Not Just Plain Vanilla


 Vanilla Ingredients 

As someone that enjoys cooking and baking, I am always searching for ways to improve the quality of the food and the cost of the preparation. With skyrocketing food costs, seasonings and spices are increasingly priced at a premium.

One way that I have found to reduce costs is to make my own vanilla extract. Of course, my daughter would patiently explain that it wasn't really an extract since I don't actually squeeze vanilla juice out of the beans. Instead it is a tincture...blah, blah, blah. I'm sure she's right. Well, whatever you want to call it, I find that I am now free to use as much of the resulting liquid in any recipe that I want, yielding a far richer flavor. Baked goods made with homemade vanilla are never bland. This is so simple, that I usually only make up a batch once per year. Today happens to be that day!

The steps are simple:

1.) Order vanilla beans. (I find my beans on Ebay)

2.) Make lengthwise slits in the beans

3/19/2012 8:21:18 PM

Carolyn, congrats on having your blog post "Stinging Nettles: The Green that Bites Back! " highlighted on the "GRIT Food Garden Planner Newsletter and Planting Guide". You are getting to be quite popular these days aren't you? Have a great day in the spring time garden.

Becky and Andy
3/2/2012 8:15:04 PM

We got some authentic Mexican vanilla beans from one of our farm patrons three years ago. They were so precious to us because she picked them up from some roadside stand deep in the mountains and sent them to us in the middle of her trip. We put about 15 of them into a 1.75L bottle of Absolut (the nicest vodka we could afford as farmers) and just ran out of our homemade vanilla this winter. Luckily for us, we still had the remainder of beans in freezer storage and we were able to "tincture" another huge batch for the following three years. I guess we'll have to go online for the next round of beans. But they likely won't be as sentimental :-)

Lori Dunn
3/2/2012 3:39:38 PM

Carolyn, I have seen instructions on making vanilla before but just haven't gotten around to ordering the beans yet. I really need to because I do an awful lot of baking and go through the vanilla quite quickly! How expensive are the beans? If I make it, I will probably do quite a lot at once. This would make a cool gift too! I already have the vodka. I buy it in large amounts because I make other tintures too. Someone looking into my cubbards would probably think i'm a lush!!

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters