bottle of vanilla

Update! Vanilla extract, vanilla beans, and anything vanilla has had a drastic increase in price. I’ve updated the links

It’s the perfect time to start making Christmas gifts!

This morning was clearly the time to fill up the old pickle jar with vodka. I need to make some vanilla extract!

With a shopping list and credit card in my pocket it wasn’t just another day. Turns out there’s a bit of trauma when you’re buying three half-gallon jugs of 70-90 proof vodka. Flashes of seeing someone who knows me began swimming in my head the second my foot hit the ground of the Wal-mart parking lot. As I scooted to the back of the store, where the liquor lives, my eyes darted through the aisles looking for Sister Betterthanyou from church, or worse, my pastor.

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By the time I got to the alcohol section my heart was beating wildly. Then I nearly swallowed my tongue when I realized there was only beer on the shelves. Vanilla extract made with beer would make some funny tasting cookies so I walked the aisles searching desperately. I scanned the patrons to size up who looked like a drinker, I needed someone who knew where the vodka lives. I was tempted heartily to swagger over to the stock boy, slur my words like the best of them so that I could ask where the vodka was shelved. Too bad I left the kids at home doing school; they could make this a real event!

Turns out Tennessee Wal-marts don’t carry vodka like Georgia Wal-marts.

So off to the liquor store I went with one goal – hiding my very identifiable car in a very visible parking lot.

Getting the vodka was the hardest part of making both the vanilla extract and almond extract! Be sure to use grade B beans, they are less oily and product a superior product. The least expensive vanilla beans are here (ice cream here we come)!Vanilla bean label

Vanilla Extract Recipe

1 pound vanilla beans, cut into half inch long strips (Click here for the most economical option {this post contains affiliate links like this one which pay for this site}).

1 gallon vodka, 70-90 proof, the brand shouldn’t matter.

To make a quart of vanilla use 1/4 pound beans (click here) cut into half inch strips the fill the rest of the quart jar with vodka. Once you make homemade vanilla, ice cream will never taste the same. The difference is far superior.

Vanilla beans on a cutting board

Put the cut beans into a gallon jar, add the vodka and screw on the lid. Place jar in a dark spot. Different recipes call for different directions and here’s where the recipes differ: some say leave for one month and shake contents daily, others say leave for six months and shake contents every few days. I prefer vanilla that has been brewing for a year. After you bottle up the vanilla extract don’t throw those beans away! You can add more gin a brew them again. They should be left longer the second and yes even a third time. With the prices as they are, we want to pull as much flavor out of these beans as we can.

Now try this Ice Cream recipe with your awesome vanilla extract. Taste how good home brewed can be!

Jar of vanilla beans soaking in alcohol




*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.




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