Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes F.A.Q Vanilla Extract

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    • #272521

      About a month ago I had to buy some vanilla extract. When I was comparing prices I noticed right next to eachother. Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Flavoring.

      The Vanilla Flavoring was a different name but when I looked on the back, it was mfg’d by the same company. This was a larger size and cheaper. I was not sure, so I bought the Vanilla Extract.

      I need to buy more and thought I would ask if anyone knew what the differance was. :050:

    • #419524

      The Vanilla Extract is the real thing made from vanilla beans, whereas the “flavoring” is just that and may have some extract in it but is mostly artificial ingredients. Thus the big price difference.

      There are also different qualities of Vanilla Extract depending on the beans used and what alcohol they are infused in. See link

      all about vanilla extract

    • #419566

      I have used both kinds. But I would rather buy the extract and not the flavored kind. It is much better.

      But sometimes you have to go with what you can afford too.

    • #419584

      Anna, my Amish friend showed me years ago how to make my own vanilla extract and it’s the same that the Mexicans use. Buy some vanilla beans. Buy vodka and put one bean into each bottle of vodka and reseal.

      Let set for 6 months and you have real vanilla extract! I just buy one of those little jars of vanilla beans at the store spice rack and make a 2 year supply of vanilla at a time. Part of my years supply!

      Heads up, this years vanilla bean crop failed so prices and shortages may occur next year! I bought several little bottles of beans just to be safe!

    • #419586

      What size bottle of vodka? And when you reseal (just screw the top on)?

    • #419587

      @jkpjohnson 115398 wrote:

      What size bottle of vodka? And when you reseal (just screw the top on)?

      I buy them in 5th’s the only thing I’ve ever seen vodka in. Just reseal the lid and put it away in a dark place. I pack mine in milk crates in my basement food storage area.

      I never use alcohol except for this making my own vanilla. After I started making my own vanilla I can’t stand to use the stuff they sell in the store! Sure glad my friend showed me this!

    • #419589

      You can use any size bottle that is convenient and many people add 5-6 beans, cut into pieces or slit to expose the beans. You can also use whiskey or rum and there may be other alcohols that taste good. The beans will last for years and you only need to replenish the liquid occasionally.

      I agree, once you’ve made your own you will never use store-bought again.

    • #419591

      Thanks alot, I hate baking because the stuff is so expensive. Almost $5 for the smallest bottle, around here that buys alot of vodka, not sure yet how much vanilla beans cost.

      But Thanks, I think I can handle this myo recipe. lol

    • #419593

      Check on eBay. You might find a deal on vanilla beans there, but do some research first on the types of beans, such as Madagascar.

    • #420357

      vanilla flavor or artifical vanilla extract is not usually vanilla at all, it is usually made from wood by products

      All About Vanilla and Vanilla Extract – Recipelink.com

      Imitation or artificial vanilla extract contains no real vanilla at all. It is made from 100% artificial ingredients, mostly by-products of the pulp and paper industry, that have been treated with chemicals and supplemented with feeble flavourings. Artificial vanilla has a harsh, one-dimensional flavour that can come across as medicinal, cloying and even almost bitter in some cases.

      At best, it is rough and dull and absolutely incomparable to any other form of real vanilla. Avoid it at all costs, as it will do neither you nor your precious baking any good! If you have only ever used the artificial stuff, the difference pure vanilla will make to your favourite recipes is worth the price of this book, not to mention the vanilla itself.

    • #420363

      bamsbbq, thanks for posting this information. I had no idea, I’ll continue to use the real stuff in all of my baked goodies.

    • #420463

      Pure vanilla extract is made by steeping vanilla beans in an alcohol solution. Must be at least 35% alcohol which is 70 proof to meet FDA regulations to be called Extract. (only about 10% of the purchased vanilla consumed in the United States falls into this catagory.)

      You can make your own Vanilla at home. All you really need is a jar with a tight fitting lid, Vanilla beans and alcohol.

      I prefer to use a blend with Mexican and Bourbon (Madagascar) {if I can get them, and the price is reasonable} The Mexican has a richer flavor but the Bourbon is more commonly available and has a really good flavor. The Tahitian bean has flowery, perfumey flavor instead of what I call a vanilla flavor. I use Grade B beans as their moisture content is 15%-25% and 25 % moisture is the maximum you should use for extracts (the dryer they are the less water ends up in your extract).

