What to do with vanilla beans that have dried out

Slofoodgroup Team March 26, 2022

There are few more things more soul-depleting for a vanilla enthusiast than reaching for your coveted vanilla bean stash to use in a recipe, only to discover that your plump pods of vanilla richness have dried out since the last time you feasted your eyes on them. If you have recently found yourself in this predicament and are searching for ways to ensure your dehydrated vanilla beans don’t commit vanilla bean blasphemy by letting them go to waste, you’re in luck because we have put together a list of ideas for utilizing vanilla beans with depleted moisture levels. 

6 Uses for Dried Out Vanilla Beans

1. Rehydrate dried out vanilla beans.

Most likely, if you were reaching for your vanilla beans when you discovered they had dried out, you already had an intended purpose for the vanilla caviar inside those pods. In this case, all hope is not lost, you can rehydrate them just as you can with most dehydrated ingredients. Simply submerge them in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes or more. Or, if your intended use included milk or cream, warm those up instead and pour them over your beans 

2. Use dried out vanilla beans to make pure vanilla bean powder.

Vanilla bean powder is a phenomenal ingredient and one we recommend all vanilla bean lovers have on hand. Your dried-out vanilla beans can easily be turned into a fine powder for adding to baked goods, dry rubs, or beverage mixes. Powdered vanilla bean is a fantastic replacement for fresh vanilla seeds or vanilla extract and has the added perk of ensuring there are some nice flecks of vanilla in your finished product. It is an exceptional option for those finicky recipes that can be thrown off with excess moisture. If you’d rather not grind your own vanilla powder, you can find a range of ground vanilla beans here. 

3. Make vanilla simple syrup with dehydrated vanilla beans.

Vanilla simple syrup is essentially using sweetened liquid to draw out the vanilla flavor from beans. Since dehydrated vanilla beans are lacking moisture, not flavor, they are perfectly suitable for creating a flavorful simple syrup to use in cocktails, desserts, and more. Try this recipe for vanilla simple syrup, but instead of cutting and scraping the seeds from the whole, moisture-rich beans, snap your beans in pieces and drop them in. When the syrup is ready, you can strain your beans from the liquid and use them in extract, vanilla sugar, or as a flavoring agent for other recipes. 

4. Make vanilla sugar with your dried vanilla beans.

Vanilla sugar is fantastic for flavoring coffee, rimming cocktail glasses, sprinkled on cookies or donuts and plenty of other options. Use your dehydrated vanilla beans to make one of the two vanilla sugar options here.

5. Use dried vanilla beans to make extract.

If your vanilla beans have dried out and you are willing to wait months for a handmade vanilla extract, there is no reason you can’t include these beans in your concoction. Try our step-by-step instructions for making vanilla extract, here

6. Grind them into your coffee.

Want to gussy up your coffee. Simply grind dried vanilla beans with your beans and you’ve got vanilla-scented ground coffee for your morning brew!

Storing your vanilla beans so they don't dry out in the future: 

Obviously, you didn’t intend to let your gorgeous, plump, whole vanilla beans dry out. We understand that sometimes these things just happen. However, properly storing your beans will help to prevent future orders of vanilla beans from drying out. Here are some tips for storing your vanilla beans—including answers to common vanilla bean storage questions.



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