I make my own vanilla extract because most extracts are made with alcohol. And that alcohol is usually a form of vodka made with wheat. You might not have known that majority of vodkas are now made of wheat rather than potatoes because it’s cheaper. Did you also know that is one of the top 3 genetically modified crops in the world? So yeah, I’m that kind of crazy. I want to be sure there is no GMO frankenfoods in my kitchen. And I check the label that it’s potato vodka all the way! You can get vodka made from grapes, but I just think vodka should be made from potatoes. Maybe it’s the Ukrainian in me….
You will need a mason jar, vanilla beans, vodka. That is all!
- 1 cup of vodka (I use Chopin brand – the potato one)
- 4-5 Vanilla beans, you can use more but it’s pricey
Slit the vanilla pods from end to end and put in the mason jar. Add vodka and wait. Wait a crazy long time. Wait at least 3 months. I labeled mine and tucked away in the back of the cupboard so I wouldn’t be tempted to open it. It seems like a lot of money, as vanilla beans are quite expensive, but you can reuse the beans, or add more vodka as you go to keep a constant one cup. Depending on volume of use, these beans can last years!
I use vanilla a lot in baking and the heat from the oven kills the booze in the vodka. Not many recipes call for gallons of vodka therefore the alcohol in a teaspoon of vanilla is so diluted that it’s unnoticeable.