How to make Vanilla infused Jojoba Oil

Vanilla, the (really) early years
It is the ancient Totonaco Indians of Mexico who were the first keepers of the secrets of vanilla. When they were defeated by the Aztecs, they were demanded to relinquish their exotic fruit of the Tlilxochitl vine, vanilla pods.

When, in turn, the Aztecs were defeated by the conquering Spaniard, Hernando Cortez, he returned to Spain with the precious plunder – vanilla beans – which were combined with cacao to make an unusual and pleasing drink. For eighty years, this special beverage was only enjoyed by the nobility and the very rich. Then, in 1602, Hugh Morgan, apothecary to Queen Elizabeth I, suggested that vanilla could be used as a flavoring all by itself, and the versatility of the exotic bean was finally uncovered. (from http://www.nielsenmassey.com/historyofvanilla.htm)


I was first introduced to vanilla bean infused jojoba oil by my friend Teshan who would make this for her lip balms. I always loved walking in her house when the vanilla was being infused on her stove top. And her lip balm: it was the best lip balm I have every used!

This is a divine oil to have throughout the Winter months.  Its aroma has the ability to uplift and inspire through the cold of the winter. A great antidepressant and so simple to make.

 

Supplies:

2 cups Jojoba (organic) or Sesame

3 organic vanilla beans

Double boiler  OR Glass jar to infuse

Time and patience.

 

NOTE: I have a sesame oil vanilla infusion in the works.  The sesame oil adds a warmth to the infusion. It does smell a bit different from a jojoba infusion, more earthy, almost burning wood like aroma.

 

Instructions on making a vanilla bean infusion

Begin with 3 pods organic (fair trade, even better) vanilla pods.  Carefully slice very thin, I sometimes halve them as well.

 

The Vanilla Beans

 

Preparing to cut the beans

 

The cut beans ready for infusing.

NEXT, place slices of vanilla into a stainless steel double boiler and then cover with 2 cups of organic jojoba oil.

Then, place about 1 cup of water in the bottom pot, place the vanilla/jojoba pot on top and set stove top temperature to low (2-3).  I typically leave this running throughout the day for about 5-7 days. Each day, when I am home, I turn on the heat low and let it remain heating for as long as I am at home.

NOTE: You can also do a cold infusion by simply placing the cut vanilla bean into a glass container and adding in jojoba oil. Let infuse for up to 4 weeks.  I use 5-6 beans per 2 cups of jojoba oil.

After 7-10 days the oil infusion is ready to be strained.   You will need: a fine mesh strainer and a bowl.

The oil will have the vanilla seeds in it even after straining. You can pour the oil into a sterilized jar carefully leaving the seeds in a bit of oil at the bottom. Use the oil with the seeds as a gentle facial exfolliant or add into some salt for a heavenly body scrub.

 

Use the vanilla infused oil as a body oil, facial oil, in lip balms, massage oil blends, body butters, and skin salves.

 

You can get Organic Fair trade Biodynamic Vanilla beans at: http://www.essentialaura.com/whvabe.html

or Organic beans at: Mtn. Rose Herbs here.

Comments

  1. Theresa Huard says:

    Quick question – is it possible to infuse the vanilla bean by letting it sit or do we need to have it on the stove?

    • Yes, you can let it sit in the window or warm spot and let it infuse this way too. When using this method I let it infuse for about 4-6 weeks.

  2. Could coconut oil be used instead?

    • You could do a coconut infusion with vanilla bean. It would have to be heated throughout the day for about 1 week. It actually makes a beautiful oil!

  3. Have you used a slow cooker for this or do you feel it would get too hot? If you think it would be okay, how much time would you recommend infusing with this method?

    • Hi Jill, A slow cooker may get too hot but it is worth a try. I tend to do cold infusions or use the double boiler method.

  4. Tiffanie Pouliot says:

    I’ve been looking for an alternative to buying expensive vanilla oil to add to my body butter recipe. This seems to be the perfect solution! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Julie Meares says:

    Have you ever tried infusing in a crockpot? I have a very small one that is designed for dips. I wonder if it would be a low enough temperature.

    • Hi Julie, I have used a crockpot but it can get a bit too hot for herbal infusions. I recommend either a cold infusion or the double boiler method. Even at the lowest setting, most crockpots get a bit too hot. Would love to hear about your experience with this. Warm regards, Jade

  6. Once infused, how long can you store the vanilla beans in the oil since only small portions will be used to make lip balm etc.? Thanks!

    • Hello Katie,
      The infused oil should last 2-3 years if stored in a cool environment. Does not need to be refrigerated though.
      – Jade

  7. Can you place everything in a crock pot?

  8. So… can you take the pot off the burner when your gone to work. And return it to the stove when you return.

    • Yes :-) Or you can do a cold infusion. Place cut beans and oil in sterilized canning jar and cover. Allow to sit for 3-4 weeks. Strain and it is ready. :-)

      Warm regards, Jade

  9. Each day… How long do I have to heat it?… thank you.. =)

    • Hi Carla, I would say 4-5 hours a day. Let me know how it comes out for you!

      Warm regards, Jade

  10. Hi there,
    How long does the scent last? I’ve made this once before and the scent was gone by the end of the month. Did I do something wrong?
    Thanks!

    • Hello Chelsea,
      It should hold up for at least 6-12 months. What base oil did you use? Also, you may want to increase the number of vanilla beans you are using. Let me know….
      Warm regards, Jade

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