I have more beans than I know what to do with so I have been trying to do some research and experimenting with ways to stretch these beauties to get the most for my money. Out of the same beans/pods I can do the following four things:
1. Vanilla extract-cut the beans down the middle and soak 3 beans per 8oz. of vodka for approx. 2 months. You can always continue to add more vodka every time you use half the bottle to have a never ending supply.
2. Grind the beans up and add them to a vanilla sugar/salt scrub.
3. Let the beans dry out and add them to your sugar for vanilla scented sugar.
4. Once the beans have lost most of their fragrance you can grind them up and add them to your coffee grounds when making coffee. The flavor is subtle and smooth and always yummy.
5. Take that same dried bean pod and grind it up to use in your own melt and pour soap recipes. It will add a slight vanilla aroma but also some "grit" for extra scrubbing.
I'm sure there are many other uses for these crazy pods. I would love to hear yours. I keep thinking there may be a new cleaning product in my future for these things. Carpet deodorizer with baking soda??? I'm working on it. Please share your creations. I still have a ton of these beans!