One of the greatest items you can have on hand is vanilla beans because it is usually used in a lot of sweet recipes and they can also be used for homemade vanilla. When you know the various things vanilla beans are used for, you will be left surprised.
The question you may have in mind is how you can preserve vanilla beans, perhaps, if you can freeze them. You may also be wondering how you will use them after you have frozen them. Vanilla beans can be frozen but this is not an ideal thing to do. Peradventure you decide to freeze vanilla beans, you must be importantly precise and also know what the potential outcome will be.
Can You Freeze Vanilla Beans?
You should consider vanilla beans as a unique item that you will not necessarily use for cooking daily but they are used for many things, most especially for non-food uses. Most of the time, you will usually buy vanilla beans in bulk and you will not finish it at once.
Irrespective of the reason you bought vanilla beans, there is always a need to be aware of those things they can be used for and how they should best be stored for the future. Storing them inside your freezer will go a very long way as a storage method. You should continue reading to get to know all we have for you about how vanilla beans should properly be frozen.
Vanilla Beans Freezing Guide
You can try some projects (DIY) if you have not used vanilla beans to make anything personal before. Now that we will share all the information you need to know about how you should store vanilla beans with you, it is something you should try out.
There are several excellent ways you can use them that you might not have thought about before or that you do not even have an idea about. Let’s offer you some fresh ideas.
Vanilla Bean Uses
We want to start by discussing the various ways you can use vanilla beans, check below for some ideas:
- Flavored drinks and coffees: Coffee beans can be mixed with ground vanilla pods or beans to give you a more pleasing vanilla flavor. The pods can also be used to stir drinks like tea to also add some vanilla flavor.
- Bath and soaps products: You could use the bean to make bath and soap products to add a very vanilla odor that has a great smell and is also quite calming. Vanilla is considered to be one of the most common scented items.
- Potpourri: Vanilla pods can be used to make potpourri combination by combining the bean pods with any other item of good smell of your choice.
- Homemade vanilla extract: Your vanilla extract can be made by steeping your bean into vodka. You can use a recommended ratio of around 3 to 4 vanilla beans per one cup of your vodka. Ensure they are shaken together inside the glass container before you then store in a cool and dark place. This should store for about 2 to 3 months to properly produce the vanilla extract.
About Vanilla Bean
Vanilla beans are usually produced from orchid plants and they commonly grow as bean pods would grow. According to research, orchids that usually make vanilla are mainly grown in some tropical regions like Mexico, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Tahiti. They are not usually used directly but they are first soaked, then dried before being fermented so that their aroma and flavor will come out.
Freezing Vanilla Beans
Having already checked out the basic information concerning vanilla beans, we need to move to the main topic which is how you can store and freeze your vanilla beans.
Vanilla beans can be frozen but you need to know some things when you are freezing it. You are likely to face some issues when you are freezing them and we will like to ensure you know those things.
Furthermore, you will get to know some of the alternative options you have for storing vanilla beans. This is to ensure that you could choose the method that you prefer after knowing the pros (upside) and cons (downside) associated with those options.
The Pros (upsides) of Freezing Vanilla Beans
- The beans can stay inside the freezer for about a year.
- The natural aroma and smell of your vanilla beans will be preserved by the freezer.
- It is a way you can preserve vanilla beans.
The Cons (downside) of Freezing Vanilla Beans
- The shelf-life could be lost due to risks.
- Your vanilla bean will be left more vulnerable to mold.
- You have to remove it from the package immediately you remove it from your freezer.
- You have to seal it absolutely airtight.
- Specific procedures are required.
You will notice from the highlighted above, it is not a good idea to freeze your vanilla beans, however, it is possible. What we will do is to show you the steps you need to take to freeze them in order to prevent any of the downsides as much as possible.
How to Freeze Vanilla Beans
Check below for the steps you should follow if you wish to properly freeze vanilla beans:
- Use two freezer bags or one vacuum sealer.
- Seal your vanilla beans within the bags until 100% airtight. The vacuum sealer will be more effective to do this but freezer bags can also be used. Use a freezer bag to tightly seal them and then use the second freezer bag to further tightly seal them.
- Put a label and also the date. They can be stored inside the freezer for about 12 months if you have sealed them properly.
- Once they are removed from your freezer, remove them immediately from their package and roll them into paper towels or tea towels so that you can prevent the build-up of moisture.
- Leave them for about 4 to 5 hours to rest inside the towel.
- You can then remove them from your towel and put them inside a glass container or jar.
- You may then store them in a dark and cool place. (The corner (back) of a pantry or cabinets is highly recommended).
- You are not allowed to refreeze it.
The reason why you are leaving it for 4 to 5 hours to rest is that we want to prevent molding of the vanilla beans. If there is any moisture within the vanilla beans, it is likely to allow molding that will allow you to lose the vanilla beans, this should be prevented.
Alternative Storage Methods
It is a bit expensive to buy vanilla beans and it is not a good idea to risk getting mold on the beans or allowing it to lose their aroma and flavor because you have not stored properly. You can use some of these options to store vanilla beans in case you don’t want to freeze:
Storage Bag or Container
- Put your vanilla beans as well as the pods inside an air-tight container or a plastic bag (well-sealed). Ensure the container is dry and clean.
- Put your vanilla beans inside a cool and dry place. (The corner (back) of a pantry or cabinets is highly recommended).
- The vanilla beans can be stored this way for about 3 years.
- Your vanilla beans can be pulled out, stirred up, and aired for around 10 minutes per 30 to 60 days so that they can be kept fresh.
Glass Jar Storage
- Put the vanilla beans as well as the pods inside the glass jar. Ensure the jar is dry and clean.
- Put the jar inside a cool and dark place. (The corner (back) of a pantry or cabinets is highly recommended).
- The vanilla beans can be stored this way for about 3 years.
Do Vanilla Beans Go Bad?
Vanilla beans do not go bad but they have a shorter storage life when frozen than when other methods of storage are used. They can be stored for about 3 to 5 years as long as they are properly stored.
The beans don’t become bad but some of their aroma and flavor potency might be lost the longer you store them. Don’t forget to watch out for mold if you decide to store vanilla beans inside the freezer.
What Makes Vanilla Beans Such an Expensive Commodity?
Usually, you will realize that vanilla beans are not cheap to be bought, the same as vanilla extract. You might think that vanilla beans should not be expensive but it is expensive because there are is a lot of input used to grow it.
Vanilla beans have to undergo a certain pollination process for it to grow up properly. It requires that the flower (orchid) that the beans will grow should get pollinated when the flower is blooming at a particular time of a day. The pollination is time-specific and it usually happens by hand.