Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Homemade Vanilla Extract, GMO & Grain Free

RE-POST! Time to make your own vanilla!
I go through a lot of vanilla extract over here.  So, I got a great deal on vanilla beans online (do a search and you will, too!) and made my own. It is so easy! Most people use vodka, but I do not. This is why.  First, I do not believe that Celiacs can drink vodka and grain based alcohols. Why? Because I never have been able to.  They have always made me sick.  The two alcohols that do not bother me are rum and tequila.  And guess what? Neither of those are grain based.  Vodka is almost always wheat based. Sure, you can buy potato vodka if you want. But, potatoes are still considered grain-like (reactions in body).   My second reason is that I am trying to completely cut out GMOs.  So I want to stay away from anything that is made from GMO (wheat, potatoes, grains) even if it is denatured and not problem causing for gluten intolerants (which I do not believe).  Of course, it is up to you.  There is very little vanilla extract in any recipe.  I used rum made in Louisiana from Louisiana cane sugar. Louisiana cane sugar is GMO free.  So I made more than 1 1/2 pints of vanilla extract for less than $17.  Next time, I am going to buy organic vanilla beans! (I wish I had thought of that the first time).
In my picture you can see I forgot to cut the beans to make them less tall.  I'll have to do it later.  I'll post a picture later to show you the color change!

UPDATE: It worked! Took 3 months!  I have done this twice so I am re-posting this post.

Just made: not ready yet!

Made and bottled to sell for a friend's adoption fundraiser! (Left is the rum)

Homemade Vanilla Extract
makes one 750 ML bottle

1 bottle of cane-sugar rum made in US or Cuba
9 organic vanilla beans, mine were on the small side

Open rum bottle.  Slice the vanilla bean pods length-wise and use the knife to scrape out the inside seeds.  Scrape the seeds on the knife inside the lip of your rum bottle.  Cut vanilla beans in half to make them half as tall.  Drop them into the bottle, and try to push the seeds into the bottle as you are doing it. Re-cork the bottle and shake well.  Store in a cool dark place for 3 months, SHAKING DAILY if possible.  Don't let the liquid go below the vanilla pods.  Refill as necessary.  The vanilla beans will last longer than one bottle's worth of rum.