How I do Vanilla!

When I was first married I used imitation vanilla. I really had no clue what the difference was between that and REAL vanilla. Down the road I realized that it was better to use real vanilla,health wise and flavor wise.
A year ago for Christmas my sil got me some vanilla beans. It was not a concept I was familiar with. As I learned more about it I got pretty excited to use it. I had no idea you could buy your own vanilla beans and make your own vanilla.

Here's how to do it:

First you buy your beans. This is where I've been buying mine. I like that they are organic and I think the price is really good.

So, here they are. I believe these are Tahitian. (These are long.) I put one 10 pack of beans in a 750 ml bottle of vodka. This company has a few varieties to choose from. They have more info on their site about size and the difference between their beans.

Next buy your Alcohol. We use Vodka. The first directions I saw said you could use rum or bourbon too. I think both of those have more flavor than the vodka, since I want a truer vanilla flavor I stick w/ vodka.

Next you take your beans and cut them length wise. (I think you can tell by the picture below,what's happening.) Sometimes the ends are hard, if so we cut those off too.

Next step is to drop the cut beans into the bottle of vodka.

Ta-Da.....Your done!
It will take 4-6 weeks before you will use it, that way it's full strength.

Some helpful hints:
As you use your vanilla and your beans start to be exposed you can "top" off your bottle with more vodka. It will last quite a while. (I'm not sure exactly how long.) If you notice the color isn't darkening as much when topped off or the flavor is diminishing it may be time to get new beans.
You don't need high quality alcohol for this. I try to get the cheapest I can find. At CVS You can normally get a bottle for $8-$9. I have gotten a larger bottle at meijer for around the same price. I use a glass bottle for my vanilla, my vodka refill bottle is plastic. If your using real vanilla, this is the most cost effective I've come across.
What kind of vanilla do you use?


Megan January 6, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

nicely done! I linked ya!

Genesa January 6, 2010 at 4:41 PM  


daphnemomof9 January 7, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

Thanks so much for this visual recipe. I never thought of making my own vanilla and it looks so easy. I'm ordering the beans right now and I can't wait to try it.

Erica January 11, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

This is wonderful! I may have to give that a try.


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