Working with fresh Vanilla Beans


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Fresh vanilla beans will give a rich and deep, pure and clear flavor to any recipe calling for vanilla. There are a few different ways to use the beans. You can scrape the seeds out and just use these or make an extract or grind up and use the whole bean. In the video below I show how to open the bean and remove the seeds and also how to make an extract the raw foods way, without using alcohol. I’ll show you the no fuss, easiest ways to work with and use vanilla beans.


What to Look For

When buying vanilla look for soft and plump beans. These are freshest and easiest to get the seeds out of. The longer beans are more expensive; they are priced by length. They also have a lot more seeds.

How To Store Beans

Wrap in a plastic bag and set in a cool dry place , but not too cold. Do not refrigerate.
Vanilla beans can get hard and dry over time, especially if they are exposed to the air.
If you have vanilla beans that have dried out, place a piece of apple in a bag with them. The moisture from the apple will help to re-hydrate the beans.

Production and Types of Vanilla Beans

The vanilla bean comes from a tropical orchid. There are around 35,000 varieties of orchids but only a very few of these are harvested for their vanilla beans. The most popular types are Bourbon, Tahitian, Mexican and West Indian. Harvesting vanilla is a long labor intensive production. Read more about it and the different types of themĀ here.


How to Use Vanilla Beans




vanilla planifolia

above is a picture of the vanilla planifolia orchid, which is the most popular orchid for harvesting vanilla beans.

Vanilla beans


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