Monday, June 11, 2012

DIY Almond Extract

Apparently it is really easy to make your own Almond Extract. Or vanilla, orange, lemon, etc. For today I started with Almond because I had everything to make it. I may try orange as well, and promise to share the process if I do. This can be a money saver over time, because it's much cheaper to make your own than buy the good stuff, and actually also comes out cheaper than the dollar store variety. (not to mention it is supposed to be much more delicious) If this turns out the way I hope, I might put some in recycled extract bottles to trade with neighbors for fresh fruits and veggies from their gardens.

Here are some helpful links I found:

I happened to have vodka left over from a party we made jello shots for, so I used that, but apparently you can use rum or brandy for Almond or Vanilla extracts. I guess you could use them for orange and lemon as well, but they are not recommended for orange. Probably because it is a light flavor and might be overwhelmed by the rum or brandy. Vodka is a cleaner flavor, and by far the cheapest, so that's what I went with for now. I will probably try a bit of brandy and rum based extracts in the future. This is my first time doing this, I will post in a couple months or so with information about how it went.

1 cup Vodka
8 raw, peeled, chopped or roughly ground almonds
1 bottle (preferably with dark brown glass, but any bottle will do)
1 paper bag (if you can't find a dark brown glass bottle, this keeps the light out)

Roughly chop or grind 8 raw almonds
Place in bottle or jar (I used an old peanut butter jar we had cleaned)
Poor 1 cup (8 oz) Vodka into jar over almonds
Tightly seal jar
Shake and place in a cool dark place (paper bag in the pantry)

Mark the date and type of extract on the paper bag or jar, this will help you remember when it will be ready
Almonds can apparently be whole if they are peeled
Make sure whatever alcohol you use covers whatever ingredient you are extracting flavor from to prevent mold
You can filter the extract through a coffee filter when it is done to remove the bits of almond, vanilla, orange peel, etc. But some directions did not include this step
I am told this stuff will last forever. If you're a Prepper, this might be a good skill to have for later trade

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