START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Not many people think about making homemade vanilla extract. It isn’t difficult to do at all and takes only a few supplies. The most difficult part of the process is waiting for it to age to perfection, which will take a few months. Why should you make your own vanilla? The benefits are astounding:

  • More intense flavor
  • Unique blends
  • Less expensive
  • Fun
  • Be self sustaining
  • You know what is in it
  • It makes great gifts

Did I mention cheap?

The main ingredients in basic homemade vanilla are vodka (or other high proof alcohol) and vanilla beans. You can use a variety of vanilla beans to create a more complex flavor, and use organic if you like.

Varieties of Vanilla Beans

  • Madagascar – the strongest, most intense vanilla flavor, with full a body
  • Bourbon – notes of berry and ripe fruit
  • Mexican – sweet and smooth, mellow and spicy
  • Tahitian – delicate, exotic, floral
  • Tonga – rich, full flavored
  • Indonesian – sweet and woody
  • India – higher percentage of seeds, sweet, woody, spicy

There are even more vanilla bean varieties that that. Commercial manufacturers usually use the Bourbon or the Tahitian bean for extract. Look at all the flavor you could be missing!

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

The process couldn’t be simpler. You need:

  • Quart Mason jar
  • Lid and screw down ring
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 6 vanilla beans

1. Cut the beans in half lengthwise.
2. Add the beans to the jar.
3. Cover with the Vodka.
4. Store in a cool, dark place and shake every couple of days for at least a month. The longer you let it stand the more intense the flavor will be. I like mine to go at least six weeks. When it is just how you like it, strain it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into dark bottles and seal tightly.

Variations

  • Add a few buds of edible lavender.
  • Add a whole clove.
  • Add part of a a cinnamon stick.
  • Add a teaspoon of brandy per eight ounces. You can also make the vanilla in brandy or rum for a different flavor.

You can vary the flavor of your vanilla by using different combinations of beans or adding another spice during storage.

How to Use Homemade Vanilla

You are going to use your homemade vanilla extract just like the commercial variety, measure for measure. You may find that you need a little less because of the flavor, or you may just get used to having the most amazing desserts on the block.

For gift giving, label the dark bottles with a custom made label. More than likely your friends will be knocking at your door for more as soon as they have used the last drop.

Where to Buy Vanilla Beans

You can buy vanilla beans almost anywhere but you probably won’t find much of a selection. Here are some Internet sites that carry a variety of beans, as well as organically grown beans:

Boston Vanilla Beans
Beanilla
The Spice House
Penzey’s Spices

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

Read more: Basics, Food, Green Gifts, Holidays, Life, , ,

By Marye Audet, Planet Green

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, PlanetGreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

42 comments

+ add your own
1:50AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

Ty

1:49AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

Ty

1:49AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

Ty

1:09AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Thank you :)

1:15AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

thanks

8:46PM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Thanks a lot

5:30PM PST on Feb 24, 2012

Thanks for the recipe

5:29PM PST on Feb 24, 2012

Sounds good to me. Thanks for the recipe

6:18PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

Thanks for this article! I also found an article on how to make Buttermilk, Yogurt, Clotted Cream & Clotted Milk, and Butter. Here's the link: http://blog.gourmetrecipe.com/2012/01/30/make-your-own/
For more food blogs, try also visiting blog.gourmandia.com and heartbeat.gourmetrecipe.com. They really feel like a homey food community to me and you'll most probably like them too.

10:40PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Sounds good to me. Thanks for the recipe. I like the idea of using the rum too.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Crazy article. Why do we need a study for this. It seems to me that all the other animals are sma…

All these look really good. I noticed that people sometimes get very hungry waiting for the food to …

MICHA S. There have been many studies on #3, #6, and especially #7 with BPA, although many remain c…

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.