How to Revive a Dry Vanilla Bean

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How to Revive Dry Vanilla Beans

Welcome to part 2 of the vanilla bean tutorials. In the first tutorial you learned how to split and seed a vanilla bean.

Vanilla beans are pricey! So when my vanilla beans started getting dry, throwing them out wasn’t an option. Instead, I started searching for how to revive a dry vanilla bean.  I found a few different methods and tried a few of them.

I tried to use a dry crusty vanilla bean.  This is what it looks like to try to  scrape a dry bean. It’s pretty futile. I’m getting pieces of the husk with the seeds and very few seeds are even coming out.

IMG_6696

The vanilla bean must be revived, right?

The first method I tried to help the bean was to microwave it in a damp paper towel. I microwaved a lot and didn’t really end up with a nice supple vanilla bean. I did explode one, however. It was better than the completely dry bean, but not much. The method was to microwave for a few seconds at a time. I did 10 seconds about 5 times.

The second method was the winner! It does take time, however. I took my vanilla bean and dropped it in my bottle of vanilla extract. It was a symbiotic relationship. The vanilla extract got vanilla-ier and the bean sucked up some moisture. The bean, after a few days, was plump and easy to split and scrape. In fact, the bean shown in the splitting and seeding tutorial was the bean that I had soaked in the extract.

This is a photo of the three different beans. No intervention, microwaved and soaked in vanilla extract. As you can see, there is a pretty major difference! (The soaked bean was probably longer to begin with. I don’t think it grew lengthwise, just plumped up.)

 Vanilla Bean Comparison

I hope this helps. Now go make something yummy!

 


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