Pursing a pro-biological lifestyle

Vanilla extract April 8, 2014

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 2:11 pm

I love vanilla – the flavor, aroma, the aura it gives cakes, cookies,  and even coffee.  Vanilla is not cheap, though.  It’s the second most expensive spice after saffron.

Of course there is vanillin – the synthetic extract  found  in most processed foods with “natural flavors”  or something of the kind.  These flavors, along with  artificial strawberry flavors, come from the castor sacs of beavers,  which is something  most people don’t want to ingest, or wouldn’t if they knew.

Real vanilla contains vanilloids, which act like capsaicin,  reducing pain  and inflammation in the body, just like many hot pepper cultivars.  It also has antimicrobial activity.  So  using is not only  tasty and pleasant, but healthful too.

The best way to get real vanilla is to buy the beans  yourself.  The  beans come in pods from vine like plants.  If  you  have a local  grower  or  have the plant, that’s great.  If you’re like me,  and buy the pods dried, the best way to make them last is  to make  vanilla extract.

Basically you put vanilla pods in vodka.  My baseline (completely not scientific) is adding a minimum  of 4 pods per 500 ml, putting in a  cool dark place  for at least 3  months,  and them  having an endless supply  of vanilla extract.   Adding  more  pods will intensify the flavor, as will a longer wait period.

This makes for a great gift,  the  whole bottle (if you’re feeling rather generous) or  dividing it up into smaller bottles.

The “Recipe”

1 bottle of 500 ml vodka ( I  choose Polish potato  vodka because it’s gluten free and I’m Polish)

4 or more vanilla pods

Just stick them in there and  wait for the vanilla to overtake the ethanol. Glorious.

Cheers and good health!






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