Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY: Homemade Vanilla Extract

Listening to my wise and witty friend and coworker Kim, I have come to many realizations. One is that she is an expert on wellness, hence her profession as a wellness expert at the Co-op. On any given day she can take one look at me and suggest a shot of fish oil and some Joy Tonic to help me get through my day. We discuss tinctures often. She has a recommendation for each of my woes and ailments.  The other day she told me how easy it was to make my own tinctures, and that she often makes them at home. The more I thought about making homemade tinctures, the more I thought about how I could incorporate this new found knowledge into my food world. Homemade vanilla extract was my immediate response. Why not steep vanilla beans in alcohol, instead of medicinal herbs? It sounded good, and the more research I did, the more I found that folks have been making their own vanilla extract for quite some time. I had to try my hand at it.

Super Easy. Here's what you'll need:

8oz glass bottle or jar
6-8 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka (you can also use bourbon, rum, or brandy)

1. Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and place in the bottle. It may help to slice the beans into smaller chunks for the ease of getting them in the jar, and that is A- Okay!

2. Pour the vodka over the beans, and make sure they are fully submerged.

3. Shake. Once or twice a week will do.

4. Wait about 8 weeks, and tada, you've just made vanilla extract! You're amazing!

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