As much as we all love the aroma of real Vanilla wafting through the kitchen, the thought of throwing away the used Vanilla pods almost breaks our hearts. Not only are the good pure ones expensive, but they're also packed with a lot of flavours even after you've scraped away the seeds or poached the pods.
Image credit: Goodness Vanilla & associates.
Here are some unique ways of using spent plump and bendable fresh vanilla pods so you never have to throw them away.
Bury dried vanilla pods in a jar of sugar and let the flavor infuse the sugar. Every once in awhile shake the jar to distribute the flavour evenly and in about 2 weeks time, you'll have a subtly flavored sugar that'll be a great addition to cookies, puddings, baked goods, tart fruits or even your coffee.
DIY Vanilla Extract
That's right, you can make a vanilla extract at home if you have patience. In a glass jar, put a couple of spent pods, top it off with vodka/bourbon and keep it closed. Keep adding used beans to the mix if you happen to have any. In a couple of months, you'll have your very own extract.
You could simply stir the vanilla pod in your cup of coffee or steep it in your tea but to if you're a true coffee connoisseur, grind the pod with your roasted beans to create an irresistible vanilla coffee blend
Vanilla Simple Syrup
A unique twist to the usual simple syrup - put equal parts water and sugar into a pad and add a used pod to the mix. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, cool and store in your vanilla-infused syrup in the fridge. It's great in iced tea/coffee and even better in cocktails.
Heavenly Body Scrub
Dry old vanilla pods and grind them in your blender with just enough sugar for the blender to work. Remove and mix with some fine sugar. Put this mix in a glass jar and add your favourite body oil to it and mix until wet sand-like consistency is achieved. It's great to lightly exfoliate your skin.
We'd love to hear how you re-use spent vanilla pods. If you find any of our suggestions exciting and do try them at home, tell us how it turns out and send us a picture!
Get your hands on the finest Vanilla at www.thegourmetbox.in