Subscribe Here To Get Updates on Giveaways and New Posts!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Cooking With Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Can you notice the difference in your cooking when you use real, organic, high quality products versus the cheaper alternatives? I definitely can, especially when it comes to real vanilla. Most products that say they are "vanilla" use an artificial vanilla flavor called vanillin, which is made from wood pulp. Gross! Real vanilla, like the kind from Nielsen-Massey, makes all the difference!

Family owned and operated, Nielsen-Massey has been creating quality vanilla and pure flavor products since 1907. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans.

This is what really caught my attention about Nielsen-Massey products. They don't just go for the easiest cheapest manufacturing processes. With their vanilla extracts, they use a proprietary cold extraction process instead of heat extraction. This process gently extracts vanilla's essential oils, preserving the more than 300 distinctive flavor compounds present in the beans. By protecting their vanilla from heat, they ensure that even its subtlest flavors survive extraction. Cold extraction is a more delicate, longer process that takes weeks instead of days, but they care too much about producing the finest flavor to risk losing any of the complexity and robustness of the original bean. Plus, they examine all their vanilla–bundle by bundle, bean by bean–to ensure each bean meets their high standards.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
My favorite way to use Nielsen-Massey vanillas is in my chocolate chip cookies. Hmmmm...they taste so much better! But, I recently realized you can use vanilla for so much more - even savory dishes, marinades, and rubs.

One more tip I have to share is going to make everyone ask what your secret ingredient is. Any time you want to make your favorite chocolate desserts stand apart from the rest, use Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract! Holy cow - that stuff is so good! Find this extract and all other Nielsen-Massey products at a store near you!

I loved trying out their delicious Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract in this refreshing recipe for Fresh Basil Tomato Soup. Before I share this tasty recipe with you, make sure you check out all the other sweet and savory recipes on Nielsen-Massey's website.

Fresh Basil Tomato Soup - Serves 4
Fresh Basil Tomato Soup
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely diced carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried organic Italian seasoning
2 cups (or more) organic chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Sauté the onion and carrots in the butter in a large saucepan until the onion is translucent. Stir in the flour and Italian seasoning until heated. Add 2 cups chicken stock gradually, stirringly constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, vanilla extract, basil, salt and white pepper. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional stock if desired and cook until heated through.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the Parmesan cheese.

Note: A chiffonade refers to a method of stacking the basil leaves and finely shredding them with a sharp chef knife.

*Cara was provided products to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.*


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great recipe. I think we'll be trying it this week. :)

  3. I haven't tried Nielsen Massey extracts, but I want to! I was just nosing around Penzey's, seeing what they have. I don't think I would put vanilla in tomato soup - bourbon or not, you are adventuresome!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Your thoughts and tips are what make this blog shine!