Vanilla Beans and Homemade Extract

I love vanilla beans.  Probably one of my favorite discoveries.  I remember trying straight vanilla extract as a kid and how wonderful it smelled yet tasted terrible.

A couple of years ago I got my first vanilla beans.  They aren’t cheap, but neither is good vanilla.

There are a few things to know and to do with vanilla beans. For starters there  is no waste.  If using in a recipe you will procure the seeds but the remaining pod is full of flavor and likely still brimming with seeds so there is plenty to do with it.

As a general rule an inch of vanilla bean is equal to a teaspoon of vanilla.  Of course as with any spice it will vary by quality.  In bean form though you get a very good product to work with so use accordingly.

The easiest way to harvest the seeds is to cut to desired length and make a slit down the middle.  Using a dull knife or spoon scrape the seeds from the bean and add to recipe.

Now what to do with the rest of the bean.  I personally keep a jar of vodka with all of the bean remnants; I use that anytime I just need some simple vanilla extract for a recipe. You can though add the bean to some sugar for some vanilla infused sugar or simply toss into a potpourri mix.  What ever you do; don’t thow it out!  There is so much good flavor and smell left that you really should enjoy every last bit.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s