Monday, July 29, 2013

Homemade Almond Extract

I don't know, I woke up and realized that I could put stuff in vodka and it's probably better than the extracts I buy.  I started by putting the kernels from peach pits in a 1/2 cup of vodka (I don't go through almond extract all that quickly!).  Apparently the kernels, the soft inner part of the pit from peaches and apricots, taste like almond extract.  We shall see.  The jar is tucked away for several months in my spice cupboard.  I followed these directions.




And then I talked to a coworker who makes his own vanilla extract and went straight to Ebay and ordered vanilla beans from Uganda.  Now I'm going to make vanilla extract. 

I don't know if this is cheaper, exactly, than buying vanilla extract, but I'm betting it will taste better.  I like to think I am clever with my food money, spending money where it makes a difference in taste, nutrition, and the environment.  Sometimes, all three line up, like now when the local veggies and fruits are pouring in from the careful farmers who are not certified organic, but just farm that way because it makes sense to them. And me.

8 comments:

Alica said...

I've never tried this, but have a friend who makes her own vanilla extract and says it's absolutely the best!!

Zoë said...

I've been making my own vanilla extract and we love it. Never thought to do almond!

Do the peach pits really make a better extract than actual almonds? Or is it just cheaper and uses something that would otherwise be thrown out? I'm going to have to try this!

sara said...

I've made my own vanilla and it's totally terrific - and a bit cheaper.

I've always wondered about the peach pits and almond extract thing. Please keep us posted!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

I know some people who bake with the vanilla bean seeds, and scrape it into their liquid. Fast and yummy! We can buy vanilla beans at our local stores. I don't use that much vanilla, but I'm sure it would be fresher...

Meryl said...

I didn't know you could do that with peach pits. I've been doing it with vanilla for years now--it works well!

Victoria said...

I've always heard that peach pits contain cyanide! I am not sure if alcohol could extract it, of course. Perhaps the small amount in flavorings isn't enough to cause a problem? Huh. Off to research this!

Margo said...

Victoria, yes, they do contain cyanide, but the amount is so small that it's considered safe to consume. It's probably like saying commercial extracts are alcoholic - well yes, they do have alcohol content, but it's so minimal that most people don't worry about it.

Madame said...

I've been making vanilla extract for years and it is super easy and delicious. I usually fill a big jar with sugar and put the vanilla bean scrapings into that at the same time. I shake/stir that about for amazing vanilla sugar. Sometimes I use that vanilla sugar to make vanilla syrup. It isn't much to look at - with the black vanilla bean dots, but it makes the most amazing vanilla steamers and vanilla cream sodas without the preservatives/corn syrup of the other stuff.

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