Cookbook Review and a DIY Project: Homemade Vanilla Extract


If you are on the GAPS Diet…or contemplating the GAPS Diet…you really want to get the “Internal Bliss” cookbook.  Even if you’re not on GAPS, all the recipes are “real food” based and can be appreciated by anyone.  Some of the recipes include:  Guacamole (my favorite), Ranch Dip (equally awesome), Barbecue Sauce (on the stove right now), a Carrot Soup recipe that is “curried” and to die for, and a kick-butt recipe for Asian-Style Coleslaw.   I don’t remember how many recipes are included in this but it is a wide range of nut and seed prep, condiments and sauces, soups (of course), salads, desserts, ferments, breads and so on.  Best $14.95 I’ve ever spent.  Ok, well maybe that’s an exaggeration but it’s close. 🙂

And one of my favorites is a “how to” recipe for making your own vanilla extract!  And here is all you need:

This is a pic of the finished product, but you get the jist.  All you need is what you see, and about five minutes of your time.  Planning ahead is good though, because it will take you awhile to get the finished product.

Homemade Vanilla Extract (from the “Internal Bliss” cookbook)

1 oz (approximately 6) vanilla beans (I got mine here)

One standard bottle of vodka (plain old Smirnoff from the muni liquor store)

Split your vanilla beans in half lengthwise.  Pour out a few ounces of vodka – not much – to make room for the vanilla beans.  Place the split vanilla beans in the bottle with the vodka and secure the lid.  Store in a cool, dark, place – shaking occasionally – for two or more months.  And that’s it!!!!!  Doesn’t get much easier than that!

When your vanilla extract is ready, it will have a deep caramel color and will smell delicious.  And yes, it is delicious in baked goods, etc.!

You might ask…”Why the heck would you want to make your own vanilla?  Can’t you just buy it at the store?”   Well…..first of all, most store bought vanilla has all kinds of obnoxious petroleum (yeah, you read that right) based ingredients.  If you see things like “propylene glycol, caramel color, and sodium benzoate”…RUN!  Sodium benzoate is one of the fastest burning rocket fuels and is also an ingredient in fireworks.  Sounds yummy, huh?  I don’t eat oil, or rocket fuel.  I did at one point in my life but I refuse to now.

Second…sometimes it just feels really really cool to make your own things that you just took for granted that you had to buy – good sense of accomplishment.  The kids like to be part of these little “experiments” too.

Third…we have been gluten free for over a year now, and frankly – I’m sick to death of paying $9.99 or more for a teeny tiny bottle of vanilla that will last me two weeks if I’m lucky.  I figure that I paid around $20 for a gynormous amount of vanilla by the time it was all said and done.  Kind of a “cost no-brainer”!!!


This post was shared at The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania; The Morris Tribe’s Homesteader Blog Carnival; The Better Mom’s Mondays Link Up; The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barn Hop; Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease Made from Scratch Monday; Real Food  Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays; Like a Mustard Seed’s Living Green Tuesdays; Cooking Traditional Foods Traditional Tuesdays; The Tasty Alternative’s Allergy Free Wednesdays; Whole New Mom’s Allergy Free Wednesday’s; Laura’s Gluten Free Pantry’s Allergy Free Wednesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter; Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday; The Liberated Kitchen’s GAPS Friendly Fridays; The 21st Century Housewife’s Gallery of Favorites; Premeditated Leftovers Gallery of Favorites; Too  Many Jars in My Kitchen’s Fill Those Jars Friday;


About earthmuffinmom

I am a Christian mom and wife who is watching and waiting impatiently for the Lord's return in a world that is getting nuttier by the day. My main interests are in the areas of Biblical end times/eschatology and early Genesis/creation. To understand the must understand the beginning! My other passion is health and healing! Our family has also been greatly blessed over the past several years with healing through natural health and diet (generally Paleo/grain free). I love sharing this information with other people, and helping folks in their healing journeys. That being said...I am not a I'm not responsible for any decisions you may make in regards to your own health. Other stuff: I am married to a wonderful man who I have had the privilege of having three beautiful children with. We have been married for over sixteen years. I work full time, but have the blessing of working from my home, and I homeschool my oldest child. We enjoy homesteading...and while we live in a small, rural town...we have worked hard to develop our yard into a "little bit of country in town"...complete with our "farm dog," Buddy, and five chickens. Thanks for checking out my blog!

13 responses »

  1. Oh, this post is so timely! I have some vanilla beans and a bottle of Smirnoff in the pantry ready to be best buds! I didn’t know how many beans it would take, and I bought 3 at the store. I might have to go back and get another 3. Thanks!

  2. Oh, so very true! I cringe every time I read a list of ingredients on anything. I told my husband back when my daughter was first diagnosed that I couldn’t believe the junk we had been eating all those years, never really paying attention to what was in pre-packaged food. I’ve been making my own Vanilla for 3 years now. It’s so very nice not to ever run out LOL. And, it makes wonderful Christmas gifts for the ‘bakers’ in our lives ☺ Thanks for participating this week!

    • I have been thinking about doing another batch for Christmas gifts too… I agree, a few years ago we used to eat terribly and I never even knew it…rocket fuel, who knew? Sometimes people don’t even believe me when I say this stuff…like I could dream that up in a million years on my own! So I use my blog as an outlet for people who are interested… 🙂 have a wonderful Friday!

  3. Okay, you’ve reminded me I need to go make some vanilla! I’ve got the ingredients and keep forgetting to do it (and it’s so easy!). I also need to use my Internal Bliss cookbook more. : )

    Thanks for sharing this with Fill Those Jars Friday. Hope to see you again later this week!

  4. I love how easy, frugal and delicious your homemade vanilla extract is. It’s got such a lovely colour to it as well!

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