Author Topic: Make Your Own Vanilla  (Read 9990 times)

Offline LvsChant

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Make Your Own Vanilla
« on: June 13, 2009, 07:34:18 PM »
I've been making my own vanilla for several years now and can definitely see an application for us if vanilla is no longer available in stores...

Buy your own vanilla beans (as few as three for a jar, or as many as you can cram into it -- I usually do the latter). Fill it up with vodka. Let sit (shake occasionally) for about 6-8 weeks. It is fabulous for baking -- my husband also likes it in his coffee.

When it is ready to use, I typically pour it off into an old vanilla bottle, then refill the bottle with the beans with vodka again. I have used the same beans over and over to make vanilla as I need it. If you have a recipe that calls for a vanilla bean to be used, you can take one out of the bottle and use it.

Vanilla beans are very expensive if you buy then singly in stores... don't do that -- they usually aren't very fresh and can cost as much as $7.00 each. Find a food co-op and buy them in bulk... it usually costs me about $24.00 for an entire bag of them -- enough to start several bottles (crammed full).

Use in all your baking recipes (or for coffee) as desired.

Offline Klapton

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 07:53:13 PM »
WAY down on my to-do list is coming up with a reliable tropical greenhouse setup for growing things like Vanilla, Coffee, and citrus.  I found this article on growing vanilla beans:  http://www.essortment.com/home/gardenplantsgr_syjg.htm .  If TEOTWAWKI ends up not happening for a few years, I might get around to this eventually, after the rest of my homestead is up and running.  I might end up being a pretty popular guy if I'm the only person in Montana growing his own coffee, hehe.

Offline LGM30

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 08:51:33 PM »
Something else you can do with the extra beans after buying them in bulk is put one in a quart mason jar and then fill the jar with sugar and put a lid on it.  Vanilla sugar is yummy for making icing, putting in coffee, etc...

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 12:11:51 AM »
WAY down on my to-do list is coming up with a reliable tropical greenhouse setup for growing things like Vanilla, Coffee, and citrus.  I found this article on growing vanilla beans:  http://www.essortment.com/home/gardenplantsgr_syjg.htm .  If TEOTWAWKI ends up not happening for a few years, I might get around to this eventually, after the rest of my homestead is up and running.  I might end up being a pretty popular guy if I'm the only person in Montana growing his own coffee, hehe.
Just a small word of caution. the vanilla orchid takes two to four years to produce pods in an optimum tropical environment and from the point of harvest it takes another two years of slowly baking in the sun to transform into what we recognize as vanilla. nevermind the 6 hour window in which the bloom must be pollinated to be able to produce pods. I would recommend stocking up considerably if you plan of carrying vanilla as a barter product. Unless you are willing to get into the complexities of chemical extraction of vanillin out of oak barrels, which regrettably is more viable than the process of vanilla orchid production in Montana. Unless you happen to be a serious orchidophile with a a little less than a decade to spare. :)

A detailing of the process can be found here: From Bloom to Bean

Sorry to be a downer I'm just a little vanilla obsessed over here.  :o

Offline Klapton

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 04:35:24 AM »
Thanks for the info!  Yeah...  All the more reason to be WAY down on my to-do list.  IF I ever get that tropical greenhouse built, coffee and citrus will be my priority.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 07:32:12 AM »
My mom was in Tahiti a few summers ago for a few months working (tough job, eh?) and she said that the Tahitians - who live and work on vanilla plantations - use RUM, not vodka for their liquid vanilla.  so that is what my parents do with all the pods she brought home.

Thanks for the info!  Yeah...  All the more reason to be WAY down on my to-do list.  IF I ever get that tropical greenhouse built, coffee and citrus will be my priority.
tangent - I have a couple of "house plants" that supposedly do not get more than 6-8 ft tall: lime tree and lemon.  I had an avocado, but the dog ate it (stupid rotten cur!).  I will get another sometime.  Meanwhile, I also have a banana, which is a WATER HOG!!!!!!!

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 03:25:17 PM »
Sunshine - do you grow all those things in your house??  What condition do grow them under??

