Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world, ranking just after saffron as far as cost. Vanilla been used as a flavoring not only in obvious foods like vanilla ice cream, but vanilla is also used as an enhancing flavor in cooking, baking and vanilla is even added to chocolate to give it a richer flavor.
Calories and carbs in vanilla and vanilla extract
Vanilla beans are very low carb, with a single vanilla bean containing only about 1.5 calories in carbohydrates (and no fat or protein).
Vanilla extract is usually made from the synthetic compound vanillin and mixed with alcohol or corn syrup, so vanilla extract can have more calories than vanilla beans. A teaspoon of vanilla extract can have between 10 to 15 calories, mostly from a gram of carbohydrates and the alcohol.
Because both vanilla beans and vanilla extract have such a strong flavor profile, you don’t need to use very much in recipes.
Both vanilla bean and vanilla extract would be fine to use on a keto diet since neither the vanilla bean or vanilla extract would increase your glucose or insulin levels enough to knock you out of ketosis.
Interesting facts about vanilla
Vanilla comes from the pods or beans of the vanilla plant which is a vine that grows in tropical and warmer climates like Madagascar and Mexico. The vanilla flowers last for only about 24 hours and these flowers have to be hand-pollinated in order to produce the vanilla pod and bean.