Homemade Vanilla Bean Powder is easy to make and fairly inexpensive with zero waste. It’s a great way to use grade B beans, older beans you have on hand, or beans from a mother jar. Vanilla powder is a bit more concentrated, so 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder can be used in place of 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cooks Illustrated share a great article on how vanilla powder stands up to vanilla extract, paste, and whole beans. Follow the link and check it out!
Good luck on your vanilla adventures!
- Drying out the beans:
-Some prefer to leave the beans out on the counter for several weeks. I prefer to put them in the oven at 150 degrees for one to one and a half hours, they will still be a little pliable coming out of the oven. Let them cool. Once cooled they will become brittle
- Cut the beans up into smaller pieces and grind them up in your coffee grinder.
- Place the powder in an air tight container in a cool dark place and it should last up to a year.
Here's a quick video tutorial:
So why use vanilla bean powder instead of extract? Here are a few reasons:
You don't want to use alcohol - All vanilla extract is minimum 35% alcohol. So if you don't want to consume alcohol, substitute vanilla extract for ground vanilla powder just by using half the quantity of required vanilla extract.
Sensitive baking where moisture changes everything – Macaroon makers know that a small amount of added liquid can make all the difference between success and failure, in these cases ground vanilla powder can add sweetness without adding more moisture.
When final color matters – There are white, artificial extracts on the market, but have your read what is in them? Not good. Real vanilla extract, which of course is always amber, can darken a white frosting or cake. Vanilla powder will add sweetness without working like brown food coloring. If it's ground fine enough, you won't see it in the frosting unless you look closely to see those beautiful vanilla specs.
Dry mix making - If you make your own dried oatmeal packets, pancake mixes, cake mixes or even protein shakes to be made up later, ground vanilla powder is the perfect, dry sweetener to use.
For the Keto or Paleo life - ground vanilla alligns perfectly with Keto and Paleo communities as it is simply ground vanilla beans – and nothing else.