On my shopping list this week was vanilla beans and vodka. Why do I shamelessly admit to the entire world that I bought vodka? Get your head out of the gutter, because I’m using it to make my own homemade vanilla extract recipe. My reasons for doing it this way are for the health benefits as well as for saving money.
Have you read the ingredients on your bottle of vanilla extract? Go, right now, and read them. The only things that should be in it are vanilla beans and alcohol, but for some odd reason many brands decided vanilla extract also needs to be watered down and have sugar or high fructose corn syrup in it. And this is just what I’ve found in the bottles labeled “pure.” Since I make a lot of things that call for vanilla extract around here, I decided this was something that I could easily make at home, and possibly save some money on (cost comparison at the end).
- Half gallon of Vodka (1.75 liters) – don’t go for the cheapest stuff, it makes a difference.
- 35-40 Vanilla Beans
Cut vanilla beans in half, without completely separating them. Keep the ends attached, and just keep in mind you really just want to expose the seeds that are inside. Pour out some of your vodka so that you have room for the vanilla beans in the bottle. Add the beans to your vodka bottle, close and shake. Store in a dark place for six months, while shaking the bottle about once a week. After six months, it is ready to use!
One Gallon of Vodka calls for 75-80 Vanilla Beans
750 ml of Vodka calls for 10-14 Vanilla Beans
200 ml of Vodka calls for 4-5 Vanilla Beans
After handling and cutting these, my hands smell so good that I just keep inhaling the scrumptious vanilla fragrance over and over again.
Quality Vodka (1.75 liters) $25
Quality Vanilla Beans (40 at .43 cents per bean) $23.27 (note that 55 beans came in the 1/2 pound bag)
=$48.27 for a half gallon of vanilla extract that is indeed pure.
Cost per ounce: $.75 cents
Simply Organic 2 oz. Best Price: $4.28 or $2.14 per ounce
Costco Vanilla Extract 16 oz. Best Price: $7 or $.44 cents per ounce (plus cost of membership) *Note: this price is cheaper per ounce but the extract is not necessarily 100% pure!
Aldi Vanilla Extract 2 oz. Best Price: $1.99 or $.995 per ounce
The imitation stuff has nothing on this, does it? If you like this post, then be sure to also watch Lynn’s Video Tutorial on Homemade Vanilla Extract.