Vanilla extract is one of those items that seems so expensive on the super market shelf, especially if you are looking for a good quality, organic bottle of the stuff.  Why not make your own?!  It’s both cost effective and tastes great.  I’ve found organic vanilla beans in the bulk section of a natural foods store for $.89.  Organic vodka will run you about approximately $6 per cup.  This is a much better deal than the $7.49 for a 2 fl. oz. bottle I have seen at my local store.

For me, inspiration was born out of necessity. I was a bit over zealous with my purchasing at the bulk bin and the pods grew dry. I couldn’t let the world’s third most expensive spice*** go to waste. Alcohol is the perfect conduit for bringing life back to the vanilla bean. Making my own helps me continue the mode of being and feeling as utilitarian as my current life allows.

It’s also a neat process to watch, as the alcohol draws out the color and flavor from the vanilla beans.  This picture is just under two months into the extraction process.  Normally, it is suggested to shake extractions regularly.  However, I thought it was cool to watch the brown color slowly rise to the top of the bottle.

 

Vanilla Extract

 

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

2 vanilla beans

1 cup vodka

Directions:

Cut up vanilla beans and place in canning jar. Pour vodka to the brim. Give a good shake and repeat regularly. Store in a cool dark place for about 10-12 weeks.  Strain and rebottle.

 

***For more info visit: http://theepicentre.com/spice/vanilla/