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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > March 2016 > What’s the Deal with… Vanilla

What’s the Deal with… Vanilla

It’s not just a great ice-cream flavour, but this naturally sweet spice makes a healthy stand-in for sugar, as well as a flavour booster in savoury dishes


It’s a spice that comes from the only edible fruit-bearing orchid, grown in tropical regions – so, not surprisingly, vanilla is the world’s second most expensive spice, after saffron. Production is labour-intensive, with each flower hand pollinated when it opens just once a year. The beans (or pods) are then sun-dried and cured.

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About Healthy Food Guide

This month our experts advise on looking after your gut health, the foods that can ease menopause symptoms, and whether the low fat diet is still relevant. Plus, we share the latest research on coconut oil, tasty lower sugar bakes and innovative ways to use up your leftover roast