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DIY Vanilla Extract will take your recipes to the next level! Choose from Bourbon, Rum & Vodka. These 3 unique flavours are sure to tempt your tastebuds!
DIY Vanilla Extract – Why make your own?
Here’s three reasons why you should consider making vanilla extract at home:
- Most of the vanilla extracts you find at the supermarkets don’t actually contain vanilla! These ‘fake’ vanilla extracts are often made with synthetic vanilla, (called vanillin) a manufactured flavor that replicates the natural vanilla flavor. Take a look at the ingredients the next time you go shopping and you’ll see what i’m talking about.
- Genuine vanilla extract can be pricey so a DIY version can be more cost efficient.
- Homemade vanilla extract is extremely easy to make. All you need is 2 ingredients, vanilla beans and 70 Proof/ 35% alcohol.
What kind of alcohol is used to make vanilla extract?
Vanilla extract is usually made from vodka but that’s the beauty of DIY, you get to experiment with different types of alcohol.
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So far I’ve made homemade vanilla extract from
I’ve never seen those varieties in the the supermarkets! Have you?
What kind of vanilla bean is used to make vanilla extract?
You can further customise your DIY vanilla extract by using different types of vanilla beans. Each different vanilla variety will create a unique flavor.
- Ugandan Vanilla Beans – notes of fig, chocolate, creamy
- Madagascar Vanilla Beans – traditional, warm, creamy
- Tahitian Vanilla Beans – strong floral note of cherry, wine, oak star anise
- Mexican Vanilla Beans – aromatic with a very creamy taste
Blend various varieties together for a truly unique flavor experience.
How do I store Homemade Vanilla Extract?
Vanilla extract has an indefinite shelf life because it’s two ingredients are VERY shelf stable. That said you do want to be sure you store your DIY vanilla extract properly.
- Store in an airtight jar – Choose a swing top bottle as I did to limit evaporation and absorption of nearby scents in your pantry such as vinegars etc
- Store in a cool dark place like your pantry – there is no need to store your homemade vanilla extract in the fridge, in fact the low temps could cause the extract to turn cloudy, ditto for heat and light.
How long before I can use my DIY Vanilla Extract?
After 2 months the extraction process is complete and you can remove the beans or leave them in the bottle.
Use your nose as your guide. If after 2 months your homemade vanilla extract only smells of alcohol then give it another month to extract further. It will always have some scent of alcohol but over time the extract will mature in flavour.
How to use DIY Vanilla Extract
You can enhance the taste in a recipe depending on which extract you use.
- Rum vanilla extract – drinks and spicy desserts.
- Bourbon vanilla extract – baked goods like muffins and quick breads
- Vodka vanilla extract- a good all rounder.
Matches made in diy vanilla extract heaven!
Rum – Pumpkin Spice Latte
Bourbon – Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread
Vodka – Newbie Gluten Free Pancakes
How to make homemade vanilla extract without alcohol
If you need to avoid alcohol for whatever reason then you do have the option to make an alcohol free cavil extract using food grade USP non GMO glycerin instead of the alcohol.
What is Vegetable Glycerin and is it safe to use in food?
Vegetable Glycerin otherwise known as glycerol is a clear and odorless liquid made from certain plant oils such as palm, soy and coconut oil.
Food grade vegetable glycerin has a USP grade of at least 99% pure, has a sweet flavor and can safely be used in food applications for consumption. It helps keep food moist and is often used to sweeten low carb food products because despite being a carbohydrate, vegetable glycerin does not have a large impact on blood sugar levels and is considered perfectly safe. (Source healthyfocus.org)
Please note that if you do choose to use glycerin instead of alcohol the end result won’t be a vanilla ‘extract’ but more like a vanilla flavoured syrup as alcohol is needed for the extraction process.
DIY Vanilla Extract Hack
If you wish to experiment with making your own vanilla extract at home but don’t have a fully stocked bar I would suggest buying mini bottles of alcohol. Pop a couple of vanilla beans directly in the bottles and let it sit.
Package them in cute little glass bottles and they would make great gifts as well!
DIY Vanilla Extract 3 ways
- 3 to 5 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise.
- Place both halves of the vanilla bean into a clean glass bottle.
- Cover the beans completely with alcohol.
- Close the lid and store the bottles in a cool dark place for at least two months.