So often we buy things out of habit, not even realizing that we have the ability to make things at home instead. It was such an eye-opener when I realized that I could make Flavor Extracts for baking at home. I assumed creating an extract required some complicated process and maybe even machinery that I did not possess or didn’t understand.
This is not the case! In fact, all kinds of extracts can be made using no fancy tools and only two, very basic ingredients.
The only thing it takes to make flavor extracts is alcohol and the ingredient you would like to extract flavor from. That’s it. One of the most versatile extracts to make is vanilla. You can purchase whole vanilla beans at your local grocery store. Simply put them in a mason jar, cover with vodka, and seal. The same process applies to berries as well. Fill a jar with raspberries, blueberries, or any other kind you like. Cover with vodka and seal. With citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, you only have to use the peel. Using a simple veggie peeler take only the very top waxy layer off and store in a mason jar. Again, just cover with vodka and seal.
Let this mixture sit for one month in the fridge, shaking the jar every few days. Then strain out the berries, beans, or peels and keep the liquid. The alcohol will extract the flavor from the desired ingredient and can be used in all sorts of recipes. Depending on the amount of liquid to ingredient you used, your extract may be stronger or weaker than you are used to. Just experiment a little to find the right balance for you.
Unflavored Alcohol (like Vodka)
Flavor Ingredient of choice
Fill a mason jar with your desired flavoring ingredient. Cover with Unflavored Alcohol and seal. Let sit one month in the fridge to extract flavors, shaking the jar every few days. Strain out the pieces, reserving the liquid. Use for flavoring cooking and baking dishes.
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