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 04:58:27 PM »
Sunshine - do you grow all those things in your house??  What condition do grow them under??

they are indoor/outdoor plants.  in the winter (oct- May), they live in my master bedroom where I have a turret with windows facing 5 directions: NE, E, SE, S, SW, so there is direct sunshine there from sunup to almost sundown.  In the summer months, they live on my balcony off my bedroom.  Right now the citris is only about 18" high, but the lime has a good 20-30 dime-sized limes growing, and the lemon probably would too except the 2-yo said "mommy, look at the pretty flowers!" and gave me a handful  :o >:( :'( :-\  The banana is really an ugly tree, and I would not get another, since I have been told that the die after producing fruit!  the ceilings on the main floor are taller by about 2 feet, so I will move them downstairs when they (and the children) get a bit bigger.
I have heard that they have mini-pomogranites, grapefruit, orange and clementines as well for home/northern-greenhouse climates.  My husband has been tolerant so far......  but I wonder how many trees in our room he will tolerate long term!

Angie

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 08:32:48 AM »
Here I am a native Floridian and have never grown citrus.  I guess because it was everywhere you look and so plentiful.  Anyway, I'll buy one for my Florida home and cultivate it.

l

offgridmontana

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2009, 03:58:20 PM »
Either vodka or rum vanilla in my coffee thank you! Thank you for the recipe, it could serve well to make more than baking or coffee sweetener - thinking before I make a cocktail.  ;)

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2009, 05:25:16 PM »
Cool post. Great idea Ivschant+1!

Got to looking online, I didn't know there were so many different types of vanilla beans. I also didn't know they were so long. Any particular kind you recommend?

I also noticed they have some good deals for beans on ebay (or I guess good deals, I don't think you said how big of a bag you were getting for $24).

Also, do you believe that rum or whiskey would work as well as vodka, but just add a little different flavor? My wheels are already spinning about putting a vanilla bean or two into rum or just plain ol' sipping whiskey :)


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2009, 07:44:27 AM »
I just checked a more recent UNFI catalog and find that bulk vanilla beans are going for about $29.70 for 4 oz. My catalog may also be out of date, so wouldn't be surprised if the price has risen again.

check www.unitedbuyingclubs.com to see more updated information.

I will post a photo of a bag of vanilla beans (one sitting on top) and two of the jars I use to make vanilla. A good quart mason jar would work well also. I typically pour the vanilla into an old vanilla bottle for daily use from the cupboard. Then, I have two jars that are working at any one time in the pantry. When the vanilla bottle runs out, I funnel vanilla from the jars with beans into the bottle and add more vodka to the beans...

The beans are from Madagascar...


Offline mamabear

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2009, 03:06:11 PM »
When you buy the whole beans like that how long do they last? Say I bought a bag now, would they still be good in a year?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2009, 06:03:53 PM »
Sealed in the mylar (like the picture) I am sure they would last several years... I have had the bag pictured for 2 years and they are still fine. They tend to dry out more if not kept sealed up nicely. Kept soaked in alcohol, I would think they would be good almost indefinitely. The bottles I started with (I've used a few of the beans for recipes that called for scraping out the seed pods -- old fashioned ice cream, etc.) still have many of the original beans I put there probably 4 years ago... they are still going strong.

All of this is just my own opinion and based on my own experience. However, I got the original idea when I bought a cookbook by the Barefoot Contessa. In the cookbook, she mentioned having a big jar with vanilla beans and vodka that she had been using for something like 20 years, I believe.

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2009, 06:30:10 PM »
He speaks truely.  My wife has been making vanilla like this for years.  It's good stuff.

Offline bartsdad

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2009, 12:37:52 AM »
Time to start a vanilla jar I see.

The internet has many good/cheap sources for quality beans.

I usually double bag mine and store in the freezer with no noticeable loss of flavor.

