The DIY Life: Vanilla Extract

8 Feb

I know that you all probably know how to make your own vanilla extract, but I feel the need to share it anyway. Just in case someone doesn’t know how.

It’s pretty simple, and also very affordable. You may shell out more cost up front purchasing the vanilla beans, but over the long run? Cheaper than purchasing in the store. And you control it! I purchased my vanilla beans in bulk – from eBay! eBay is a great resource for  things that you would otherwise spend a ton of money on! I paid $10 with shipping for 50 Madagascar vanilla beans. It would have cost me to same price to get just 3 vanilla beans from the grocery store. On sale! Now I can make vanilla extract whenever I need to – as well as vanilla bean scones, vanilla bean whipped cream, vanilla bean ice cream…you get what I’m saying! We even add a vanilla bean to some of our beer recipes to give them even more flavor. At $0.20 per bean, we can afford to put them in everything!

Another idea: Make up a bunch of them and give them out as gifts!

You don’t have to use a crazy expensive vodka – I used Svedka because it’s what I had. Buy whatever is on sale, whatever your fave is, or the $5.99 bottle at the bottom of the shelf. Just don’t feel like you have to use $50 a bottle vodka.

You will need:

1 jelly jar

3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

vodka or rum

Put your split vanilla beans into your mason jar, top with vodka or rum and seal with a lid and screw band.

Let sit in a dark place for 1 month, shaking the jar at least once per week. If using vodka or light rum, you will know your vanilla is ready when it’s a warm brown. Used dark rum? It’s ready when the rum is nice and dark, similar to a weak coffee.

You can choose to remove your vanilla beans when your mixture is the color you want it to be. I leave mine in so that it continues to flavor it. Use as you would store-bought vanilla.

This is what the vanilla will look like after you have let it sit. Like I said, I kept my vanilla beans in my vanilla but feel free to remove them. They will continue to infuse the vodka until they have nothing left to give.

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