Oh happy day, when we found out making our own vanilla extract is really simple!
I'll admit it's a little bit of a cost up front, but you get bulk vanilla extract, with a loooong use by date and when the extract is all used up you're left with delicious vodka-soaked vanilla beans that can be scraped out and then you have vanilla bean paste!
I'd seen an itty bitty bottle of pure vanilla extract at a deli once for about $20, and was very inspired to make it ourselves after that.
If you've looked at the ingredients of the vanilla essence and extract at the supermarket, you'll see there's a lot of sugar and other unwanted ingredients in there.
So, all you need to make the real deal is a 750ml bottle of vodka, preferably about 40% alc. vol and 10-12 vanilla beans.
Now when you buy vanilla beans, avoid the supermarket. The beans there generally look so dehydrated that you could snap them in half. They should be pliable and fresh...and smell divine.
If you want to support an Australian grower, try Broken Nose Vanilla. Fiona grows her beans in North QLD and they're the best we've seen. You'll pay about $30 for 10 of them, but they're worth it.
Otherwise, we've bought beans from http://lizzyainsworthbooks.blogspot.com.au/
Hi, my name is Racheal and I write the blog for Simple Living Toowoomba. Thanks for joining us on this journey to living a simpler life and encouraging others to do the same.