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How to Make Vanilla Extract
- Easily and Affordably!

Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Learning how to make vanilla extract is so easy and affordable. In just a short amount of time and for about .01% of the cost you can make a large supply of this vanilla extract recipe to use or give as gifts. And since it keeps so well, you can make one large batch to use for years!

Below are the simple instructions, necessary "equipment" (that you likely have in your kitchen) and ingredients to use. Also is some discussion on gluten-free vanilla extract (I'm gluten-free myself, so this is important to me, too) and making organic vanilla extract.

Ready to get started?

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Once you've discoverd just how easy and just how inexpensive it is to learn how to make your own vanilla extract recipe, you'll be shocked at what you were paying for the lower quality stuff at the stores!

First, we'll start off with "equipment":

  • Sharp-tipped knife
  • Glass container with a lid: If you don't have glass you can also use your stainless steel water bottle or a plastic container, as long as it has a lid
  • Yup, that's it for "equipment"!

Next are the ingredients:

  • 1 ounce (5-10 beans generally) whole organic vanilla beans - I recommend choosing organic vanilla beans. You can find these at a health food store or online through one of our affiliates, Mountain Rose Herbs.
  • 1 liter of liquor: Vodka is the simplest, but rum or bourbon will likely add a richer flavor to your homemade vanilla extract.
  • How easy is that?

Now for the super simple instructions on how to make vanilla extract!

  1. Slice the beans length-wise to open them up. This is to allow the tiny little beans inside to instill in the alcohol.
  2. One ounce of beans is added to one liter of alcohol, so depending on how big your containers are or how many different kids of extract you're making, you'll want to divide the beans accordingly between containers. You could also add the beans directly to the bottle of alcohol! Don't worry about getting it perfect! It doesn't make much of a difference unless you're going for serious quality control.
  3. Seal them tightly, shake them up and let them sit for 1-2 weeks. You can shake them occassionally, and should probably shake them before each use.
  4. You can leave the beans in the alcohol forever; you can even add more alcohol down the road as your homemade vanilla extract gets low, as the beans will continue to instill their flavor.

My best tip: Experiment with small batches to find the vanilla extract recipe you like the most!

After you learn how to make vanilla extract, start thinking about ways to use it: In baking (obviously), in homemade yogurt, in cocktails, in homemade toothpaste...heck, if you love the smell you could probably add it to homemade beauty products, homemade cleaning products and more!

Vanilla Extract after 2 days

About Gluten-Free Vanilla Extract or Organic Vanilla Extract

Since I'm gluten-free I like to throw this info in: According to Celiac.com, who has a great article on gluten-free cocktails, all vodka and all rum are naturally gluten-free (unless there are gluten flavors added). Bourbon may or may not be gluten-free and so you'll need to search for information on a particular brand. Vanilla beans are certainly gluten-free though, so learning how to make vanilla extract is a great way to ensure your health.

Another aspect that I can't pass up is organic vanilla extract recipe. Organic vanilla beans are easy to find. Organic liquors may be a little tougher, but they DO exist. Call your local liquor stores and natural food stores (instead of wasting a trip driving there) to see if they carry an organic brand. If not a quick online search will show you where you can order your own.

Homemade vanilla extract also makes a great gift for others. A decorative bottle, a bean placed inside and your own label or tag (maybe even including the vanilla extract recipe) is all you need.

With how simple and affordable it is to learn how to make vanilla extract (that is a higher quality, will last for longer and makes neat gifts), it's a great way to go green while eating healthy.

Interested in Affordable, Healthy Food?

I'm extremely proud to present to you the Sustainable Baby Steps guides, helping you delve into the topic of making organic food affordable and simple with easy-to-digest, step-by-step information, inspiration, and tools to help you live green and healthy. Sweet, right?

Making Organic Food Affordable
Meal Planning