- 1 cup vodka
- 2-3 fair trade vanilla beans
- 1 clean glass jar, tightly fitted lid
Pure vanilla extract always tastes better than imitation extract – but is often more expensive. The way around that puzzle is to make it yourself – it’s cheaper and the flavor will be more vibrant.
The prep time needed to make vanilla extract is minimal – 3 minutes tops. It can’t be used right away though, so be prepared to let the jar of vanilla extract sit in a cool, dark place, for at least 3-4 weeks before you use it.
Ensure that you have a clean jar with a tightly fitting lid. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise starting the incision a ½ inch from each end. Drop the vanilla beans into the jar and pour at least 1 cup of vodka on top to infuse. Fully submerge the vanilla beans into the liquid and set aside. Shake the vanilla extract once a week while it’s developing.
The vanilla extract will start to darken and look like what we expect vanilla extract to look like within a week or so (see the photos below). When it’s ready, use in cookies and other baked goods, and for delicious spiced paleo pancakes.