From The Field Trading Company - Cooking with Vanilla Beans
  Cooking with FTF Vanilla Beans  
  Cooking with whole vanilla beans is simple, fun, and improves the taste of any recipe that calls for vanilla extract (and many that don’t). Beans are easy to use and versatile, and can be added to a variety of savory dishes as well as the desserts.  
  Using Your FTF Vanilla Beans.  

Each vanilla bean is actually a bean pod, full of small, black beans that appear as little dots and are often referred to as vanilla “caviar”. The best way to use this caviar is to use a sharp paring knife to carefully split your bean lengthwise. The caviar can then be scraped using a small knife or a small spoon. Thoroughly scrape both sides of the bean.

These small seeds can be substituted for vanilla extract in baking and cooking recipes. You can also mix the caviar into drinks, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or nearly any other favorite food or snack. A good rule of thumb is that one vanilla bean is enough for most normal baking and cooking recipes.


  Making Vanilla Extract from FTF Vanilla Beans  

To make your own vanilla extract, spilt three or four vanilla pods lengthwise, leaving the top half of inch of the pod connected. Place the split beans in a clean glass container, and add about a pint of good quality vodka or rum. Close the container and let it sit in a cool, dark place for one month (for rum) or three to four months (for vodka). You should gently shake the bottle periodically. The longer you can allow the mixture to soak, the more rich the vanilla flavor.

You can also use brandy to make your extract. In this case, cut three or four vanilla beans into small pieces and let them steep in the brandy for 6 to 8 weeks. Try making your own “vanilla sampler,” trying different types of alcohol bases to see which you like best.

  Useful Tips From FTF  
  • To preserve the quality and freshness of your FTF vanilla beans wrap them in wax paper and place them in a thin plastic bag or glass container. Store the beans in a cool, dry place (though not in the refrigerator or freezer!), and watch as they maintain their flavor for months and months.

  • Do your beans look dried out? You can quickly plump them up again by simply immersing them briefly in boiling water, which will bring them back to their original texture and shape.

  • You don’t have to throw out your scraped vanilla pods after using the caviar! Try adding the pods to a stir-fry or sauce, putting them in your sugar bowl for a sweet treat, or add ground dried pods to your coffee grounds to enhance your morning brew.

  • Want a special treat? Add a vanilla bean or two to a bottle of rum or vodka for a homemade twist on traditional drinks. Or for a more family-oriented brew, leave vanilla overnight in your lemonade or fruit juice and taste the difference.

Vanilla Beans
  Step One:
Split bean lengthwise
  Step Two:
Scrape inside of bean
  Step Three:
Vanilla caviar ready to use
Recipe of the month:

Interested in delicious vanilla bean recipes or tips for use? Like us on Facebook to read more about ways to enjoy your vanilla beans.

Homemade Kahlua


  • 2 c. strong coffee
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut into four pieces
  • 1 1/2 c. vodka

Simmer coffee and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Add a chopped vanilla bean to the vodka and add the cooled sugar syrup & coffee solution with the vodka. Cover tightly, place in a cool, dark spot & shake every day for 3 weeks. Voila! – homemade Kahlua!

Recipes and Ideas

Have you made something delicious with your vanilla beans? Send us the recipe. We'll post some recipes on our Facebook page and will choose a handful at random to receive a free 5-bean pack of our FTF Super-Long Vanilla Beans!


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