Tuesday, 12 April 2016

5 Uses for Vanilla Beans

Today I have five uses for vanilla beans.  I have friends who bring me back organic vanilla beans when they go to Papua New Guinea, much cheaper than you can normally get them in Australia, which I love, and when I've gone to PNG in the past, one of the top things to buy as I leave are definitely vanilla beans!
So here are the 5 ways I use vanilla beans
1.  Split one open length ways and boil in chai tea, sit in brewed coffee and or hot chocolate, oh yummy!
2. Steep five cut (lengthways) beans in 250ml of vodka in an old maple syrup bottle, and use this as vanilla essence.  This is the real stuff and little bottles of this make great presents. This can be added to tea, cakes, ice cream, whipped cream, custard, anything you like really.  I stopped using the fake vanilla essence from the shops when I discovered that it came from a beaver's anal glands.  Hmm yuk, no thanks.
If I can afford to, I make my vanilla essence in bulk,
directly in the vodka bottle.
3. Leave the beans out to dry in the sun for several weeks, put in the dehydrator or oven to dry and then grind up in a blender, pour into jar and use as vanilla sprinkles, for all of the above mentioned foods. 
4. Boil them with milk in rice custard, or just milk for a shake, though I prefer to use the ground up bits, or a splash of the vodka, for less wastage. 
5. Steep in a carrier oil, eg jojoba or almond for 6 weeks to make a scented massage oil. 
Do you have any other uses for vanilla beans?

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