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If you like to bake, then you probably use a lot of extracts. I use vanilla extract all the time–in cookies, pancakes, homemade vanilla shakes, all the essentials. I also use mint extract, especially around the holidays, for things like mint chocolate brownies and homemade cocoa mix.
If you do use extract, you must know how expensive it is. Just one 16-ounce bottle of vanilla extract can run you over $40. It’s WAY cheaper to simply make it yourself. Yes, you’ll have to spend a fair amount on vanilla beans and alcohol, but in the long run, you’ll actually save a lot of money. Plus, it will be homemade (so no artificial garbage).
Making extracts isn’t as mysterious as you might think. With vanilla extract, for example, it’s just a matter of preparing the ingredients, combining them in a glass jar, and waiting. Every couple of days you’ll need to shake it up, but that’s it. Once it’s ready, you can strain off the extract, but the cheaper option is to leave the vanilla beans in there and refill it with alcohol as you need to. After a few refills, you’ll need to replace the beans.
The process is very similar for other types of extracts. In this article by Heather, The Homesteading Hippy, she explains how to make vanilla, mint, almond, orange, and lemon extract. She also explains how to make alcohol free versions of all five. Follow the link below to check it out.