Saturday, May 24, 2014

Homemade DIY Gluten Free Vanilla Extract

One thing that I really enjoy while I am cooking or baking, is to reach for my bottle of homemade vanilla extract and use it in my recipe.

In the past I always used vodka, but then I found out that most vodka is gluten-grain-based and is not gluten free. (Potato-based vodka is gluten free, though). You can see my Stanislav vodka bottles in the picture, I always keep my vanilla beans in the vodka when I use it only for myself (otherwise I package it in nice bottles and give to friends as gifts).

But this time I am going to try some good old Bacardi Rum with my Madagascar vanilla beans.

You don't have to worry about buying organic vanilla beans because by nature of how they are grown and cultivated, you won't have to worry about them being exposed to pesticides or herbicides. I prefer Madagascar as it gives me the flavor I recall from my childhood, but there are quite a few different types. I buy mine on

One thing to note for me -- vanilla beans make me sick. Seriously. Here I am giving you instruction on how I make vanilla extract and the vanilla scent is an instant headache for me. I can use the extract easily and LOVE to cook with it. But I cannot cut the beans and scrape out the insides (the "caviar").

That is why I have a husband.

His FAVORITE scent is vanilla. We are a match made in heaven!  (or mis-matched, depending on how you look at it, haha).

And he hates his picture taken so I did not take a picture of him slicing open the vanilla beans and scraping out the inside caviar.

  • 20 Madagascar vanilla beans (about 4-6 beans for each cup of liquor)
  • 1 liter Rum (I am using a 1L bottle of Bacardi and will just let it stay in the bottle)

**There are approximately 33 oz in a liter, so I am going to just use 20 beans for this bottle, plus the caviar**


1. Pour out about 4 oz of the Rum (so there is enough headspace). I don't drink alcohol but my husband does, so this doesn't go to waste.

2. Using a cutting board, slice the vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape out the "insides" (called caviar) and keep them. You don't have to scrape them out but I find that the vanilla is richer when you separate the caviar from the bean.... however, it makes it more important to strain the vanilla before use. Your choice.

3. You can cut the vanilla beans in half as well, if your container is smaller and you need them to fit.

4. Stick the vanilla beans and caviar into the bottle of liquor. Close the lid and shake gently.

5. Store for a minimum of 6 weeks in a dark place (cupboard is fine). Shake as often as you can, at least a few times per week.

6. After the recommended period of time, you can strain the vanilla (via cheesecloth or strainer depending on the size of the beans and if you separated the caviar). Put it in whatever bottles you want (for gifts) or even leave it in the same bottle, for your own use. (No need to remove the vanilla beans if you are keeping it for yourself! The flavor will become richer and bolder as time goes by).

ENJOY! Homemade vanilla is a lot cheaper than real vanilla extract from the store, and it has no additives in it, so you know exactly what you are getting. And no one likes using the cheap imitation vanilla, so this one's a winner.

As you gradually change from toxic, chemical-based products, to homemade, natural products you will find a great sense of peace knowing you and your family are being exposed to less toxins. Check out some of my other posts about all natural DIY recipes, from personal care products like homemade body butter, to homemade mayonnaise.

About Me: Hi! I am Rebecca :) I am the owner of Purify Your Body Detox Foot Pads. I love natural health and wellness, and I love to eat real food. :) 

I love my family, and my pets. I actually love all animals -- they are much nicer than most humans! I don't watch TV and haven't watched a movie in the theater for more than 9 months. I would much rather read a book!

I love to garden and make homemade products -- body butter, toothpaste, perfume, cheese, yogurt, etc. It tastes better when it's made from scratch!  Contact me here: