5 Tips to Help You Store Your Vanilla Beans
Many people find it hard to buy bulk vanilla beans, and this is primarily because they don’t know how to store them. If not stored properly, vanilla beans tend to dry up and brittle.
When you buy vanilla beans, proper storage is essential as it determines whether they will remain fresh, oily and pliable or not. The following guidelines should help you keep your vanilla beans in prime condition for the longest time.
1. The Unpacking
Most companies send out either glass vial or vacuum sealed packages when you buy vanilla beans. If yours come in vacuum sealed packaging, you shouldn’t open the package right until when you want to use it. It’s recommended that you do open the package after six months.
If your vanilla beans come in a glass vial, you should remove them from their packaging within three to four months.
2. Storing Your Vanilla Beans
After you buy vanilla beans, the next step is making sure they are properly stored. For this exercise, you will need an airtight glass jar or vial, or Tupperware container, and one sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap.
What you ought to do is wrap your vanilla beans in either plastic wrap or wax paper and place them in an airtight glass jar, or Tupperware container if glass is unavailable. Make sure to squeeze as much air from the container as you can to prevent the vanilla bean from getting dry.
You can purchase long glass vials to store your vanilla in. These vials typically come with a plastic stopper to ensure your vanilla beans aren’t exposed to air.
3. Storage Location
When you buy vanilla beans online, you should never store them in the refrigerator. Doing so will cause your beans to become dried out, and the moisture in the fridge can provide suitable conditions for a mold type specific to vanilla to fester. After placing the ground vanilla beans in an airtight container, you should then store it in a cool, dark place, such as in the basement or on the pantry.
It’s crucial for you to air your vanilla beans regularly. This may sound difficult to do, but all it entails is removing them from their container and allowing them to remain so for ten to fifteen minutes. This should be done every few weeks.
5. Shelf Life
How long they are going to last is something you have to consider when you buy vanilla beans. Ironically, how you store your vanilla is what is going to determine this.
If well stored, vanilla beans can last as long as two years, and sometimes, even longer. However, it’s recommended that you buy quantities that you can use within six to eight months.
6. Is Your Vanilla Dry or Mouldy?
If your vanilla beans become dried out, don’t worry. You can re-hydrate them in warm water or milk for a couple of hours. Vanilla beans tend to develop a ‘frost’ layer, but these crystals aren’t to be mistaken as mold. These are vanillin crystals which migrate to surface from inside the beans as the beans dry.
These crystals aren’t harmful at all and can be consumed. However, if you do spot any mold on your beans, throw them out; they aren’t safe for use anymore.
How to Plump Up Vanilla Beans
When your vanilla beans become dried out, you don’t have to throw them out. You can plump them up.
All you need is some vodka or rum and a large glass jar. Stand the beans in your glass jar, with the ends cut down, and add two inches of rum or vodka into the jar. Cover up the jar with its lid and let it stand until the beans have become softer.
The alcohol acts as a preservative and also helps the beans retain their flavor. After they have softened, remove them from the jar to use as needed, and return whatever portion that remains unused to the jar. These tips will help you keep your vanilla beans fresh and oily.
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