avacados, peeled, seeded and sliced
                          4-6 cilantro sprigs
                          Steamed white rice for serving

                          1. Place shrimp in a bowl and add garlic, onion, 2 T vanilla, salt and pepper.
                          Toss, cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

                          2. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add jalapeno, and when it starts to soften, add shrimp and marinade. Add remaining vanilla extract. Saute, stirring, until shrimp turns pink. Remove shrimp to a warm serving dish and cover with foil.

                          Add stock and wine to skillet and cook over high heat, stirring about five minutes until liquid is reduced and thickened to the consistency of light cream. Add lime juice and sitr, then pour sauce over shrimp. Garnish dish with avacado slices, cilantro and serve with rice.