Making your own vanilla extract tastes better, takes minutes to make, and saves money. The only thing I have to get over? Buying a bottle of vodka with four kids and all the looks I get. Especially when I'm eight months pregnant. I have to resist the urge to tell the cashier and everyone who walks by my cart that I'm making vanilla extract! Don't judge! Oh well. It's worth the superior vanilla extract I'll soon enjoy and have ready to use as gifts, not to mention the money saving bit (see below for ideas).
So here's whatcha need:
- 1 liter vodka (be sure to check that the vodka was distilled with potatoes and not grains)
- 12 vanilla beans
- Cut a slit down each vanilla bean, lengthwise. Then cut them all in half.
- Drain about one once vodka from the bottle and stick vanilla beans in the bottle. Set in a dark place (like a cupboard) for at least 6 weeks before using, giving it a gentle whirl when you think about it. The longer it sits, the better and darker it gets.
Save empty spice jars to have on hand when you want to give some vanilla extract as a gift/to add to a gift basket.
When the extract is all used up, use vanilla beans instead of extract in recipes that require a blender or food processor. A general rule of thumb: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract equals 1/2 vanilla bean. You can use vanilla beans in the following recipes:
- Perfectly Frothy Raw How Cocoa
- 2-Minute Raw Egg(less) Nog
- Raw Apple Pie Kefir Smoothies
- Raw Strawberry Cacao Smoothies
- Raw Blueberry Bliss Kefir Smoothies
- Soaked German (Dutch Baby) Pancakes
- Raw Coconut Creme Pie with Fudgy Crust
- Raw Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart
- Lara(ish) Bars
- Gluten-Free Orange Muffins