Making your own vanilla is a very simple process! It takes some thinking ahead, but it will save you money in the end. This way you have no additives or chemicals, caramel color etc. Vanilla has gone way up in price if you have not noticed already, it will come down with crop production so you will just have to watch the prices and when the vanilla bean prices come down hurry and buy at least half a pound.
When I first made vanilla, I bought half a pound of vanilla Madagascar beans for $30-40, and now that same bag is $300. This lasted me a very long time and makes fun gifts (which I am not giving away right now LOL). Here is how my process goes at my house, so that I never run out of vanilla:
My Vanilla Process:
I keep a small 4 oz amber glass bottle in the spice cooking cupboard, it has two beans cut in half that I just keep in there. Then I have a quart jar in the pantry that is marinating a new batch. When this batch is done, I pour it into a 32oz amber glass bottle. It has 2-3 beans in it as well while it sits waiting lovingly, for me to use it. This is the jar I use to re-fill my small 4oz in the cupboard.
After I have poured the quart jar out into my storage one, I simply refill the quart jar and add a couple more new beans and let it sit until it is done again!
This is all I do to have an endless supply of homemade vanilla, it is so fun creating and making something. Then you get to use with joy what you have made and know what is in it. So, want to know how to make it??? I will list under SHOP at the bottom, where I get everything as well. If you can find a deal on vanilla beans that would be great!
I learned how to make vanilla over at Mels Kitchen Cafe, she has a lot more information over there if you want more details.
What you need to gather:
- 1 wide mouth quart jar
- 1 white lid. If you have not used these- they are amazing. They will not rust and get yucky like your regular canning ones.
- 80 proof Voka or Rum to fill the quart jar. I can not taste the difference of the vanilla that each ones makes, so just get what is cheapest. Remember the alcohol content evaporates in heat, leaving the flavor behind. The alcohol is what pulls the flavor out of the beans making vanilla, and all vanilla is made this way. The only thing I would ask for is a vodka NOT made from corn. You can get vodka made from wheat or potato that are 80 proof. Stay away from the wheat option if you have sensitivities. Usually the bottle will cost around $12.
- 16 vanilla beans to fill your quart jar. If you are doing smaller bottles for gifts, use 4 beans for every 8oz.
What to do:
Cut some thin openings or slice into the beans and then place them in your jar. After all our beans are set, fill with your jar with vodka and completely cover the beans, and put your lid on. Let it sit for at least 6 weeks or if you can wait… do 3 months. You can check on it and give it a shake every once in a while. It will turn a dark color and smell wonderful when it is done.
After your first batch is done, the beans are now soft and you can put one out anytime and scrape out the beans, and have the seeds to use in recipes like homemade ice cream or cheese cake!
To make your next batch I pour out the quart jar into my 32oz or larger amber jar for storage. I add a couple more fresh vanilla beans to the quart jar and then refill. There you have it!
Here is the cute, cute labels for your vanilla from Mels Kitchen Cafe to label your gifts or just for your bottle 🙂 I sent the file to a copy store and asked them to print it on glossy white sticky paper. Perfect! >>> Homemade Vanilla Label