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    vanilla extract

Food Percentage of DRI per 100 grams





Acai, allspice, anise, almonds, amaranth, amaretto, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, baobab, basil, bee pollen, beets, berries, blackberries, blueberries, bourbon, brandy, buckwheat, cacao, cacao butter, caraway seeds, cardamom, carob, carrots, cashews, cayenne, chaga, chai spice, cherries, chicory, chia seeds, chili, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coffee, coconut, coconut cream, coconut feta, coconut kefir, coconut m!lk, coconut nectar, coconut oil, curry, coconut sugar, coconut water, coconut yogurt, cranberries, currants, dates, dragon fruit, durian, fennel, figs, flax seeds, fruits, ginger, goji berries, grapefruit, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, honey, jackfruit, kiwi, kombucha, lavender, lemons, lemon balm, lemongrass, licorice, limes, lucuma, lychees, maca, macadamias, mangoes, maple syrup, m!lk, mint, mulberries, nutmeg, nuts, nut cream, nut m!lk, oats, olive oil, oranges, oregano, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, peanuts, pears, pecans, pepper, pili nuts, pineapples, pine nuts, pistachios, plums, pomegranate, port wine, psyllium husk, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, raspberries, raisins, red whine, reishi, rhubarb, rice, rosemary, rum, saffron, sesame seeds, shilajit, spices, spinach, spirulina, star anise, strawberries, sunflower seeds, tarragon, tea, thyme, turmeric, vinegar, vodka, walnuts, wine, young coconut flesh.


If you are looking for alcohol free vanilla extract, beware. The most commonly used ingredient is glycerine which is a form of sugar alcohol that the body can not fully absorb. Also it can be genetically modified and made using animal fat.

When sourcing vanilla extract, look for cold extractions and make sure it is made with real vanilla beans, no artificial flavor and no sugar or additives. The pure vanilla flavor is perfect the way mother nature created it, and there is no reason to add any sweetener or synthetic ingredients.  

Making your own vanilla extract is an even better option. 

Every time you use vanilla beans, save the empty pods, they are very valuable, don´t ever throw these away. I store my used pods in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. They´ve got plenty of flavor left which I´ll use later for making vanilla extract.

If you’re buying vanilla beans for making extract, the quality of the vanilla beans does not have to be the best. You might as well choose the cheaper, grade B vanilla beans and save the plump, A-grade for special occasions.


makes:1 cup vanilla extract

4 scraped out vanilla beans 
per 1 cup vodka or other alcohol

Vodka gives the most neutral flavor, but you can use other types of liquor such as rum, bourbon, brandy or whiskey if you like. Place the vanilla beans in a sterilized glass jar, ideally one that is tall enough to hold the the long vanilla pods without needing to fold or bend them. I recommend using a clear glass jar so it is easy to see the color transformation of the extract. Top up with vodka, making sure all parts of the pods are covered. You can add a bit of wax paper under the lid, then close tight and keep in a dark, dry place for at least 4 weeks to steep. The longer you let it sit the more the taste will improve. If you have the patience, letting it steep for a year or more would be ideal. Mark the bottle with the date of production so you know how long it has been sitting. Once in a while, give it a shake. As the vanilla starts to infuse the alcohol, you will see the color turn dark. As long as the vanilla beans are kept submerged beneath the alcohol, this extract can last for years, and get even better with age. 

If you want to make a slightly more luxurious vanilla extract you can use the whole, unused vanilla beans to make an amazing product and gift that can be used in two ways. Follow the same procedure as above, using whole, intact vanilla pods, and let steep for 4 weeks to a year in the alcohol. Whenever you want to add vanilla flavor to your food creations, use the liquid vanilla extract. OR, remove one of the vanilla beans, cut off one of the ends, and squeeze out the amazing alcohol infused seeds. 

Consider making a "spiced vanilla extract" by adding other ingredients to the alcohol and vanilla beans. For example you could add allspice, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise, or orange peel. 


Store vanilla extract in a dark and cool pantry. Alcohol is a natural preservative, so as long as the vanilla pods and any other ingredients are submerged under the alcohol, it will last for years.     


Vanilla beans

If you want to avoid alcohol, rather than going for the glycerin extract, the better alternative would be to use vanilla in it´s whole form, by scraping the seeds from the pod. 

Vanilla powder

Another alternative is to buy vanilla powder which is just made with ground up vanilla beans. Note that vanilla powder should be black or brown in color and made from one ingredient only - ground vanilla beans. White vanilla powder is typically made with synthetic vanilla and a bulking agent such as dextrose, silicone dioxide or silicone cellulose.