This week I was researching homemade vanilla extract. I had previously learned that you can make your own vanilla at home by placing a vanilla bean pod in a skinny jar with some alcohol; vodka is recommended. Then it sits for several months in a cool dark place.
Recently a friend said she’d made alcohol-free vanilla extract and I was intrigued. She said she uses food grade glycerin and vanilla bean pods in her instant pot. Of course that made me wonder about food grad glycerin and sent me off researching.
My travels landed me on VanillaQueen.com where I found out a most surprising truth: Vanilla is the only edible fruit of the orchid! In the words of my son Sean, How did I not know this?
I was shocked! I also did not know that the orchid is the largest family of flowering plants, with over 20,000 species. There are at least 150 different varieties. To find more interesting facts, check out the FAQ at vannillaqueen.com.
If you want to give your hand a try at making your own vanilla, here’s some recipes I found:
- This one made the regular way with vodka.
- This one made with water.
- And this one made with food grade glycerin. (Don’t forget, if you have an instant pot, you can make it quickly in that.)
Of course, no talk with young children about vanilla would be complete without pointing out that vanilla is not sweet.
To complete this little foray into vanilla, make something that includes it in the recipe. It could be so many things but a good vanilla pudding from scratch would be fun. I’ve got a vanilla base pudding that I make for banana pudding here.
I hope you found this interesting. It sure surprised us!
Until next time, God bless,