Monday, September 27, 2010

Vanilla Extract

When my mother was diagnosed with Celiac, she was actually really happy to finally have a reason for all of her medical difficulties. As we delved into her new diet however, she began to realize just how many of the food products we eat every day contains gluten!

Even her two favorite kitchen staples, vanilla extract and balsamic vinegar, fell prey to gluten, having added caramel colour.

This bothered me as well, and I decided that my mother shouldn't have to go without her staples. I decided to make vanilla extract for her, the way we used to back in the day.

This is actually ridiculously simple. All you need is vodka, and some good quality beans.

The vanilla beans were no problem. You can get them at most decent grocery stores, but I decided to purchase mine off e-bay. They were MUCH cheaper that way, and I knew exactly what beans I was getting.

The vodka is easy as well. I used potato vodka in mine, because it's going to my mother, and I wanted to be extra sure that there was no way any gluten could get its sneaky little way into my extract. Chopin vodka comes in a nice bottle too!

All you need to do is split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, not all the way, leave them sticking together just a little bit. Stuff them into a jar, and cover them with the vodka. This needs a couple of weeks to soak, so just wait until it gets that nice brown colour we're all used to.

Simply pour and use! I poured mine back into the bottle the vodka came in for show. When your extract levels dip, simple add more vodka and wait for the colour to come back. These beans will last for a good long time.

Enoy the amazing flavour that is TRUE vanilla.


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