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Homesteading Skills: How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

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You may have never considered making your own vanilla extract, but it’s surprisingly easy – and also makes a great gift!

Real extracts like vanilla can be expensive to purchase, and the artificial ones are full of chemicals and they don’t taste as good anyway. Fortunately, it’s amazingly easy to make your own at home! All you need is a few simple ingredients and some time. You can make all kinds of extracts, but below is a sample recipe for making your own vanilla extract from the Pioneering Podcast. The recipe is adjustable to make however much you would like.

You can use different types of carrier alcohol as the seeping liquid, but rum goes very well with vanilla, and is grain-free and usually non-GMO. But you could also use vodka or bourbon if you prefer.

Vanilla beans are usually very pricey at the grocery store, so it will be a better value to buy them in bulk or online. You can find them on Amazon, but you may be able to find a better price by shopping around to find a company that will ship them direct.

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

You will need:

Rum (or seeping alcohol of your choice)
Vanilla Beans (5 beans per 8 ounces of alcohol is recommended)
Glass Jar with a lid
Flip-Top Bottle for storing your finished extract

Instructions:

  • With a sharp knife, slit the bean lengthwise, then roughly chop into pieces.
  • Place chopped beans into a glass jar and fill with alcohol.
  • Put a lid on it and shake well.
  • Store in a dark cupboard away from heat and shake every few days.
  • Allow extract to seep for 8 weeks or longer for best flavor.
  • When has reached the desired strength, strain out the vanilla extract and store in a glass bottle.

If you are planning on giving this as a gift this holiday season, you may not have enough time for it to finish before Christmas. A fun alternative gift idea is to give a vanilla extract DIY kit, so that your loved one can enjoy the satisfaction of making his or her own vanilla extract!

You can either give your gift recipient the ingredients along with a flip-top bottle and instructions, or simply provide them with the jar of seeping extract already prepared, and instructions for when to strain and bottle the extract.

Read more about making your own homemade extracts at MelissaKNorris.com

 

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