If looking for a good and easy seriously vanilla ice cream recipe, check this out. Simple, no eggs and is Good Eats.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2009, 02:27:07 PM »
I use dark rum to make my vanilla. I just started another batch. If you are looking for cheaper vanilla beans than almost $8 an oz let me know. I get 2 good quality vanilla beans (0.4 oz avg) for 98 cents.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2009, 01:27:54 PM »
I'm always interested in a good source for vanilla beans -- I agree the prices in the grocery stores are ridiculous -- and they usually aren't even very fresh.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2009, 03:18:14 PM »
I'll post it here since I have been contacted a few times. If you want beans let me know and on my next run I will pick up a mess and mail them out. All interested parties have to cover is the cost of the beans and the postage so long as the orders are small. If you want a pile of them for LTFS PM me and I'll see if I can help. :)

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2017, 07:32:29 PM »
Reviving old thread...the price of vanilla has skyrocketed. I used to be able to get 12oz of vanilla for $9.99.  Now it is hard to get it for less than $30.00.  While I haven't been able to find it for about 6 months, it hasn't worried me due to my preps.  However, I am down to my last bottle and am looking to make my own.  So 2 questions.

1. Who has a good source for vanilla beans?

2. Is the recipe really 2 ounces of vodka per bean?  Somehow, I don't believe that there was 6 beans in the 12 ounce bottle that I bought.  Looking for accounts of people using more vodka per bean but it still tasting good.

Thanks,
Jerseyboy

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2017, 12:19:27 AM »
Wow! You are right, jerseyboy. The price has really increased since the last time I bought beans. I think it has roughly doubled. However, amazon is still a good place to buy the beans. I have still had good luck with re-using my beans for several iterations of adding vodka after refilling the bottle in my cooking cupboard. ymmv.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2017, 07:10:11 AM »
I have a cool hippie uncle who grows vanilla orchids in his attached green house. What a Herculean pain that plant is. I've often thought there should be a docu on the flavor we sling as boring.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2017, 07:16:46 AM »
PS: I also find that they sell them at bulkfoods.com. I've had good luck getting things there, so if you have other bulk items you want, you can combine them for less expensive shipping.

Offline redrider

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2017, 08:56:41 AM »
Anyway you could link the beans you are buying on Amazon, LvsChant? I just looked and am confused. Madagascar? Bourbon? Good deal, bad deal.

At link would help a lot, Thanks!

rr

Offline farmnurse

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2017, 09:45:04 AM »
A recipee I saw said 2 beans for one cup of vodka



2. Is the recipe really 2 ounces of vodka per bean?  Somehow, I don't believe that there was 6 beans in the 12 ounce bottle that I bought.  Looking for accounts of people using more vodka per bean but it still tasting good.

Thanks,
Jerseyboy

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2017, 09:51:07 AM »

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2017, 10:25:00 AM »
This brand and type, 1/4 pound makes about a gallon  http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com/1-4-pound-madagascar-bourbon-extract-grade-b-vanilla-beans-mixed-length-whole-and-splits/

Those go for $90. And 128 ounces in a gallon puts the price around $9 for 12 ounces. Perfect. Now I need the vodka...

Off to the store...

Jerseyboy

Offline Cedar

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2017, 10:53:11 AM »
Toast almonds and use them in place of the vanilla bean for pure  almond extract. I have been making both for years now.

Cedar

Offline chad

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2017, 11:10:45 AM »
What's the deal with vanilla beans? I just looked at my 2014 vanilla bean Amazon order.

8 oz Madagascar vanilla bean $29.95

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Make Your Own Vanilla
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2017, 12:16:45 PM »
I may have had my ratios off in last post, 1/4 pound may be closer to  1/2 gallon, or 2 handles of vodka. I had trouble figuring out what size I usualy buy as the price has gone up enormously -- here is the original instructions I made vanilla extract with, I have also used other instructions for later batches, but cant remember where right now -- found it, a summary printed out when I taught our meetup group to make it -- we used 3 beans per cup. What I used to do is buy a full pound and spit it with other people. The vanilla seller says 1ounce per cup, so 1/4 pound is 4 ounces which for their ratio would only be a quart, but I have never used that much per amount of alcohol, for me it wold likely be twice as much alcohol, and I leave it extracting for quite a while

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/homemade-gift-series-1-vanilla-extract/
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 12:29:31 PM by mountainmoma »