Monday, August 11, 2014

Vanilla Extract

One of the shockers when I first started Camden's allergy free diet was how the ordinary kitchen essentials, like vanilla extract, would have corn in it. If I read the ingredient listed on the prepackaged vanilla extract, I'd see vanilla and ethyl alcohol. So what's the corn? The ethyl alcohol. Yeah, I didn't know that it is actually made from corn. Thanks to my friend, Nicole, who told me what to avoid during the corn free diet phrase.

Believe it or not, vanilla extract is actually very easy to make. There are only two ingredients needed: vanilla and potato vodka. The secret to process the vanilla extract is time. It will take a few weeks for the potato vodka to seep into the vanilla beans, giving that vanilla essence. Once ready, the vanilla extract is kept in an air tight glass bottle indefinitely.

Even after Camden outgrew his food allergy, I decided to continue eating cleanly. I still make my own vanilla extract out of potato vodka and rum. For vanilla pods, they are cheaper when purchasing them online. Four years ago, I bought fifty vanilla pots from the internet for about twenty dollars. To this day, I still have half of the amount of the pods left.

Vanilla Extract
makes as much as you want

5-7 vanilla pods
potato vodka or rum
  1. Add 5-7 vanilla pods into a bottle of potato vodka or rum. NOTE: When adding the vanilla pods into the bottle, the liquid might overflow. Pour out a little bit of potato vodka or rum into a small bottle to use later. 
  2. Leave the bottle in a dry and cool pantry.
  3. Once a week or so, shake the bottle.
  4. The vanilla extract is ready when the potato vodka or rum has dark amber color.
Allergy Info: This vanilla extract is free from or can be made without dairy, egg, corn, legume (soy), wheat, nuts, and fish. Do a little research and find out which potato vodka or rum is corn free. Keep in mind that some packaging is made from corn. The vanilla pods I purchased online came in a vacuum sealed bag. Definitely ask around and call companies to check their sources and packaging to prevent allergic reactions.

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