How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

When you do a lot of baking (or making water kefir!), you tend to go through a LOT of vanilla.  That can get expensive very quickly, and it’s easy to make your own.  Procurring the ingredients will take you the most time – setting up your vanilla takes only a minute!

What You Need
1 bottle of vodka (750ml)
10 organic vanilla beans

I had never purchased vodka before, and felt a little silly wandering around in the liquor section of the grocery store, staring at vodka bottles.  (It didn’t help that I was pregnant and obviously showing!  Maybe this lady needs an intervention… doesn’t she know that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix?)    The employee I found was more than willing to make a recommendation for me – I wanted a decent quality vodka without spending an arm and a leg.  I think I wound up paying around $7 for the bottle and settled on the McCormick blend.

Organic vanilla beans are a bit trickier to come by.  You can pick them up at a place like Whole Foods, but I found better prices through my co-op.  You can also order them online from a retailer like Olive Nation or Amazon.

Are you ready for the oh-so-complicated directions?
1. Open your bottle of vodka.
2. Slice your beans in half lengthwise, leaving an inch or so at the top.
2. Insert vanilla beans into the vodka bottle.
3. Close bottle and store in a dark place.
4. Pull it out every now and then and shake it up a little.
5. In about 6 weeks, you’ll have vanilla!

Homemade vanilla makes a great gift too!  If you start your vanilla soon, it’ll be ready to give as Christmas gifts!

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