Vanilla Woes

Vanilla is the one flavour that I thought was safe – right? While the failsafe diet advocates using it sparingly because some kids can be sensitive to it, I wasn’t overly concerned, because the quantities used, I reckoned were too insignificant to matter. With the onset of Easter, some birthdays and the need to fill up morning tea boxes, I used up the last bottle of Queens Vanilla Essence, and so went out and bought another – without looking at the ingredients, because, of course, I have checked it so many times and it was alright? All wrong.

I’d dropped Vanilla Extract sometime ago, due to the high proportion of sugar and alcohol in it. BUt it seems one can’t really win.

With a resurgence of the meaningless sniffles, coughing and sneezing, I started looking into everything, and one post on a forum made me go and look at my new bottle of vanilla essence – and yes, there it was – 202, one of the most virulent preservatives.

vanillalabelWhile 150d and 330 are allowed, 202, a propoinate is most definitely not allowed. So down the drain it went, unfortunately before I read that a good use for it was to wipe down the fridge after cleaning!

Back I went to Woollies, hoping that the natural essence would be free from 202, but no, it wasn’t. The only chance was that the smaller bottles would be free of 202, or are they just not labelled with it due to the 5% law, because of the smaller size are the manufacturers able to get away with NOT reporting it? I won’t be taking risks.

For now, I’m using vanilla beans, expensive as they are, until I make the vanilla vodka that another fedup mum recommended. If I can prevent myself from drinking the vodka in sheer frustration at the hoops we have to jump through to keep chemicals out of our kids.

More on this later.

Meanwhile if you can’t wait for me to wander down to the bottlo, buy vodka and make my own vanilla here is NotQuiteNigella’s recipe http://www.notquitenigella.com/2011/08/24/made-from-scratch-vanilla-extract/

Enjoy and let me know what happens. I suspect that there may be some illicit sipping of vanilla vodka going on in the secret places of your pantry!

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