Friday, August 6, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Quality pure vanilla extract is a clean eating kitchen staple. I personally use it several times a day. Vanilla extract adds a distinct dimension of flavor to my morning oatmeal, post-workout smoothies, mid-morning greek yogurt, homemade protein bars, the list goes on and on. However, at $7.60 per 4 oz bottle, this fabulous kitchen staple can really put a dent in our clean eating grocery budgets. So, when my dear friend, Melissa, told me that she was making her own homemade vanilla extract for a fraction of the cost of store bought I was all ears.

Vanilla Extract one of those items that never occurred to me could be so simple to make at home. I feel slightly embarrassed even calling this a recipe. Had I known that I could easily make my own vanilla extract I would have started saving money years ago!

Vanilla Extract

1 cup good quality organic vodka (I use Phillips Organic Prairie Vodka)
2 organic vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise

Combine the vodka and vanilla beans in a glass mason jar. Cover and shake vigorously. Store in a cool, dark place to steep.

Give the mason jar a good vigorous shake daily for 1 week. Vanilla extract will be ready to use.

At this point you can remove the vanilla beans; however, I let them steep until I use up all of the vanilla extract and it is time to make a new batch.

Tip: Look in the bulk spice section of your local co-op for BIG savings on vanilla beans. Local grocery stores usually charge upwards of $7 a piece for pre-packaged organic vanilla beans; however, I can pick up 2 vanilla beans at Valley Natural Foods for $3-$4 total. In addition, I have found that the bulk vanilla beans are softer and have more flavor than the pre-packaged vanilla beans.

Which kitchen staples do you make at home to save money?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

definitely gonna try this! Vanilla is soo expensive!