How Vanilla Beans are Harvested and Make it to Your Kitchen : The Renegade Health Show Episode #560

Monday May 3 | BY |
| Comments (33)

It’s always amazing to see how foods actually make it to your dinner table…

We took a tour at the Finca de Villa Vanilla in Costa Rica and in this video you will see how vanilla beans are harvested and grown.

Our guide also showed us how to make our own vanilla extract.

Check it out… (Sorry about the earlier mix up today on the copy! This is the right copy with the right video!)

Your question of the day: What do you use vanilla with?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Corrinne says:

    That was very interesting! I put it in my smoothies every morning and would love to learn how to make the vegan ice cream 🙂

  2. Pat G. says:

    Are you guys naked? :-0

  3. amy says:

    That was neat! I dont use vanilla beans nearly enough, I do LOVE it though! I prefer vanilla instead of chocolate as an adult. uhh..are you guys in a sauna, you look a little (very) relaxed. 🙂

  4. Marlene Denny says:

    I’d never before seen vanilla beans in natural growing conditions… really informative. Looking forward to your recipe for Veegan Vanilla Ice Cream!

  5. I like to use vanilla beans in my smoothies! Is it true vanilla beans are an aphrodisiac?

  6. Basia says:

    Ice-cream is definitely my favorite use for vanilla. I usually just throw in 1/4th of a vanilla bean into my Vitamix.

    If you are interested, here is my all time favorite ice-cream recipe:

    Cheers! 🙂

  7. Mary Kay says:

    I just got a whole bunch of vanilla beans from Of course, I put it in frozen ‘nanner ice cream and choc avocado pudding, etc, but I like it so much, I’ve been just putting some into warm water and having “tea.”

    Didn’t know most of that about the vanilla beans. Thanks.

    I just cut up three or four beans into the Vita-Mix with 1 c water and blend on high.

    Mary Kay

  8. Emily says:

    Very cool video. Loved it. Learned valuable info such as I don’t have to throw out my vanilla beans if not used by the use by date. I always thought throwing out the scraped out pods was a waste, now I can use those too. Thank you!!

  9. Debbie says:

    Great post! Very informative! I learned a lot about the vanilla bean that I did not know before. I love vanilla in almost everything I make, from smoothies, to raw ice creams, to raw sweets and treats. I really don’t have a favorite – okay, let’s just say raw chocolate!!! =)

  10. Geri says:

    I still didn’t get the right video.

  11. Steve says:

    The audio on this video is out of sync.
    A little distracting, but still informative.

    5 years to bloom, so few flowers, and open only for a few hours – no wonder vanilla is expensive.

    90% alcohol . . . can this make you drunk?

    I also heard that too much vanilla can be posionous.

    Is this true?

  12. Adriana says:

    Super special info…to learn and know from now on.
    You surprise me with your close up vid…Ya, I also had the impression that you must be naked. No wander, if there is so hot and humid…and you are relaxed at last…and free to enjoy a little vacation…LOL
    I love you so much, you little children ready to play!!

    Have as much fun as possible and enjoy every minute of your nice holiday.

  13. Mary Kay says:

    I use vanilla in quite a few dessert-type dishes. From frozen banana ice cream to chocolate avocado pudding…..etc.

    I even just put a little of my own vanilla extract (sans alcohol) into warm water for a “tea-like” drink sometimes.

    I use scissors to cut three or four vanilla beans into approx 1/4 inch pieces – into 1 cup water in the Vita-Mix.

    Didn’t know this info about the harvesting/storing etc. Thanks for educating us once again!

    Mary Kay
    p.s. I hope this doesn’t duplicate, as I already typed up a similar comment, but don’t see it. I also noticed the sound was out of sync.

  14. rainbow says:

    i was born without (or lost very early on, possibly due to the ravages of animal products) my sense of smell, and much of my sense of taste, so i as yet have no clue what vanilla smells or tastes like. however, i do try. i bought a bunch of organic vanilla beans, and sometimes chew one to see if anything comes through. so far no, but i am always open to whatever comes. when i chose to be vegan over two decades ago, some sense of smell began to occur, and that was quite exciting, but it never actually blossomed, so i have maybe one percent of what a typical human can smell. and when i needed to do a very long fast, about 1 1/2 months, i really thought it might happen then, but so far no. ah well, i do enjoy hearing folks describe things, knowing full well we have no language to adequately explain it. so it’s interesting how people perceive things.

    and yes, i hope you two are naked! i just got back from the gym, tried to sit in a whirlpool after working out, but the chlorine was bad (yes that is something i can detect) and i also had to wear a bathing suit, so that wasn’t too much fun. glad you folks are having an enjoyable time. thanks for all you do. peace to you and to ALL life! aho

  15. Simon says:

    I use organic vanilla powder in my smoothies. Usually with a banana or berries.

