If you're like me and you love to bake, then you probably go through this ingredient at a quick clip.  I'm always looking for some of the best because it really makes a difference in the flavor of what your baking.  Depending on the quality, it can get spendy.  But again, it's a key ingredient.

The good news for us here in Minnesota is that we don't have to go far to get this ingredient, because it's being made right here!  I'm talking about Vanilla.  The gold standard of which comes from Madagascar.

Photo by YouTube vi KARE 11
Photo by YouTube vi KARE 11
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Now, there is only one company in the world  that can claim the highest organic standard and it's right here in Minnesota.  The Vanilla Bean Project in Lakeland is the first vanilla company to achieve Regenerative Organic Certified status for pure vanilla extract.

Photo by VanillaBeanProject via Amazon.com
Photo by VanillaBeanProject via Amazon.com
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Good news too is that they are using vanilla beans from Madagascar and Indonesia. Owners Andy and Sara Kubiak started out wanting to make vanilla better.  In an interview with KARE 11 they said that now they want to make the best vanilla.

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I add extra vanilla to a lot of my baking because I love the taste and believe it can enhance the flavor of what you're baking.  And great vanilla aids in making great cinnamon caramel rolls, like these that I made over the holidays!

Photo by Brooks O'Brian
Photo by Brooks O'Brian
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The Vanilla Bean Project started out selling their product at farmers markets but it has since grown by leaps and bounds. They do small bottles for retail in stores but they also work with food manufacturers providing their product to them in bulk.

Important to the company too is raising awareness of labor issues and concerns for workers rights.  So gaining Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) status backs up those concerns because ROC takes into account those very issues including farmworker fairness.

You can find Vanilla Bean Project products in stores - check the store locator on their website, order directly through their website or from Amazon.

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