Learn how to make your own homemade vanilla extract with only 2 ingredients!
I don’t know about you, but if I can find something to make from scratch, I really want to try it. Okay, and that sounds crazy, because, well, everything you can make from scratch. But I’m talking about the things that are in my life, like the basics. Think of my recipe for easy paleo mayonnaise or how to make bone broth or maybe making my sunflower butter instead of buying a jar from the store. One of the first “make it yourself” recipes I used was homemade chocolate. And you know what? They were sooooo good. The difference between me making chocolate or buying from the store is really not about time (cause it’s so easy!) but about convenience or because I want to try a new flavor.
So I’m telling you here, making vanilla extract might not be about because it’s so quick, since it takes time to sit on the shelf, but more about the process and the flavor. The “I-just-made-that-vanilla-extract-in-the-cookies!” and you are so proud because the cookies are just incredible. Or when you are adding this concoction to my caramelized banana steel cut oats and to my gluten-free chocolate chunk skillet cookie and everyone tries it you can tell them, ” I just made that vanilla extract 6 months ago.”
Wait a second, 6 months? Yea, at least.
Okay, get me on this. Time will tell. The longer you let the vanilla bean pods sit in the vodka, the more the flavor will be extracted! That’s why we start making it now, so it can be ready…errr…um…in 6 months.
Now let’s get to the variety of vanilla bean pods. I bought Tahitian vanilla beans on Amazon online because they were a bit cheaper. However, I’ve heard that using the Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans are excellent for a deeper, richer flavor. I’ll have to try that next time around! Also, there is a difference in grade A vanilla beans (used for cooking) or grade B (used for extracting). Compare and contrast, or just spend the few extract dollars and buy the grade B vanilla beans and see for yourself that the flavor is higher quality! Either way you are saving money by making your own vanilla extract.
Then you’ll choose your vodka, which I bought mine from Costco. Obviously, you don’t need a large amount, so if you have a different kind of alcohol on hand, like brandy, rum, or bourbon, then go ahead and use that. Just make sure that it’s not flavored!
Slice the vanilla bean pod lengthwise, then place them in your tall, brown, glass jar. And now you’ll have vanilla extract to use in your favorite baked goods, coffee, pancakes, smoothies, shakes, creamers…
I could go on.
Just be patient, and wait for 6 months (or longer!) I promise you, it’s worth it!
How to Make Vanilla Extract
- 8 ounce glass tall jar preferably dark
- 4-5 vanilla bean pods
Split the vanilla bean pods by slicing lengthwise. Scrape out the flecks of seeds into the jar (I love the seeds in my baking!)
Place the vanilla bean pods into the jar (tall jar is best so they fit, if not just cut in half).
Pour the vodka into the jar, place the lid on top and let sit in the back of your cupboard for at least 6 months!
I like to add 4-5 vanilla bean pods for every 8 ounces of liquid. You can also try out using rum, brandy, or bourbon instead of vodka. Just make sure that the alcohol isn't flavored!