  16. Zorion says:

    My favorite thing to use vanilla in is raw nut mylks. Hemp/brazil nut mylk is my absolute favorite!!!!
    Thanks for the vanilla lesson. Cool!!!

  17. LuAnn Agustin says:

    mmm… the occasional sweet treat!

  18. MaryAnna says:

    I use vanilla caviar for smooth textured sweets like panna cotta cream, coconut pudding, ice cream (all raw, naturally), etc. Pod shells I leave on very top tray of Excalibur and let them dry until they become very brittle. Then I grind them with Blendtec and use them for pie and cake crusts, homemade toothpaste and soap,etc.

    I just love them so much!

    Simple recipe:
    Mash ripe banana with fork, add some vanilla caviar and 1 t carob powder. What a yummy and fast breakfast treat! 🙂

  19. MomT says:

    Great info about where/how vanilla is grown/harvested. Thanks.

    As always, very entertaining and informative.

  20. Jan says:

    My favorate treat is cherry vanilla smoothies with a little carob.
    On a different note if anyone is close to a university with a green house they might be giving away plants when the semester is almost over. I was visiting and a student who grew MANY herbs for an organic class offered them for free if I carried them out for her. It was her responsibity to get them out of the greenhouse before the end of the semester. I have been drying herbs for tea and spices. Some of them I will plant. They were giving away many plants most were not organic. Some students had made new cultivers of plants, so I would ask questions so you understand exactly what you are getting. Next year I will check out the organic green house before I order my garden plants.

  21. rawsip girl says:

    Very informative video. Great! You should put more videos like this, to see how diffrent plants are grown. Now I also understand the price of vanilla.
    I’m not into vanilla so much but I use it from time to time in my raw cookies.

  22. Rhonda D says:

    I am not able to see it the is no link and I tried to look it up on Youtube nothing

  23. Shira says:

    My favorite is vanilla Chia seed porridge, I am a bit addicted to it lately.

    Wow, so interesting about vanilla beans! It is one of my favorite flavors for sure.
    Thanks for the info, great to see you relaxing in the tropics.

    I thought that was Johnny 5 at first but realized it was a racoon. I was imagining you driving down there in the Kale Whale, that would be fun!

  24. Laura says:

    Raw vegan ice cream too Anne Marie! I also love it in smoothies of course.

    That was very interesting and educational. Thank you.

    I have a couple questions:

    1. When making alcohol free extract, how is it made?

    2. What was that animal at the end of the video.

  25. Jacquie says:

    Great video and great info as I grow orchids myself. Yum….vanilla on just about everything…in morning smoothies, in chocolate/avocado mousse, in any raw desserts, in with my royal matcha or tulsi tea… I even use it in my own homemade beauty items…like creams/lotions, bath bombs, etc. Thanks so much for sharing and ENJOY!!! 🙂

  26. john says:

    Kevin your guide does an excellent job specifically subject oriented on the vanilla bean ,she does not deviate from her subject matter,I very much like that ,and she wastes no words about covering information about vanilla beans. Great lecture. Continue to enjoy your working/vacation, both of you .

  27. Siobhán (Ireland) says:


  28. Pamme says:

    Mix it with durian… tastes just like vanilla ice cream!

  29. Pamme says:

    …actually better!

  30. Cindy says:

    hey guys,
    very interesting show. When she said you can use the vanilla pod like a bay leaf does she mean in liquid to give flavour then dry it out again? or just in dry stuff to flavour?
    Some clarification would be helpful as getting the most out of it is good due to the high price.
    Thanks and have a great day

  31. Genevieve says:

    So interesting — thank you!

    I like vanilla anything. I used to have a vanilla scented body lotion that smelled good enough to eat.

    Good idea someone mentioned about adding it to the chia porridge — which you got me started on last summer and which I still enjoy.

  32. I don’t know why, but the audio and video just weren’t lining up for me in that video. It looked like a bad Godzilla movie. 🙂

    I like vanilla in anything creamy…raw ice cream, banana smoothies. Vanilla ice cream is supposed to be the closest thing to tasting like breastmilk; that is why it’s so comforting to many people. That’s what I’ve heard anyway.

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