      1 oz. vanilla beans per 8 ounces alcohol would be approximately the bean weight the FDA requires for the brew to be called Extract– approximately 6 beans per cup. I use the equivalent of 8 beans per cup (1 bean for every ounce of alcohol.)

      I use a lot of vanilla extract, so I make large batches (gallon jar size) of it for myself. Or, I should say I have a gallon jar of it that I have been topping off [must make sure that all the beans are covered all the time] for about four years now. (The beans are spent when they no longer color the alcohol.) My beans are still going strong.

      Also, if I need a vanilla bean for a recipe I take one out of the jar and use it. It sits on my bakers shelf which is in the coolest part of our kitchen (it is to big to fit in my cabinet). The Vanilla needs to be kept out of the light, so, since the first Vanilla Beans that I ever had I received as a Christmas gift and they were inside a giant (Red) Christmas Stocking and the gallon jar fits nicely inside of it I use the stocking to cover it.

      I could use a paper bag or foil or even a pillowcase or a cardboard box, but I think the red stocking looks nice. {I have had some strange comments when someone sees a Christmas stocking in my kitchen in the middle of the summer–but hey, I like it.} I started off with a pound of Vanilla Beans. I put 128 of them in my gallon jar and the rest I used to make small jars for gift giving.

      I used 80 proof Vodka (40%) which was also a gift as I do not allow any alcohol around except for this.

      Vanilla (Gift Bottles)

      Put four vanilla beans in a 4 oz. glass bottle, add either vodka, bourbon, light rum, brandy or pure grain alcohol. Shake the bottle vigorously every day for at least the first week.

      After that shake the bottle a few times a week. After four weeks, your extract will be ready to use, even though the extraction will continue for 6 months. When the extraction is finished the vanilla will continue to mature indefinitely.

      Each time you use the Vanilla, replenish the bottle with more alcohol, the original beans will retain their flavor for years.

      Tip: For best results, add vanilla extract to mixtures that are slightly cooled, not piping hot; heat weakens vanilla’s flavor because the alcohol evaporates. Vanilla extract keeps indefinitely in a cool, dark place.

      An imitation or a flavor vanilla is any brew with an alcohol content below 35%.

      Usually anything with alcohol in it (below the 35%) and made using the vanilla beans will be called Imitation Vanilla Extract or Real Vanilla.
      Zero Alcohol in it, but using the vanilla beans will be a Vanilla Flavor or Real Vanilla Flavor. True oils and flavors are usually 3x stronger than extract, and do not evaporate. So flavors are excellent for baking.

      Natural vanilla flavoring is made from real vanilla pods, but its base is nonalcoholic—usually vegetable glycerin. [Vegetable Glycerine is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with an incredibly sweet taste having the consistency of thick syrup.] Vegetable Glycerine extracts typically have a shelf life of 14-24 months whereas alcohol extracts can have an extended shelf life of 4-6 years. Some stores carry Natural Vanilla Flavoring, check the labels to be sure.

      Quick non-alcohol Vanilla Flavoring

      Split, chop and mash half a vanilla bean in a mortar, add some vegetable glycerine and keep mashing until it is a gooey paste, add a little glucose or light corn syrup and continue to work it in the mortar until it is a semi-liquid slurry. Dilute it with just a little water to make it easier to measure. Ready to use now.

      This only makes a small amount (about a teaspoon) but you can double or triple the amount and if you end up with more then you need refrigerate any that you don’t use right away. This will not store–I would use within a week or so.

      Non alcohol extracts are called GLYCERITES — It is possible to make extracts with glycerine – for non-alcoholic flavoring, at home, but it is a bit more challenging and complicated than with alcohol and I am still working on how to do it with vanilla beans. I think I am going to try to do it the same as herbal and spice extracts.

      Imitation vanilla (Notice the word Extract is not present here) some but not all of which are made by soaking alcohol in wood by products, which contains vanillin.

      Synthetic Vanilla is composed of water, artificial flavorings, artificial colors, citric acid and sodium benzoate.

      Hope this helps. Thanks; Virginia

    • #429279

      I am just blown away! I will be making my own to see how it works. Thank you so much for that tip.

      Man, I love this site!

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes F.A.Q Vanilla Extract