Thursday, August 15, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract

A few years ago I switched from using artificial vanilla flavoring to real vanilla extract in my baking. It makes a huge difference in how everything tastes, and I feel better about not filling our food with artificial stuff. Unfortunately, the teeny tiny bottles of real vanilla extract are quite pricey (even at the Commissary).

I figured there had to be a cheaper way, and I started making my own vanilla extract. It's incredibly easy.

1 large bottle of vodka
3-4 vanilla beans

I try to buy a bottle of vodka that's somewhere in the middle of the price range I see at the store. It doesn't need to be expensive, but I'm a bit leery of buying the cheapest option. I've found vanilla beans at small health food stores, Amazon, and even ebay. They may seem a bit expensive, but the overall cost of the extract is a huge savings.

Put the vanilla beans in the bottle of vodka and let sit in a dark closet for a few months. When it starts to turn dark, it's ready to use.

I just leave the vanilla beans in the bottle as I use it. In the past, I've sometimes poured the extract into a prettier glass bottle that was a more convenient size for my spice cabinet. Lately I've been lazy and just pour straight out of the original bottle.

I'm adding this money-saving recipe to the Frugal Family 2013 link-up, and I'm also counting it as my V contribution to Blogging through the Alphabet.

Frugal Family 2013Blogging Through the Alphabet

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  1. do you crack open the beans lengthwise?

    1. No, I usually just drop them in there whole.

  2. is a great place to get affordable vanilla beans. Tip courtesy of MAM-mom at KFA :)



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