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Dec 18, 2006 11:22 PM

Whats the shelf life for vanilla beans?

I just finished making one of my favourite christmas drinks and have quite a few beans left over, so how long until they loose their flavor?

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  1. If you store them well they should be fine (as long as they stay pliable) I have had them for up to a year in a tightly closed jar. I know some people who freeze thier beans. Or if you want to make them go along way make vanilla sugar.

    1. Is there anyway to make them pliable again? I have some dried out expensive little suckers, and it just irks me to no end!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        You can wrap them in a damp paper towel and nuke them for maybe 30 seconds or so.

        1. re: Katie Nell

          Sometimes I just stick the dried out ones in sugar they still give off a great aroma.

        2. For storage, vanilla beans can be kept somewhat moist for 6 months if placed in an airtight container, in a cool dry area, away from light. If excessive heat and/or moisture is allowed to penetrate the bean, mildew may form and spoil the bean. Beans stored in refrigerated areas may become hard and crystalize, but it is an alternative if no other cool dry area is available for storage. Vanilla beans can whither and become dry, but still be usable. If the bean dries out, rehydrate the bean in a warm liquid such as water, vanilla extract or vodka. Then extract the seeds for use in flavoring a food.